Taylors Helping Hands is a charitable organization dedicated to the memory of Taylor E Cothran.

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Blood Drive Daily Gamecock

Blood drive

Drive collects 45 pints

Friends honor Cothran's memory, meet goals for Taylor's Helping Hands

Haley Dreis
Staff Writer

Issue date: 3/25/08 Section: News


Media Credit: Hye Eun Park/The Daily Gamecock

Brynn McMullan donates blood in memory of Cothran.



The Red Cross of Columbia hosted a blood drive yesterday in memory of late USC freshman Taylor Cothran in the BA building parking lot.

Taylor's Helping Hands, a nonprofit organization founded by the Cothran family, organized the event in memory of his 19th birthday.

Teresa Cothran, Taylor's mother, was at the blood drive gathering people to donate blood. She said she felt the blood drive was a perfect way to commemorate Taylor on his birthday.

"Taylor was given lots of blood at the hospital and I want there to be a positive influence. It makes you think how precious life is and it's a perfect way to give back to Columbia," Teresa Cothran said.

Betsy Rauson, Red Cross Donor Coordinator, said the Red Cross of Columbia organizes blood drives regularly in different locations across campus.

Rauson said the morning started off slowly but began to pick up with more blood donors after lunchtime.

"People can donate blood every 56 days so we recognize this fact when we setup blood drives at USC," Rauson said.

Rauson said at the end of the day the goal was met with about 45 pints of blood.

"We really had a good day," Rauson said.

Teresa Cothran said she hopes that students will find ways to make a positive impact throughout Columbia.

"Just look at the world around you. There are so many ways to make a positive influence on your world," she said.

Teresa Cothran said that Taylor's Helping Hands is currently working on ways for students to help out. She suggested initiating a cleanup day or planting a garden area around the local hospital and encouraging sororities to help out with charities like the Ronald McDonald House.

Taylor's Helping Hands has four missions: "to assist high-school students, college students, young adults, and their families during times of crisis; to provide emotional and spiritual support to families...; to offer educational assistance and prevention outreach for accidental deaths or other causes...; [and] to provide hospital stay necessities and family support in the ICU," according to the organization's Web site.

Allie Gregg, a first-year business student, said she came to donate blood as an important cause and to commemorate her friend.

"I wanted to donate because I've given blood before and because Taylor was in my 5th grade class," Gregg said.

Gregg said the recent death of a friend also inspired her to donate blood.

"If I could save somebody like my friend then it's worth it," Gregg said.

Jill Michaud, a first-year undecided student, said she decided to help out because it was time for her to give blood and it was convenient for her.

"[Donating blood is] an easy way to help people. There's always a use for [blood]," Michaud said.

Teresa Cothran said she created Taylor's Helping Hands and has contributed to other organizations in order to keep Taylor's memory alive.

"I can't imagine just closing the book on Taylor. We need to keep the pages open," she said.

Taylor Cothran died a week after falling from the fifth floor window of Capstone House last October.