At 13-years-old Taylor Beckwith is already a role model and inspiration for the entire community. Last year she collected 601 blankets through her “Blankets for Babies” project to donate to families in need.
Taylor’s generosity and community-minded nature did not go unnoticed as she was named the Good Samaritan Youth Hero of the Year by the Capital Region Chapter of the American Red Cross, which includes Stanislaus County. Taylor will accept the award today at a breakfast ceremony in Modesto.
“This year we will dedicate a day to thank and celebrate heroes throughout Stanislaus County, those who make a difference through the Red Cross, and others, including firemen, police officers, teachers, and other ‘ordinary’ people who have accomplished something ‘extraordinary,’” said Rebecca Ciszek, Stanislaus County Red Cross regional manager.
Taylor’s philanthropic ways began two years ago, when she was a sixth grader at Medeiros Elementary.
While volunteering at the Modesto Gospel Mission with her family on Christmas Eve in 2009, the Turlock teen noticed that there were toys and clothes for the infants, but no blankets. Taylor immediately began to collect blankets for young children in need throughout the county and so “Blankets for Babies” was born.
“(Blankets for Babies) is important because there’s drives for Toys for Tots and other things, but they don’t have anything for the babies,” Taylor said.
Last year she donated blankets to the Modesto Gospel Mission, the American Red Cross, the Memorial Hospital Birthing Center and Interfaith Ministries.
“Taylor’s the kind of kid who when she sees a need, she fills it,” said Taylor’s mother, Karen Beckwith. “I don’t think she realizes that other kids her age don’t do this kind of thing.
“She’s a good kid with a big heart.”
The Turlock Junior High student is already collecting blankets for the upcoming winter season, with over 100 donated so far. She spread the word about the blanket project through friends, family members and schoolmates and the donations just kept coming in.
“Lots of people wanted to help … even strangers,” Taylor said.
Those who are interested in donating new baby blankets to Taylor’s project “Blankets for Babies” can contact Karen Beckwith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact Kristina Hacker, e-mail email@example.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2004.