Nicole Richie and Joel Madden launch their children's foundation

Nicole Richie, 26, and boyfriend Joel Madden, 28, celebrated the launch of their Richie Madden Children’s Foundation with a surprise baby shower for 100 moms-to-be atthe Los Angeles Free Clinic on December 3rd in Hollywood, CA. The couple handed out more than $200,000 worth of gifts, including Fisher-Price toys, Dr. Brown’s bottles, Oopa baby slings, Graco products, including strollers and high-chairs, Baby Bjorns, cribs, mattresses, diapers, socks, and much more. Nicole says,

The looks on their faces were priceless. Some of them didn’t even believe us [when they saw thegifts]. They thought we were joking. It’s really, really amazing. And they’re fantastic.

We named the foundation the Richie-Madden Foundation because it’s not just Joel and I that want to help. We each have families and our families are very close. This is a family foundation. It’s not a couple’s foundation. Our whole family is involved –- his brother, Benji, he has another brother and he has a sister my age who’s pregnant and is expecting any day now. And I have a younger brother and a younger sister. And I think that it’s important for me to be a good role model to them and show them how important it is to share and give back and to lend a helping hand.

Joel adds,

It’s exciting to think that our child will grow up in a loving environment with two families that are completely connected to each other. We’re lucky that we have families that like each other, that all get along, that all talk to each other. It’s very real. Our families, they really do like each other, they really do care about each other…

We’re just trying to do our part, but also to start our child’s life off right, and to have the right priorities and the right frame of mind for the next 20 years of our lives.

On the decision to use their pregnancy as a way to bring awareness to other young moms, Nicole said,

We started [the foundation] out here in Los Angeles because this is our home and we live here. But we are hoping to spread this to all areas of the world. Joel and I travel a lot. We traveled a lot, even when I was pregnant. We went to Asia and Australia, and our hope is to improve the lives of people all over the world. It starts here, and the Los Angeles Free Clinic is a perfect place to start. They are a really amazing clinic.

When we [initially visited] here, I got a chance to meet a woman who was nine months’ pregnant. She’s since had the baby. And I really felt that it’s not just us giving to them. They’ve got something that they can give me as well. And that’s just a woman talking to another woman about pregnancy, about being a new mom. That’s not something that I can give them; [but] they can give it to me. I’m really looking forward to developing personal relationships with the mothers here. It feels really good to know that you have someone to talk to and that you have someone to lean on…

Joel remarks,

We grew up in Los Angeles, and we want our childto be a part of the community, and to know that there’s aresponsibility to help the community.

Sometimes people don’twant to believe that me and Nicole are just a young couple having ababy and we’re really excited. We don’t really get to share our liveswith people. It’s nice to connect with people on a real level. Everything that’s gonna be in our nursery is gonna be in their nursery. It’s pretty great.

Last month, Nicole and Joel started the foundation off with a bang by encouraging donation of gifts at their shower — asking only for a book to start their child’s library for themselves. Click here for more information, or click here to make your own donation.

Visit Getty Images for more photos.


Sources: People; OK!; Getty Images; Bauer Griffin.

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