Young Philanthropists: Ashley Brown

To pay forward the blessing of being adopted, Ashley Brown established the Selfless Love Foundation in Palm Beach in 2015 with her husband, Ed Brown. With more than 100,000 children in foster care in the U.S. waiting to be adopted—and more than 20,000 that will age-out of the system without a family this year—the nonprofit is dedicated to enriching the lives of current and former foster youth. The foundation works with partners to streamline the adoption process to create better matches and reduce the time to adoption. It also provides training and resources for youth who are aging out of the child welfare system. “It’s ironic to think the ‘foundation’ our family was built on is the same foundation that now helps hundreds of foster children find forever families,” commented Brown. 

Brooke Kelly: Tell me about your specific roles within the organization today.

Ashley Brown: I am extremely hands-on in every area of our foundation, from spearheading recruitment videos, planning events, assisting in the design of all marketing materials, and always being on the other end of the phone when a child calls for encouragement and support. I even handwrite every single thank you note because I am so grateful to everyone who supports us. My favorite part about Selfless Love is being able to see firsthand the impact we are making in hundreds of children and families’ lives. 

BK: How has the pandemic impacted your goals?

AB: Shockingly, the pandemic has really strengthened our ability to impact even more lives. Our team essentially spends their entire day on Zoom calls and webinars with our youth. In the midst of COVID, we raised over 1.3 million dollars on a virtual event, held the first-ever statewide virtual graduation for foster youth, provided statewide Dale Carnegie leadership training for former foster youth, and launched a youth voice initiative to give former foster youth a platform to use their lived experience in foster care to make recommendations for policy changes. This year we also celebrated over 500 foster children matched with families thanks to our partnership with Adoption-Share and their adoption matching program called Family-Match.