Class Act: Groton, Taylor Leong
GROTON, Mass. (WHDH) -- After hundreds of nominations, 7News has the first Class Act of the 2013-2014 school year!
Meet Taylor Leong - a very special freshman at Lawrence Academy in Groton.
After losing her best friend to cancer, she vowed to make the lives of other sick children a little better.
When 7News surprised her in the classroom, there were some tears from 14-year-old Taylor Leong but the freshman at Lawrence Academy in Groton spends most of her time making people smile.
She founded a charity that delivers gifts to kids in hospitals and homeless shelters.
“I’m adopted from China and so when I came to America, I was given so many gifts. My mom, she taught me that it’s not only good to receive but also to give back,” said Leong.
Leong started her charity, "For the love of Erika", when she was just six-years-old. At the time, her best friend was battling cancer.
“She got diagnosed with brain cancer. So when she would be in and out of hospital visits, I would come visit her and bring her gifts and she noticed how other kids were either not feeling well or they were hurt, and she wanted other kids to feel the way she did, when I brought her gifts,” Leong recalled.
When Erika lost her battle with brain cancer, Leong wanted to keep her dream alive.
“She ended up taking her grief and created this mission to pay it forward,” said Leong’s mother, Laura Goodman.
In the past 8 years, Leong has collected and handed out more than 7000 gifts.
Leong said she never wants to stop bringing smiles to kid's faces, and her message is one of hope.
“I would never give up hope, because hope is the thing that keeps you going,” said Leong.
Taylor Leong’s charity, "For the love of Erica" is now in the process of becoming an official non-profit organization.