For the Love of Erika

Posted by Peter MUIR

15-year-old Taylor Leong from the US founded “For the Love of Erika“, an annual holiday toy drive that provides children in hospitals and homeless shelters with gifts during the holidays, in 2005 in honour of her best friend Erika Gould, who passed away from brain cancer. Taylor used her talent of making gifts for Erika, with her passion for uplifting people’s spirits, in order to grieve the loss of her best friend, and as well to bring smiles to children’s faces during the holidays.  In the past nine years, Taylor has collected and personally delivered more than 8,000 gifts to disadvantaged children during the holiday season. “For the Love of Erika” has partnerships with 6 hospitals and 15 homeless shelters and through her partnerships with local businesses, Taylor also hosts three annual holiday parties for more than six homeless shelters that have raised more than $200,000 since its founding.  Taylor aspires to expand “For the Love of Erika” throughout hew home state, as well as to engage more youth in her community in service opportunities.