Beside him stood a table decorated with the pictures of orphans in Uganda and Kenya.
“Excuse me, sir,” Taylor asked a BICU client. “Would you like to make a donation for the orphans?”
It did not necessarily matter how the man responded to the boy dressed as the BICU mascot. A donation was ideal, but a refusal would not deter Taylor. He stood with determination in his 9-year-old frame. He would send money to help the orphans.
A final count revealed he raised $225 for the orphans.
Taylor said he initially learned about the need while visiting his father’s office at BICU.
Denis Collins said his son saw the pictures sitting on his desk.
He noticed Taylor looking at the photos and offered an idea.
“He said, ‘Hey, you can raise money for the orphanage,’” Taylor recalled. “I went and got a table. I decorated it with Christmas stuff, put some papers out there and put up the pictures.”
Added Taylor of the donations, “They just started coming in.”
Africa had been on Taylor’s mind since an African teacher spoke with students at E.L. Ross about the need for clean water in his village. His school worked together to provide some clean water. Taylor appreciated the opportunity to continue the good work.
All of the fundraising was completed over the course of Taylor’s Christmas break. He figured since he was already at work with his dad, then he might as well raise money for a good cause.
Denis said the money raised by Taylor purchased uniforms for about 30 to 40 orphans.
This was not the first time Taylor decided to raise money for an organization.
His trial run happened over fall break. According to Taylor, his school raised money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital early in the school year. He raised $30.
He did not think it was enough.
“I’ve seen the commercials and all ... that and they try to cure cancer,” Taylor said matter of factly. “They need money to get the right medicine.”
He ended up raising $150 for the Memphis children’s hospital.
“I really got more yesses for St. Jude than I did for the orphanage,” Taylor said. “There were a lot more people coming in [for St. Jude’s], but they gave less.”
Denis had only good things to say about his son’s goodwill efforts.
“It makes you feel good that he is willing to give up his time,” Denis said. “[As was] said earlier, most kids want to sit around and play video games. ... I really think by being in the environment with a lot of people coming in and dealing with money, he saw an opportunity.”
Taylor’s parents attempted to teach him and his brother about generosity. It is one thing to give the lessons and another to see them put into action.
Denis also shared how impressed he is with the clients at BICU.
“We are a community development credit union, and we are low-income designated,” Denis explained. “So these people that gave that money— that was very hard to do. That is what amazed us.”
Continued Denis, “They contributed when probably they needed the money for something else.”
When he is not standing behind a good cause, Taylor enjoys writing and drawing. He is currently working on a book entitled, “Shiloh Returns.” He said he was inspired by the “Shiloh” series introduced to his class by his teacher.
He admitted it is too cold in the winter to play outside regularly. When it is warmer, he likes to ride his bike and fish with his dad. He hopes to make it onto a baseball team this summer and a football team in the fall.
Added Taylor, “Sometimes on weekends I play my Xbox.”
Taylor expressed an interest in raising funds for another medical organization in the future.