Avis Richards’ dedication to philanthropy is paramount. The Founder of Birds Nest Foundation, a non-profit organization that produces documentaries, short videos and PSA’s for a multitude of well deserving and under-represented charities, Avis Richards brings passion, zeal and energy to every project she takes on–raising much needed attention to lesser known charities and promoting awareness for their meaningful causes. This New York based mother of two has teamed up with New Yorkers and A-list celebrities to produce films for the charities of Goldie Hawn, Michael Bolton, Andre Agassi, John Legend and many others. I met Avis last summer and was so impressed by all of her talents and love of giving. The award-winning producer shares some of her interesting history, opinions and lifestyle secrets.
MM: What inspired you to start the Birds Nest Foundation?
AR: Seven years ago, I noticed a lack of quality media content for non-profits. Many of these non-profits spent large sums of money on production companies to get their word out. That’s money that could be going to a good cause, so I stepped in. It’s really all about giving back through media and giving non-profits a voice.
MM: I love the foundation’s appellation. Is there a special meaning behind it?
AR: Well, “Avis” means “bird” in Latin, so that was part of the name. But also, Birds Nest is always “hatching” new creative ideas, both beautiful and impactful once they leave the nest.
MM: As a crusader for Healthy Movement, a primary focus is improving and educating Americans about proper nutritional habits, especially for our youth; why is childhood nutrition so important to you?
AR: 12.5 million children are obese. Diabetes has increased nine-fold in the past 25 years. As a parent with two wonderful children, nutrition is especially important. I’ve gone to schools; I’ve seen what children eat. We need nutrition education for kids and adults, as this problem is a national concern.