JEFFERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — The family of a woman who died in a car wreck is honoring her by giving back to the community in New Market.
Taylor Devotie passed away after being involved in a car wreck in January 2020. This year for her 30th birthday, her parents are supporting the elementary school she attended. Her dad, Steve Devotie, was inspired by one of his favorite memories with his daughter.
“Taylor went to elementary school at New Market for six years and every week she’d want me to come and eat lunch with her, so I did,” Devotie said.
He started an online fundraiser to help pay off school lunch fees at the school.
“I’ve been hearing about all the problems all the schools were having with unpaid lunch balances, and it just came to me to do that for her on what would be her 30th birthday on October 2nd,” he said.
The charitable act isn’t the first that Taylor’s family has done in her honor. The non-profit Mobile Lifehouse Ministries turned it’s free clothing program into “Taylor’s Closet” with the help of her parents.
“Everything is free, everything is donated. The community steps up and does a tremendous job donating clothes, school supplies and toiletries. Every month we give away many items to the community and it’s a huge blessing to the community,” Devotie said.
Taylor’s Closet was parked at Jefferson Middle School Saturday, along with Mobile Lifehouse’s food pantry. Kelly White, vice president of Mobile Lifehouse, said providing free food to the community helps families put money towards other essentials.
“We are working with Second Harvest, that’s where we purchase our food through, to be able to feed the communities around and close the meal gap. The meal gap, especially before COVID-19 and even since, has been really bad in the area,” White said.
Devotie said giving back to the community in his daughter’s honor is the best way to remember her.
“One of her teachers described her as a magnet student, said everybody was just drawn to Taylor. That really resonated with me tremendously because I look back on things in life and I realize that was true,” he said.
Mobile Lifehouse Ministries’ next pantry day will be October 28th at Jefferson Middle School.