It was Thanksgiving Day in 2008 when a 3-year-old boy walked into his grandmother’s room to find hundreds of stuffed animal bunnies donated by Khols Department Store. That little boy was filled with so much happiness and joy that he could not stop smiling. The little boy was Landon, the son of Brittany Leighton, President and Founder of Children’s Smiles.
Landon’s smiles, happiness, and excitement inspired Brittany and warmed her heart. She wanted to find a way to share her love and passion in helping children experience happy lives full of smiles and laughter. At that moment Brittany became determined to help other children feel love in whatever way she could and believed that these stuffed animals would be a phenomenal start!
With the help of a close friend, Maricela Flores, Brittany decided that Mary’s Mercy Center located in San Bernardino California would be the perfect organization to begin their smile-infusing journey!
On Christmas Eve, Brittany and Maricela arrived to Mary’s Mercy Center where they interacted with hundreds of homeless and underprivileged children and gave each one a stuffed animal. They both knew immediately that they made the perfect decision to spend their Christmas Eve with the children of Mary’s Mercy Center.
In 2009, Brittany officially founded Children’s Smiles and promised herself that she would find a way to help children find happiness and give them unconditional love by any means necessary. In Brittany’s words “It was one of the best experiences and feelings I have ever had! It touched me so deeply and evoked so much compassion and love for children that I knew I would do this type of work for the rest of my life”. Since that wonderful Christmas in 2008 Children’s Smiles has continued to grow and touch thousands of lives per year.