Scouts begin ‘Taylor’s Teddy Bears’ drive
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Morgan County Girl Scout Troop 103125 is set to kick off a “Taylor’s Teddy Bears” drive this month in memory of Taylor Kinchen, the six-year-old Godfrey girl who passed away last January of complications from brain and spinal tumors.
From September 22 to September 26, Morgan County children are invited to bring a new teddy bear or stuffed animal to school to donate to local kids in crisis. Girl Scouts will take the collected animals and distribute them to local police, sheriff, fire, and hospital personnel so that emergency workers can give the bears to kids in need of comfort.
Girl Scouts Shelby Kinchen, 12, and Kourtney Kinchen, 11, are the elder sisters of Taylor. Shelby Kinchen helped start Troop 103125 eight years ago; Kourtney joined the troop a couple of years later. All three of the Taylor girls participated in Girl Scouting activities from a very young age.
“Our girls are looking forward to operating this drive in honor of Taylor,” said troop leader Janet Woodard.
Taylor’s parents, P.J. and Pheral Kinchen, plan to start the drive by donating a number of new teddy bears and stuffed animals that were given to the family for Taylor, but which she never got to enjoy.
“We’re hoping to collect a lot of stuffed animals to give to Morgan County kids who are feeling sad,” said troop member Elizabeth Mahoney, 12.
Community members are invited to participate in the drive by either sending a stuffed animal to the primary, elementary, or middle schools the week of the drive, or stopping by the offices of the Morgan County Citizen and dropping off a teddy bear or other animal there.