The Richie-Madden Children's Foundation
By Joel Madden
When we first started the Richie-Madden Children’s Foundation, it was simple. My girlfriend, Nicole Richie, and I both love children; we both feel blessed; we both wanted to give back; and we both wanted to do something that would be fun and fulfilling. At first, we had trouble agreeing on what the foundation would be. Then came the greatest news of our lives: We were going to be parents.
It was then obvious. We would start a family foundation and learn as we go. Our purpose? We wanted to better the lives of children. With our daughter, Harlow, on the way, it seemed like a great start to building our family around positivity and consciousness. I was raised in a family that was centered on faith. I want to instill that same faith in my children and—no pun intended— this is the foundation for that. I believe a life that is not lived in the service of God and others is not worth living. I want to teach my children that.
In the two years since the launch of the foundation, Nicole and I both feel we’ve gained more than we’ve given. The children we’ve met from all over the world have touched us in ways money can’t buy. From neighborhoods in Los Angeles and villages in Africa to an orphanage in Russia, these children have become dear to our hearts and as important to us as our own children. They deserve the chances in life I know Harlow will have. They deserve the love she gets. They deserve the opportunities to dream and go out into the world with those dreams. My hope is that through the foundation, she will share those blessings with her little brothers and sisters around the world. It may sound idealistic, but dreaming is a part of what our family is about—none of us would be where we are without our dreams. The Richie-Madden Children’s Foundation hopes to give these children the opportunity to dream along with us. Visit richiemaddenfoundation.com.
photographs by Jeff Vespa/WireImage.com
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.