TisBest is on a mission to #RedefineGifting by replacing gifts of stuff with gifts of good. In that spirit, we like to feature heartwarming stories of special people, like Brittanie Richardson, who are also doing good in this world. We hope it inspires you to spread some kindness and love in your communities.
Brittanie Richardson grew up in the foster care system. Now she’s using her own experience to empower at-risk children to live their best lives — at home, in school, and in the community. Brittanie is a single foster mom of seven who works as a supervisory aide for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). She also serves as a parent leader for Friends of the Children — a youth mentorship program in LA. Brittanie is a mother figure to so many children which inspired The Ellen DeGeneres Show to give her the motherload of all surprises!
Foster Child Becomes Mother Figure
After aging out of foster care, Brittanie Richardson knew from a young age that she wanted to impact the lives of youth. At the age of 18 she landed a job at LAUSD, the 2nd largest public school district in the United States. The district consists of Los Angeles and several adjoining Southern California cities. Its mission is to educate and empower all students as future leaders.
Unfortunately, many students face systemic obstacles. What’s more, they don’t always have a supportive home environment or a nurturing adult to guide them on the path to success. That has become Brittanie’s role, not only for her own seven children and the students at LAUSD, but also for at-risk children in her community.
Brittanie Richardson is a Single Parent and Friend to Many
As a single mom, Brittanie knows that it takes a village to raise a child. That’s why she and her family are members of Friends of the Children. The international non-profit organization is the first and only long-term professional mentoring program in the country. The program matches at-risk youth with a paid, professional mentor called a Friend. Each child is paired with a Friend who is their mentor from preschool through high school graduation and beyond. Several of Brittanie’s children have a Friend in the program and Brittanie serves as a parent leader.
When reflecting on her experience with Friends of the Children Brittanie shared, “Everyone in the world would love to have someone that’s behind them, letting them know that, hey, we got you. And so, it’s everything for me. And it’s everything for my children.”
Friends of the Children Puts At-Risk Kids on the Path to Success
Unlike other youth mentorship programs, Friends of the Children exclusively works with children who face systemic obstacles and have lived through a lot of trauma by the time they reach kindergarten. They partner with community organizations, schools, and the foster care system to match children ages 4-6 with a Friend. Friends of the Children was founded on research showing that the single most important factor in overcoming childhood adversity is a long-term, nurturing relationship with a consistent and caring adult. Brittanie Richardson knows this first-hand. That is why she’s dedicated her life to helping LA youth live their best life.
Brittanie Richardson Wins the Golden Ticket
When this rockstar mom and youth mentor visited The Ellen DeGeneres Show, she received the surprise of a lifetime. After finding a golden ticket under her seat, Brittanie Richardson was called to the stage by Grammy-award winning guest host Ciara. She was instructed to open the envelope which revealed the word DOOR. Then, as the doors opened, all seven of Brittanie’s children ran onto the stage. Next, Ciara had three more surprises up her sleeve.
Foster Mom Receives the Motherload of All Surprises!
First, Ciara invited her husband Russell Wilson to the stage. The Seattle Seahawks Quarterback surprised Brittanie and her family with 3Brand swag from his clothing line and a VIP trip to one of his games.
Second, the couple revealed their personal connection to the Richardson family. The star-studded couple has a nonprofit called Why Not You Foundation. Its mission is to fight poverty through education, empowering youth, and to lead with a why not you attitude. Through their organization, they support causes that align with their mission, including Friends of the Children.
For the third and ultimate surprise, Ciara announced that The Ellen DeGeneres Show partnered with TisBest Philanthropy to give the Richardson family a check for $10,000! Now this mom of seven and friend/mentor has someone in her corner — helping to guide these young children on the path to success.
Create More Warm Fuzzies!
Join us in the movement to #RedefineGifting by replacing gifts of stuff with gifts of good. If you feel inspired by this heartwarming story, spread a little more love in our world. Send a TisBest Charity Gift Card to those close to your heart so they can pay it forward to a charity that is close to theirs. Or give a card to a stranger as a random act of kindness. Together, you’ll do a world of good.
Share your giving stories with us on social by tagging your post with #RedefineGifting.