Today we’d like to introduce you to Latricia Taylor.
Latricia, Let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My journey started on November 2, 2014 when my daughter was killed in a DUI/DWI crash. As a mother this is the last thing you want to hear, that your child has been taken from you tragically. I tried to wrap my head around the information and it took me awhile to accept the news. Never in a million years did I expect that the night she walked out our home it would be the last time I would see her. She was a typical young lady but very responsible and I never had any major worries when she left the house because she made great choices. So imagine receiving that knock on the door and the detectives telling you, your child is never coming home. To this day my heart yearns anytime I hear a child killed for any reason at a young age. I instantly feel the pain that the mother who is going to receive the news feels. I often shed tears because I know the journey she is going to go through because I have and still am going through it to this day.
However, shortly after I had a few people tell me I should do something to honor my daughter. I didn’t want to at first. But one day I said, “I need to do something to turn this negative thing into something positive”. I spoke to my husband and shared the idea and he was on board 100%. Therefore, the Chasity Taylor Foundation was birth in January 2015. The plan is/was to turn something negative into something positive through giving back to others in her name. This was important because we wanted when people google her name instead of the crash appearing first in the search, the wonderful things we are doing through the Foundation would come up and over shadow the negative. Of course, starting any business especially a non-profit it takes passion, determination, money and time. We were and are up for the challenge and we are standing 5 years strong now.
In addition, to the Foundation being something that helped me on the journey, I wrote my first book A Mother’s Love / A Mother’s Pain, which was released in April 2018 on all online platforms such as Amazon and Barnes and Nobles. In this book, I share my personal experience and journey as a mother loving my children from wound, to birth, to young adult. I also share the struggles I went through while dealing with the unexpected loss of my daughter. The book was written to further help me in my grieving process as well as to share with other mother’s who are dealing with the same pain as I am. I wanted to inspire women like me to not give up and encourage them to keep pushing.
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?
To be honest, with all of the things I have going on with the Foundation and the book. It doesn’t take away the pain of the loss. My family and I still hurt, we have reminders of her all over including her daughter she left behind. Therefore, some days are more difficult than others but I keep pushing and think of ways to help others. This is why every year when we host our annual Back to School event and I see the line of people waiting to attend and the smiles on the faces of the children and families at our event it all warms my heart. I know at that time I am doing exactly what I should be doing to heal my heart and keep my daughter memory alive. During the planning process, whenever we are presented with possibilities of not having the funding available to do everything we want, my team and I use the love we have for Chasity as the fuel to the fire coupled with our passion and we get the job done. She’s our guardian Angel and in the 9th hour we always have just what we need to help the children and families in the community.
Tell us about the Chasity Taylor Foundation – what should we know?
The Chasity Taylor Foundation is located and operated in Jacksonville, FL it was set up to bring awareness to “Drink Responsible”. One day we can see us spreading our love and message to other cities and states. We understand people are going to drink and we are not against it at all. We just want people to be responsible, spare their life and others by calling a cab, Uber or a friend. Have designated drivers and let them drive. We want designated drivers to not give the keys up and commit to being the driver for the night no matter what. We spread this awareness through our Scholarship programs. As part of the requirements to apply for the Cheer Scholarship (partnered with a local football association) and the High School Graduate Scholarship is for them to do a essay about DUI/DWI. When they are researching the facts it allows them to read about the statistics and the dangers of drinking and driving and getting in the car with someone under the influence. In addition to the scholarships, we do an Annual Back to School Community Give away event. This event is free to everyone in the community and we make it fun and exciting for the children and their families. The first year we were able to assist 100 kids with Backpacks & school supplies for the school year (2015). Last year’s event we were able to provide backpacks filled with school supplies/hair cuts/ Hair styles/ clothing items plus more for a little over 250 kids and families.
We also host an Annual Party with a Purpose event every year in November. This is a themed Fundraiser event and this event allows us raise money to give us a jump start for the next year planning. Its fun and we have a great time raising money. All of these programs require funding and so far we have been successful with partnering with several business and individuals through donations to put smiles on kids and families faces every year. But more is needed and we hope this year we are able to exceed our goals and help more children and families with our programs.
Is there a Characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The quality I feel that is most important in my success is my passion and drive behind what I do. I do it for the kids, I do it for the families, and most important I do it to honor my daughter. Additionally, staying true to myself is another essential characteristic or quality I think that makes me successful. I do all of this without pay, my team and I do not get paid any money. Everything that is donated to the Foundation goes right back out into the community. I don’t try to copy or immolate anyone else I work to be the best person I can be no matter what. I am in competition with myself and that’s only to push myself to the next level to do bigger and better than I did yesterday.
As a business woman, I think the realness I bring to the table and the life experiences etc. sets me apart from some in the same business. I have experienced the pain personally and I am walking strong. I want to use my platform (whatever that maybe) to Inspire, Encourage, and Uplift other women. I want to share my knowledge of what I am doing (the good, the bad, & the ugly) to help the next woman overcome her fears.
- Website: www.chasitytaylorfoundation.org
- Phone: 904-333-5076
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: chasitytaylorfoundation
- Facebook: The Chasity Taylor Foundation
- Twitter: ctfoundation823
- Other: www.latriciataylor.com