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Addiction stole our grandson Daniel’s mother…

Brianna’s 12 year old son (2020) is angry that his mother chose drugs over him. Why wasn’t my mother there for me? Why were drugs more important than me? It rips my heart out to hear her sons’ gut-wrenching sobs. He knows his mother loved him, but that doesn’t bring her back. His words, when we told him his mother had gone to heaven when he was 6 years old still haunt me, “I Don’t want my mama to be dead!” Brianna Brandy Millard Smith wanted nothing more than to be sober and be Daniel’s mama. “I’m sorry I screwed up for so long! I just hope that my mistakes aren’t permanent and that I’ll get to be your mommy. I love you forever and ever”. These are words written by her in a journal she left for him that she called “The love book”. Sadly, Brianna could not remain sober. The longest she was able to stay away from drugs was 6 months. Brianna Brandy Millard Smith, our daughter, and Daniel’s mother, was killed one evening, as she walked along highway 138 near Llano, CA. A semi-truck veered onto the shoulder of the road, striking Brianna, and killing her instantly. The driver didn’t even know what he hit until he went back and found her body.

Our world was turned upside down when our daughter died, alone, in the desert on March 30, 2014. THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE YOU! And it shouldn’t be the story of another family, who will suffer the loss of a loved one to addiction.

Not drinking or using are the first steps towards mending a damaged relationship, whether that be a family member, partner, employer, or, and more importantly, a child. Daniel’s mom didn’t get that chance. 

Cross at Brianna’s accident site on Hwy. 138 near Llano, CA. Daniel wanted a cross there, his grandfather built one and erected it at the site.

BBMS Happy Children Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was founded on October 6, 2018 (which would have been Brianna’s 38th birthday), will help with funds towards rent, toys, clothes, Hygiene goods and food (with the help of Code 7 ministries).  The only requirement is sobriety… The goal of BBMS Happy Children Memorial Fund is to help families in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.  Our daughter, Daniel’s mother,  Brianna was always seeking sobriety with the goal of being a good mother.

Brianna had been struggling with addiction for many years, with windows of sobriety. She got sober while carrying her one and only child, Daniel, and continued her sobriety, as she breastfed him for the first 6 months of his life until his reflux made it medically necessary for her to stop. But gradually, the darkness became too much, and once again she stumbled back into bad habits, mixed with old influencers. It is believed that it was on one of these unfortunate occasions, that Brianna made a bad choice, and took a lift with someone, and ended up in the desert. She was seen walking along highway 138. Police had noted her presence and stopped to ask if she was ok. She had apparently told them, that she was fine. Just a few hours later, she was deceased. As a family, we often ask, if we did enough? That is a question that lives with us always. We now raise her autistic son and provide him with everything he needs to grow into a valued member of society. And it’s because of what happened to Brianna, we made it our mission to help as many families, living in sobriety, as we can. Every year, leading up to the two main holidays of the year, BBMS, (which stands for “Brianna Brandy Millard Smith Happy Children Memorial Scholarship Fund”) collects a variety of goods, to gift families who are LIVING SOBER. Last year (2020), we were able to supply 11 families with care packages consisting of: Food, softly used or new clothes and toys, and other products to get them through Thanksgiving and Christmas. This brought the families hope and those who donated, a lot of joy when they saw the pictures of the children’s faces light up with glee.This past year has been hard on all of us, and with the cost of living on the increase, our goal is to at least match the donations we received last year.

“The road to success is always under contruction”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Lily Tomlin​​

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Brianna and her autistic son Daniel

The picture above is one of the last pictures of them together at Tarzana Treatment https://www.tarzanatc.org/enter in Nov 2013. She was always striving for sobriety. She wanted nothing more than to be a good mom to Daniel

Purpose of Program

Brianna Brandy Millard Smith’s Happy Children Memorial Scholarship Fund assists families committed to recovery from drug and or alcohol addiction with toy. clothes, diapers, food and a stipend toward rent to mothers or fathers who are residing with their children or in process of reunification..

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AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. AmazonSmile is available at smile.amazon.com on your web browser and can be activated in the Amazon Shopping app for iOS and Android phones. When you shop at AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added benefit that AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. You can choose Brianna Brandy Millard Smith’s Happy Children Memorial Scholarship Fund.

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To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com on your web browser or activate AmazonSmile on your Amazon Shopping app on your iOS or Android phone (found under settings on your app). On your browser, you may also want to add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile. When you’re using the app, always check for the “AmazonSmile” logo to ensure you’re activated for AmazonSmile.

 Mission:

Brianna Brandy Millard Smith’s Happy Children Scholarship Fund helps mothers or fathers whose children are with them or are in process of reunification. BBMS Happy Children Memorial Fund will assists with a stipend towards rent be it sober living, apartment, renting a room. Funds towards rent are payable to the landlord. We also provide diapers, toys, clothes for the children that are with their parents or in process of reunification.and committed to sobriety from drug and or alcohol addiction

GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles help the sector take a leap forward from data and information about charities to powerful knowledge and insight to help us make informed decisions.”—Victoria Vrana, 
Senior Program Officer, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

For more information on BBMS Happy Children Memorial Fund’s Guidestar profile click on the Guidestar icon.

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