Because of Them We Can
Meet Nicole Russell, The Foundation Owner Providing Free Comfort Items & Resources to Foster Youth
Meet Nicole Russell, The Foundation Owner Providing Free Comfort Items & Resources to Foster Youth

Her organization provides not just a good night’s sleep, but the tools and resources to dream big and build a brighter future.

Nicole Russell, founder of Precious Dreams Foundation (PDF), is on a mission to empower children in foster care and homeless shelters. “Our motto at Precious Dreams Foundation is simple,” Nicole shared with Because of Them We Can (BOTWC), “we help children of all ages sleep well, dream big, and follow through.” PDF offers a variety of programs, including wrap-around services for young people transitioning through the foster care system and for young adults aging out of care. They even provide financial assistance for necessities like tuition, phone bills, and gas through their Humble Dreams Alliance program.

But Nicole knows a good night’s sleep is essential for well-being. “We focus on the importance of protecting the ‘Dream,’ whether that’s at bedtime using healthy coping tools or throughout the day making decisions that bring them closer to building the lives they envision for themselves,” she explains. This philosophy extends to their innovative Comfort Shop program.

The first-of-its-kind Comfort Shop, located in New York City, provides high-quality comfort items to youth entering foster care, free of charge. The shop opened early spring 2024 in New York City’s Nicholas Scoppetta Children’s Center, according to PDF’s website. Nicole explains, “Our Comfort Shop focuses primarily on providing high-quality comfort items and resources to support the mental health of youth entering the foster care system.”

The shop is designed to be a sanctuary. Filled with brand-new essentials–like pajamas, journals, more than 250 pairs of sneakers from JD Sports Finish Line, and items from Kith, and Bombas–it allows children to choose items that bring them comfort and a sense of security. “Everything in our store is brand new,” says Nicole, “We believe our youth deserve the absolute best.”

While a good night’s sleep is important, Nicole knows it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Through her book, “My Busy, Busy Brain”, she empowers children to advocate for themselves. “The best thing we can do for our children is teach them how to advocate for themselves,” she says.

PDF also recognizes the challenges young people face when leaving foster care. “Our programs focus on… breaking the cycle of poverty for themselves,” explains Nicole. Through their Humble Dreams Alliance program, they provide financial assistance for essential needs.

PDF’s reach is extensive, with eleven chapters across the country. However, Nicole has a larger vision. “Our outreach is much smaller than our issue,” she says. Her goal? To ensure every child entering foster care has access to the resources they need.

“By 2030, our goal is to make our services accessible to every young person navigating homelessness or foster care in the United States,” she says. With her passion and dedication, Nicole Russell and the Precious Dreams Foundation are well on their way to making that dream a reality.

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