11-year-old Becca Taylor volunteers during “Overnight Walks” for people who’ve lost loved ones to suicide. For hours on end, she holds a sign saying, HUGS HERE, and eases their pain with her gentle embrace.
Over the past year she has attended two events staged by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, hugging somewhere close to a thousand people, estimates her mom, Lisa Speranza.
This coming weekend, she opens her arms for a third time, attending the “Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk” in Philadelphia.
“After a full day of volunteering, she stays up as late as needed, hugging people who need moral support throughout the difficult journey,” says her mom, who began walking after losing a family member. “I know that the cousin we lost would be so proud of what she’s done to carry on his legacy.”
“I wanted to share with you that because of you I am a better person. I no longer keep to myself when I see people crying or when they look troubled. I’ve always been caring, but the love that you displayed was altruistic and deeper than I have ever seen.”
“Hugging that beautiful, smiling, little bundle of hope was truly hugging God. You showed me hope and gave me some love and a smile just as it was getting hard and I needed it most.”
Becca and her mom, along with their family, have raised more than $17,000 for the Foundation just by walking, and sharing the cause. But more than that, Becca is providing hugs for those who badly want to show their love. Her small arms provide a lovely resting place for that.
The two will attend an overnight walk in Philadelphia on June 28.