Two Rochester, N.Y. telecommunications business executives, Jeb Tyler and Jason Guck, presented the foundation a $5,000 check.
"It's an awesome responsibility and he [Stan Richards] has integrity. He's a great mentor," said Guck.
Steve Carter, a donor and supporter from Dallas, Texas, said, "the leadership characteristics that Stan displays will impact the lives of millions of kids in the DMV [D.C., Maryland and Virginia area]."
District of Columbia political strategist, Vernon Hawkins, said "[Stan Richards] represents what we should have as a poster for a black man."
Richards grew up in the District and attended D.C. public schools. He graduated from Cardoza Senior High School in 1981 and says, "I was pushed through school from elementary all the way through graduating high school and couldn't read" he said. "I learned to read on my own when I was about 18 and it wasn't until I was 44 when I read my first book."
After working for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) for 18 years driving a bus, Richards and his wife, an information technology engineer in the federal government, started their own business.
"Attaining success in the business world has not been a golden road," Ms. Richards said, "but we have been able to accomplish some things we at first never thought possible. The future is bright and the foundation will change lives. Kids don't have to live the pain we went through."
Richards said the goal of the foundation is "to pour into young people's lives and let them know that you can do whatever you inspire to do" he said. "So it's not about the money, it's about what the money can do ... we can sow into lives." The couple's assiduity was on full display when, prior to the official launch of the foundation, they took 11 children on a five-day cruise to Canada using their own money. Also, later this month, the foundation is partnering with a popular Washington area restaurant, Carolina Kitchen, to offer free dinners to a few needy families during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Ms. Richards shared another example of their commitment, but this one involved something a bit closer to home.
"Some of our family members were going through some difficult times, including three children who were bounced around from house to house after their mother was brutally murdered by her boyfriend and then the children's biological father went to jail for murdering the boyfriend," Ms. Richards said. "We believe that charity starts at home so that is where we started, it's all about exposing a child to what is possible."
One of the foundation's objectives is to speak to kids at every D.C. public high school and tell them achievement of their dreams is possible. The Richards believe they are living representatives of what they espouse that children with similar backgrounds can do something that matters. They believe this will give meaning and fulfillment to their lives.
Ms. Richards likened the value system the foundation will use to help children achieve their dreams to the principles used when she decided to run a 26.2-mile marathon. "Children will be taught to just start where you are, show up every day, and push yourself because nobody else is going to push you," she said. "A lot of people say I've never done this or that before. I sincerely believe that you are responsible for your own life and I think that if they [children] can learn that it doesn't matter where they start, where they come from, or what anyone says, just do it, it's up to them, they will live life with purpose."