We first met 9-year-old Taylor Bass, daughter of wounded veteran Army Sgt. Benjamin Bass, last year when she donated more than $3000 from the sale of her 4-H goat to Operation Homefront and Wounded Warrior Project. We decided to check back in with her and see how she’s doing. We were pleased, but not surprised, to find out that Taylor’s giving heart is as strong as ever.
- 1. Are you still raising goats? Any other animals? Yes. I am still raising goats. I have a pig, a new pony (Noah) and we are getting a steer also for me to show.
- 2. How much time do you spend with the animals every day? What do you like best about raising animals? One to four hours a day, depending on what all needs to be done with the animals. Of course they are cute and cuddly, and can be sweet and nice. I also just love animals. It’s fun to see a baby become a top show animal.
- 3. How many weeks or months does it take to get an animal ready for 4-H? It depends on the animal. A steer can take a full year. A goat usually takes 4-6 months. We like to get them as bottle babies … so 6 months. My pony can be shown in halter this year, but it can take years if (I am) training to get them ready for events. (I am) lucky I have my mom’s old horse (Pokey) for events.
- 4. If you give auction money to a charity, how do you decide which charity to give it to? Well, I think of the charities that need the most and give to them. Or I give back to the ones that have helped our family when we needed it most. This year, I’m going to donate to kids with cancer and Dallas Children’s Hospital. We are going to donate electronics and toys for the kids that are really sick.
- 5. If other military kids wanted to give back to charities, what advice would you give them? I would tell them to lead with their heart. Don’t do it just because someone says to, but to give it because they want to also to pick something that means something to them. Because then it is more rewarding to help a cause that you believe in.
- 6. Your dad is a military veteran. How has that affected your decision to give back? It affected my decision because without (Operation Homefront’s) help, we would have lost everything. He gave so much to our country. (We felt) like they turned their back on him and us until you guys stepped in and helped us. I love my dad and what he stands for. I believe that all veterans should be able to get the help they need. Which is why I chose to donate to you so you can keep helping soldiers like my dad, and their families, before they lose hope.
7. If other military kids are struggling with a dad being deployed or injured, what advice would you give them? Just to keep helping him and try to make him happy. Don’t add to his problems by rebelling or getting in trouble. Help with your siblings and stay busy. It makes time pass faster. Also always tell him how much you love him because you don’t know if he is coming back or how he will be the next day. I would also like to tell them not to lose hope when he gets out (of the military). He will eventually come back around. The change seems horrible. Just remember he is still the dad you love, he just has to have time to come back to you as a family.
Taylor’s story reminds us of the strength and resiliency of military kids. If you know an amazing young patriot, be sure to nominate them for our 2017 Military Child of the Year Award or for our 2017 Military Child of the Year Award for Innovation in partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton.
If you are looking for a way to get involved in supporting our military families, we invite you to join our Answer the Call campaign.