Brittany's Closet is named for 4 year old Brittany Daniels from Fountain Valley, CA who in January 2002 lost her life unexpectantly due to a fatal strain of strep. One of Brittany's favorite things to do was to play dress up and to continually change her clothes. Thus in honor of this beautiful little girl the event was named for her.
Brittany's Closet is a semi annual charity event in which the Fountain Valley Kiwanis Club takes under privilidged children, Kindergarten through 6th grade shopping for clothes. Each child is paired with a "shopper" who is given a $100 budget to shop. We can't begin to tell you how many children have been blessed by this event. Even more amazing is how many adult shoppers have been blessed. This is a true "feel good" event which requires only time from you. The Kiwanis Club of Fountain Valley picks up the tab and you walk away with a smile on your heart and a forever friend. The children that are chosen are from various organizations in our area and meet our criteria for participation.
Brittany's mother, Rita Daniels, recently sat down with Eva Kilgore of the Orange County Register to talk about this meaningful event.
"Q. What is Brittany's Closet all about?
A.It started in 2003, and it was to keep the memory of Brittany alive and try to make something good come out of the tragedy of her passing.
The first year of the event is now kind of a blur, and I was still grieving my loss.
It was a magical day for the children and truly was a catalyst to help me start the healing process
Q. What happens during the event?
A.Children shop with adults and pick out clothing from head to toe. We just had our event at Walmart in Santa Ana and took 25 children shopping.
I took a 7-year-old shopping, and she loved everything Hello Kitty. She got shoes, socks, underwear, jeans, shirts, belts, headbands and dresses.
Each child could spend $100. Walmart provided a backpack for each child filled with school supplies. Afterward, we had hot dogs, chips, sodas and bowling provided by Fountain Valley Bowl. The Kiwanis Club of Fountain Valley, members of the La Quinta High School Key Club and other volunteers helped out
Q. Any other highlights?
A.This year was even more special because my parents, William and Audrey Saulding, Brittany's maternal grandparents, were able to attend and shop with a child for the very first time. And Aimee Le, our beautiful Miss Fountain Valley, was there to shop with a child.
It's wonderful to see new volunteers experience the joy of this event, as well as the children that are blessed
Q. What does Brittany's Closet mean to you?
A.Words can't really describe what this means to me. I want to help more children. I would love to take 50 children shopping twice a year. My love and appreciation for everyone involved is boundless
Q. What keeps you positive?
A.Realizing that life isn't all about ourselves, but about the legacy we leave behind."
If you know of a child in need, would like to come shop with us, or would like to support this wonderful project please email us at Service@FvKiwanis.org.