Taylor Cross, a 9th-grade student at Covenant Christian Academy, believes every child should feel loved and special. Taylor decided to put her beliefs into action, so she started a nonprofit called Taylor Bears. Taylor Bears organizes teddy bear drives and raises money to buy bears for sick and impoverished children.
Please enjoy getting to know Taylor through this interview.
Tell me what Jesus means to you?
Jesus is the central focus of my life. Before I speak or act, I try to think if what I’m about to do or say will honor Him and please Him. I don’t always succeed, but when you truly love Jesus with all of your heart, you will always try and desire to do better the next time. There is always hope, love, and forgiveness with Jesus by your side. I’m so grateful for that!!
Who is your hero?
My Mom is my hero. I look up to her in every aspect of life. She exudes kindness 24/7 and is a ball of joy. I can always count on her to brighten my day, and she has such a gift for making everyone feel special! She is a bright light, and I see Jesus in her.
What is your favorite way to spend a weekend?
I love spending time with my family and watching movies! I also love hunting with my Dad! :-)
What are your plans for after high school?
I’m thinking of pursuing law school or possibly medical school, but I’m still very undecided! My dream has always been to attend Oxford University in England or Duke, especially after touring both recently. My parents are Aggies, though, and I am a Texas girl at heart, so you never know!
What do you think makes a good friend?
A good friend loves you no matter what, is loyal, and truly wants the best for you. True friends are a blessing from God, and they are very rare.
What is your favorite extracurricular activity? What has it taught you about God?
Ballet. It has instilled in me a very strong work ethic. I think people would be surprised at the blood, sweat, and tears that come from training as a classical ballerina. When you push yourself to those kind of limits, it builds mental toughness and character. God blesses hard work. I’ve seen and experienced it time and time again, and I’m grateful!
What motivated you to start your non-profit Taylor Bears?
Finding out that Cook Children’s Hospital gives a teddy bear to every child that spends the night and is ALWAYS in need of bears inspired me! They have given over 17,000 bears in a year before! I wanted to find a way to help on a large scale, and that’s why I started Taylor Bears. I also volunteer a lot at Grace and saw firsthand how much donating teddy bears to them at Christmas time would bless local kids and families!
My heart is to help children, especially kids who are sick or in need. More than anything, though, I want these kids to feel loved and special. That’s why I attach a note around the neck of every bear donated that says, “Always remember….There is no one in the world exactly like you. You are unique, special, and loved a lot, too.” This message is my real mission.
No one would disagree they want all children to feel special, but few of us would do something about it. Taylor’s generous heart is uncommon.