Selfless Love Foundation, founded by Ashley Brown, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of current and former foster children through strategic partnerships and dedication.
Ashley felt she was given a second chance when she was adopted as an infant and wishes to help other children get the same second chance- regardless of their age. “I was adopted as an infant.” Brown explains, “My point of view has always been that I was given a second chance at life.” But it isn’t just infants that Brown wishes to help. She continued to explain that, “Everyone wants to adopt a baby. People forget about the teenagers who are about to be on their own. At 18, so many kids who aren’t adopted feel like they will never have a family. They just want someone to have Thanksgiving with. Someone cheering at graduation. Someone to walk them down the aisle at a wedding one day. Home is more than a destination for a lot of us, it’s a feeling. They want that feeling too.”
Ashley has made it her mission to give that feeling to every foster youth that she can. Selfless Love was born out of Ed Brown and Ashley’s marriage in 2015 where the couple asked for donations to their new foundation instead of wedding gifts. Since then, Selfless Love has raised millions towards their cause through their Halloween events and their Annual Gala. Their last gala raised 1.5 million dollars, and their next Gala will take place on April 18, 2020 at The Breakers in Palm Beach. If you are in the area, be sure to purchase tickets for the event on their website to witness the magic in action.
Because of the overwhelming statistics of foster children who “age out” of foster programs and become homeless, Selfless Love Foundation partnered with Children’s Harbor to create a housing program for those between the ages of 18-23 who are transitioning out of the foster care system. From this, Brown’s Harbor was formed to create a family-like environment for youth leaving foster care, inspiring them to reach educational goals and helping them gain independent living skills. Foster youth leaving the system can find beautiful, affordable apartments with on-site support and guidance that provide them with a community where they feel as if they belong. The programs offered for those living there creates leaders. And while working on the program with the children, Ashley has been touched as well, “I’m supposed to be a mentor to these kids—but they’re the ones inspiring me.”
Selfless Love Foundation has also partnered with Adoption-Share, a non profit organization that created an application called Family-Match that uses compatibility assessments to better match kids in foster care that have a goal of adoption with waiting families. Since working with Adoption-Share to launch Family-Match in Florida in July 2018, more than 240 children have been matched with families, including more than 60 sibling groups.
“It is such a blessing to know because of Selfless Love’s partnerships and programs, more than 240 children have matched with forever families, and close to 100 former foster youth have received tools to bridge the gap from dependence to independence. Together we can create a family-minded community and give these children the greatest gift—a bright future.”
Even if you are not looking to adopt a child, you can still make a difference to them by helping out, donating your time or your money to Selfless Love Foundation’s events. “You don’t have to adopt a child to make a difference.” Ashley tells us, “We can all make all children feel loved. Small acts like spending time and getting to know them, asking about their dreams, playing games with them… it can make all the difference in the world.”
Her foundation has been named very appropriately, as Ashley’s selfless acts are truly inspiring and changing the lives of these children forever. We hope everyone out there can learn from her example and help in their community where they can. Be sure to follow Ashley and her endeavors with Selfless Love Foundation here.
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