The poet William Wordsworth described kindness as simply, “The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.”
In Bossier Parish, a business owner has been serving up kindness throughout the years.
Brittney Copeland, owner of the The Frilly Magnolia Boutique in Benton, has come from a humble beginning in her own life, leading her to know what it’s like to be a young, single parent who is working multiple jobs to try to make ends meet and get an education.
At the age of 19, Copeland became pregnant with her eldest daughter. Due to a dangerous situation in the home, Copleand had to protect herself and her child, seeing her set off on her own to try to make a better life.
Always having a dream to own her own business, Copeland attended Bossier Parish Community College as a full time student. In order to support herself and her child, she worked a minimum wage job.
“It was hard because I had to pay the bills. I had to rely on government assistance to feed my child,” she revealed. “I just remember crying and thinking, ‘How am I going to take care of a baby when I can barely afford to take care of myself?’” said Copeland.
Luckily, she had the love and support from her family, especially her grandmother.
“I’m blessed with a family who loved me unconditionally, regardless of my poor decisions,” said Copeland.
Armed with the knowledge of what it is like to struggle to survive, Copeland combined that feeling with her family’s teachings of kindness and compassion to bless others in the community — simple acts such as skipping lunch to pay for someone’s meal or taking her last $5 and donating it to a nonprofit that helps starving children in Shreveport-Bossier.
“You don’t need a bunch of money to help change someone’s life,” Copeland said. “Kindness is contagious and that little act of graciousness you provide to someone else will most likely spread to others”
One of those acts of kindness was in 2016 when Copeland surprised her daughters daycare teacher with a car.
“Every single morning when I dropped my daughter off at Benton Preschool and Childcare, her teacher, Christy, was always full of joy, she treated the children as if they were her own. I witnessed her walking to church one Sunday in her dress with her Bible tucked under her arm. Long story short, Christy did not own a vehicle and had never had the opportunity to own one,” said Copeland.
Knowing what was on her heart, Copeland held a fund raiser to buy the teacher a pre-owned Chevy Cavalier and cover the costs of driving school and car insurance.
“Giving Christy the car was probably the best feeling in the world,” Copeland said. “But I didn’t do it alone. So many people donated their time, money, and expertise to make the blessing come true. And, I am so grateful to every single one of them.”
Now in her 30s, Copeland is a wife, mother of two, business owner and still giving back. Most recently, she set up a supply drive to help those affected at Benton Middle School by this month’s storms.
“I feel like I have done a lot, but I want to encourage others to do good deeds. I want to show people it can be done and you don’t have to do it on your own,” said Copeland.