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 fiends 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 daughters youth, 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 what she had experienced as a child, and for 15 yrs, she tried to cope with life, sober.
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.
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, however, 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 her remembered for all the good she believed in helping others.
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 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. The Connally’s are looking for an apartment for their family. Once they are settled in their apartment with their children BBMS Happy Children Memorial Fund may be able to help with funds towards rent and 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. Please continue to donate www.bbmshappychildren.comIn approximately 4 mos. the Wallace family will need to relocate. Please keep them in mind for rentals that come up to help their family continue on the next part of their journey.
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. Congratulations we hope you can attend our fundraiser in April (This event had to be canceled due to COVID19).
Area of Eligibility
Mothers or fathers who are committed to recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol.
2. Children must be residing with their parent or in process of reunification. Parents must be clean and sober.
An Entry Application must be filled out and turned in to BBMS Happy Children Memorial Fund by the 20th of each month. Along with the application, the applicant must provide:
1) A short essay “What my goals are for my children and myself.
2) A letter of acceptance/rental application from an apartment, sober living, home applicant will be residing. If such letter/contract is not available by the 15th of the month, the applicant will not be considered eligible for the scholarship.
The selection committee will make the selection and notify the recipient by the 25th of the month. All entry applications, along with the accompanying data must be turned in to Tarzana Treatment Center or directly to BBMS Happy Children Memorial Fund.
The BBMS Happy Children Memorial Fund will collect the applications and notify the recipient personally of the award. The scholarship will be paid to the apartment, sober living, resident the applicant will be residing upon leaving Tarzana Treatment Center.
If you would like more information or know a family BBMS Happy Children Memorial Fund could help please, fill out the form below. We will contact you regarding your request.
Let’s do something together
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 .
If some of you are moving, or downsizing, please keep us in mind if you are purging your belongings. That box of old, but barely played with toys, could bring so much happiness to another family. When you go to the store, add a can here, or boxed cereal there. Every item counts.Your kind donations can make the difference between holidays, where these families feel your love, compared with one filled with sorrow, loneliness, and the illusion of being unseen. To make things easy for you, here is a list of items that are always needed (and some that are overlooked):
Everyone donates Kraft Mac & Cheese, which is rarely used because it needs milk & butter (A luxury in some houses).
Canned boxed milk can be a treasure, as kids need it for cereal. They cannot eat all the awesome canned veggies & soup unless you put a can opener in there somewhere.
Cooking oil is a luxury and can be used for many things including Rice a Roni.
Spices, salt n pepper also make great holiday gifts.
Teabags and coffee can make a family feel like they are cared for. Sugar and flour are a treat.
Fresh produce (closer to the Holiday dates) is awesome.
Seeds are cool, as they can plant and grow their own food.
Fresh meat is also a rare gift and best delivered to us, a day or so before a major holiday, but Tuna and ground beef can also make a handsome feast.
Cake mixes and the frosting are always greeted with wide eyes, especially if you can spare eggs, butter, or margarine.
Cleaning products, feminine hygiene products, are always needed and possibly overlooked.
A small body care collection for the Mother/ Grandmother or Teenage daughter can be a beautiful thing.
This list of suggestions was put together by someone who asked what the families needed, not what we all assumed they wanted.If you can help, please contact Laurie Millard via Tel: 661 904 5956 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And lastly, you may be a family living in sobriety or know of one, please reach out to us so we can start customizing packages, taking into consideration clothes sizes, shoe sizes, and other items that we may have missed.
We would like to thank you in advance. We know this community is something special and always surprises us when they find a good cause to get their teeth into.
For Donation drop off or pick up call: 661 904 5956. If you would like to help send your donations through PayPal email@example.com (click on the BBMS log it will direct you to the PayPal portal to donate.
How Do We Decide?
The recipient will be chosen by the Scholarship Committee. You will be notified of the award. Scholarships will be given one time per month to once per family minimum amount of $100.00 to be paid for their montly rent payable to the landlord. Should funds permit there will be more than one award per month. If there are no applicants for the month the funds will carry over to the following month.