WHAT INSPIRED THE NAME
Brianna Brandy Millard Smith’s Happy Children Memorial Scholarship Fund, Corp.
Brianna believed in helping others. She would bring people home, give them a place to stay. Sharing what she had with others. When she was a teenager she brought home a friend that became part of our family Brianna was always helping others even if it meant leaving herself with nothing. We wanted to honor her giving nature by helping others in her name. On October 6, 2018, Brianna Brandy Millard Smith’s Happy Children Memorial Scholarship Fund was started. We wanted to help recovering families in Brianna’s honor.
Brianna was diagnosed with mental illness in her early teens. It was brought to our attention, when Brianna told us that her friends father had been abusing her. This had been going on for about 3 years. Our first reaction was obvious rage. We wanted to destroy the person who had taken our daughter’s youth, and innocence and left her and other family members with unhealable scars that bore deep into their souls.
The abuse led to depression, which led to being hospitalized (on numerous occasions), which led to her drug and alcohol addiction. For 15 yrs, she tried so hard to numb the horror of domestic violence that she had experienced as a child, and for 15 yrs, she tried to cope with life, sobriety eluded her. She continued in and out of relationships that were domestically violent.
Brianna was an inpatient at Tarzana Treatment Center on more than one occasion. The last time she was there in November 2013, the staff knew she needed more help than her insurance would provide. We inquired how much it would cost to keep her there. We were astounded at the astronomical cost. Sadly we could not afford it. Brianna wanted to be clean and sober so much, all she wanted was to be the mother that her autistic son deserved. She wanted a new life.
Mental illness exacerbates the need to self-medicate (use drugs)
Her mental illness added to her difficulty staying clean and sober. Mental illness exacerbates the need to self medicate (use drugs), this helps calm the voices or noises in their heads. However, once they stop using and are not taking their medication their mental health condition intensifies. Medication for mental health problems made her feel lethargic, unable to function. She would get off her medication when she felt ok, then the symptoms of mental illness would return, and again she would return to drug use. Sadly, her life ended on March 30, 2014, While her life ended tragically we want to carry on her legacy of helping others. We want to remember her for all the good she believed in helping others.
This was our Brianna Millard Smith, thank you for letting us share her with you. The first song was a song she practiced her flag team routine to Sophie B. Hawkins’s “As I Lay Me Down”, We called it Nana’s song. In the last song by Josh Jackson “Banana Pancakes” she loved Banana pancakes.
BBMS Happy Children Fundraiser and Recipients
The first recipient of BBMS Happy Children Memorial Fund Scholarship had known Brianna and was very grateful to receive help in her name. Dalynn Oliver completed treatment on December 25, 2018 We provided toys donated by Leona Valley Sertoma for her two children, diapers, and food from Code 7 Ministries. Sorry, we were unable to get a picture of our first family.
BBMS Happy Children Memorial Fund hosted a BBQ fundraiser in 2019 and in 2022 enabling us to be support these families in their recovery. Sarah Connally, was a recipient of the Leona Valley Sertoma Christmas toy and food drive. With their help we provided toys for their 4 children. The baby is 3 months old and at Childrens hospital. He was born with down syndrome and recently had a G tube inserted. We received a generous donation of baby furniture, car seats and a stroller. We were also able to help with diapers and baby clothes. Code 7 Ministries will help with food.
BBMS Happy Children Memorial Fund was honored to be part of the Wallace families recovery. We were able to assist them with food, diapers, a stuffed Gigi dog for Mackenzie, and funds towards their rent. Christian graduated Tarzana treatment center a little over a year ago. He is going back to school to become a Youth services counselor. Rebecca will be completing her studies to be a social worker for DCFS. Thank you for allowing us to be of service. We hope you will join us at our next BBQ fundraiser in April 2020. Thank you your continued donations. Cherish Bolton our secretary with BBMS presented the check to Christian and Rebecca.
Nonie Able and her daughter Kaylee they recipients of the BBMS Happy Children Memorial Fund Scholarship. We were able to provide a high chair, gift card, food from Code 7 Ministries, and funds for rent payable to the landlord. We are honored to be part of the Borton’s, Haney’s, Rebol, Parker, Forte, Signala, Remick, Hord and other families journey in recovery.
Addiction affects the entire family not just the addict.
Thank You for helping us to honor our daughter by helping families in recovery from drug and or alcohol addiction. We are committed to “No child should be without”. We want children of addicted families to have something to open during the holidays, clothes they need, toys to play with, diaper for the little ones.
We want to be of support to those starting over after leaving a domestic violence situation and starting over. With your support we can continue doing this as we have since 2018. Any amount is appreciated.
David, Laurie Millard and Daniel Smith
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