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Meet Darnell Taylor of Taylor Made Foundation in Covington/Conyers

Today we’d like to introduce you to Darnell Taylor.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Darnell. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Serving my community has always been in my heart. I’ve always done things with the children in my neighborhood, like DIYs, arts and crafts, holiday projects, and helping them in any way that I could be – physically, financially, etc. I wanted to be able to send some of the children in my neighborhood to summer camp, as most of them have never been and had nothing to do during the summer. I knew that I couldn’t financially achieve this goal by myself, and that’ s when someone suggested that I form a non-profit organization, in order to obtain funding to be able to send some of the children to summer camp. That’s how the Taylor Made Foundation (TMF) got started. We were able to recruit some of the local high school students as volunteers, and we began planning different projects for those who were from homeless shelters, foster care, and even residents in nursing homes.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road has definitely NOT been a smooth one. My biggest struggle has been recruiting board members who are as passionate and dedicated about doing the work as I am. Also, finding funding needed to build out and execute our programs has presented some challenges. However, I believe that God will supply every resource that we need; resources that we can use to do great works in our community and really help transform the lives of those in need for the better.

Please tell us about Taylor Made Foundation.
The Taylor Made Foundation (TMF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization helping the homeless, those in the foster care system, needy families, and the elderly in the Metro-Atlanta area.

We are known for and most proud of our Once Upon a Prom program. Our Once Upon A Prom Program offers a comprehensive service providing full prom attire to high school junior and senior girls who would otherwise not have the opportunity to attend their high school’s Prom. Our participants will walk away with not only a beautiful gown, but also a pair of shoes, a handbag, jewelry, and hair/nail services to finish off their ensemble. Our hope is that this will make them feel like a PRINCESS.

Due to the high costs of today’s hot designs, prom dresses alone can cost anywhere between $300 and $1,000. These high prices coupled with beauty services and accessories, can make going to prom an unattainable dream for many young ladies.

Once Upon A Prom is a chance to “shop” for FREE at our Boutique Day of Empowerment Event, March 7th, 2020, at Newton High School. Each princess will walk with a Fairy Prom Mother (personal shopper) that will help each princess find the dress of her dreams, pick out her shoes, a handbag, makeup, prom accessories, and other prom-related services. Each princess can even have her photograph taken in her beautiful new gown. At this event, there will be empowerment speeches given by radio personality Kierra M. of Southside Dash Radio, as well as on-site makeup and hair demonstrations/tutorials, live music, giveaways, and so much more.

Each young lady will be treated with respect, love, and kindness by all of our volunteers. We believe in promoting self-esteem and confidence in these young women while surrounding them with positive role models. We hope to make an unforgettable experience for every princess who will waltz through our doors.

We encourage all of the individuals that we help to reach back and help others in need when they are stable and able to do so. This cycle of “transforming lives, by giving back to those in need”, is what sets us apart from others.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I was very poor during my childhood, and we did not have much at all. We lived in an area where we received assistance from city organizations. Each summer, the POLICE ATHLETIC LEAGUE (PAL) would host a block party where residents were provided with free food, activities, music, and dancing for one whole day. Everyone would come out of their apartments to join in the festivities, and it was for those few moments in that day that we were able to not focus on how poor we were or we did not have. Rather, we focused on how our community came together to create happy memories at these block parties. This is one of my favorite memories from my childhood.

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