By: Salem Brown, Public Relations Specialist
Patricia Richardson saw an opportunity to turn a tragedy into something that could be meaningful and make a difference in the community.
On May 16, 2021, Pat Richardson received a horrific call that her 23-year-old daughter, Kristian “Krissy” Monet Richardson had been involved in a tragic car accident and she had passed away. In honor of her daughter, she founded the Monet Richardson Community Foundation to carry out her legacy and to support the underserved communities just like her daughter once did.
Before the devastating death, both Pat and Krissy were always involved and continuously looking for opportunities to help in the community via any occasion they could. In 2018, Krissy partnered with the Carrboro-Chapel Hill YMCA Y Learning program to create a backpack program to help provide resources for students in underserved communities. Over 100 backpacks were filled with school supplies and distributed to students in Orange County schools. Krissy had a strong passion for children, social justice, and activism, and was determined to help the students in her community.
“Krissy’s legacy has translated into the core of the foundation because the backpack program was reinvented in August 2021 by Monet Richardson Community Foundation when we donated over 170 backpacks to students in Carrboro-Chapel Hill schools and Edgecombe County schools, ” Richardson says.
Pat Richardson, founder of Monet Richardson Community Foundation, giving out backpacks to students at Rashkis Elementary School in Chapel Hill, NC on October 13, 2021.
Photo taken by: Salem Brown
“As her mother,” she said, “There are tough times, but I am constantly reminded and motivated by Krissy’s passion to help others and do good work in the community and to carry out her legacy and make sure she is remembered.”
The Monet Richardson Community Foundation aims to promote leadership, empowerment of youth, entrepreneurial concepts, and activism in the community’s youth while preparing for tomorrow’s workforce. The foundation’s three educational scholarships are awarded to outstanding students to assist and support as they pursue their dreams after high school and beyond.
In addition, the foundation hopes to be able to continue Krissy’s legacy and to help support the underserved communities with an emphasis on education, social justice, youth engagement and inspiration through the backpack program and educational scholarships we offer.
Jane Ehrenfeld, executive director of BOLD Foundation says, “We are proud to assist Pat in honoring the legacy of her daughter Krissy in giving back to the underserved youth near and dear to us.”
Richardson’s vision for the future is to focus on taking the backpack and scholarship programs to the next level and increasing capacity to reach across the state of N.C. There are many events the foundation hopes to get involved in to continue to grow and make a difference in the community.
When asked “who has pushed you to keep going when things may seem hard?” Richardson responded: “God, because I feel like He is always listening and also Krissy, the board members, my siblings and my church family.”
“Pat’s passion for the Monet Richardson Community Foundation is something very inspiring and motivating. Her dedication to keeping Krissy’s legacy alive and turning her pain into purpose is something that drives me and keeps me going daily. I am thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of the Monet Richardson Community Foundation legacy,” says Krissy’s best friend and chairperson of the foundation, Karima Dean.
Pat beams with pride when she talks about her daughter and for anyone who is acquainted with her it’s hard to escape the conclusion that she’s passionate about anything she’s involved in even during a time of tragedy.
“The past few months I have been overwhelmed with emotions. I’m proud, humble, overtaken with grief, a committed member of the foundation and always doing everything with love and compassion in remembrance of my dearest daughter, Krissy Monet Richardson,” says Richardson.
As Richardson wipes away her tears, she says, “It has been hard, but it makes me proud to see everybody who has stepped up to make this foundation happen and to see how it may grow and impact the lives of others in the future.”
Pat Richardson with her daughter, Krissy Richardson on Mother’s Day 2021.
Photo taken by: Pat Richardson