Taylor James, Founder and Executive Director of Heart of Charity, Inc., is a sixteen-year-old 11th grader who resides in Columbia, MD. At the age of ten, Taylor started the organization to encourage volunteerism and raise funds for her two favorite charities – Food on the 15th and Cool Kids Campaign. Under her leadership, Heart of Charity has expanded its reach to support approximately ten organizations, donate over six thousand three hundred items, volunteer countless hours, and secure twenty sponsors for its annual fundraiser, the Miss Heart of Charity Pageant (Miss HOC).
Food on the 15th, a program of the Coalition of Geriatric Services, operates on $0 overhead and delivers free groceries and toiletries to economically disadvantaged senior citizens in Jessup & Ellicott City, MD. In 4th grade, Taylor became involved with the organization through her school’s community outreach. She and her family assisted with collecting and sorting groceries as well as delivering them to the seniors on a monthly basis.
Taylor’s involvement with Cool Kids Campaign stemmed from her love of modeling. She was selected to participate in the 2012 American Girl Fashion Show, an annual fundraiser for Cool Kids, where she enjoyed modeling and helping to raise awareness for sick children. Devoted to improving the quality of life for pediatric oncology patients and their families, Cool Kids Campaign, headquartered in Towson, MD, focuses on the academic, social, and emotional needs brought on by a cancer diagnosis.
From writing encouraging notes to preparing holiday Blessing Bags, Taylor began volunteering with Generosity Global in 2016. Generosity Global, a nonprofit organization committed to using the power of generosity to positively impact people, provides access to clean drinking water to people in developing countries and helps people in the homeless community become self-sufficient. Taylor’s concern for the homeless coupled with her desire to feed the hungry prompted her to add Generosity Global to her “charities of choice” in 2018.
An honor student at Atholton High School, Taylor is an avid volunteer who enjoys dancing, traveling, modeling, event planning, and spending time with friends. She is an actor and model with both Linda Townsend Management and MMG Models, appearing in several short films and magazines and walking the runway in New York Fashion Week. Taylor is also a pageant girl and has been competing since the age of nine. During that time, she has earned not only state and local titles but two national and one international title as well. Taylor is currently the reigning World’s Teen Miss Maryland Tourism.
With a passion for service and environmental awareness, and the desire to empower the youth in her community, Taylor is the recipient of five Gold-Level President’s Volunteer Service Awards and the creator, director, and choreographer of the Miss Heart of Charity Pageant.