“Do your best, have fun, and hang around good people,” was the family motto of Drake “Little D” Taylor.
By Keri Butt, D&DH Contributor
Thanks to his parents, Randy and Beverly Taylor, along with other friends and family members, “Little D’s” motto and legacy will continue to be a beacon of light for families with special needs children in the form of an organization deservingly coined, “Big Hearts Outdoors.”
Many within the hunting community were devastated to learn about Drake passing away Nov. 28, 2012, when he lost his battle with Moya Moya, a complication associated with the MOPD Type 2 Dwarfism he was born with.
“Little D,” was many things and in his far too short life accomplished more than most adults. Drake had a successful jewelry making business fittingly called, “Little D Designs,” where he created unique pieces of hunting inspired, handcrafted jewelry and keepsakes. He was also the voice of PODS, (People Outdoors Doing Something) and had been a welcomed guest on numerous hunting shows. Drake’s other involvements included: Special Olympics, 4-H, Little People of America, (LPA) and Central Illinois Riding Therapy. (CIRT)
Drake and his family refused to dwell on his disease, instead focusing on making every day count. Though they didn’t make their decision lightly to initiate the 501C3 Corporation called, “Big Hearts Outdoors,” and keep “Little D Designs” running, they searched their hearts and knew this is was what Drake would have wanted.
“We know what it takes to give a special needs child a positive outdoors experience,” said Drake’s mom, Beverly. “Like it or not, it’s not always simple. There are certain provisions and considerations that are many times necessary in order to accommodate a young person with special needs. We have been so blessed, and we just want to pass those blessings along to others. That’s what Drake did and believed in.”
Big Hearts Outdoors’ mission is to provide access to outdoor family experiences for special needs children and young adults. They have also teamed up with the Physically Challenged Bowhunters of America (PCBA).
“There are so many amazing businesses and outfitters who are willing to help and donate hunts, but there are times when a family just doesn’t have the funds for travel. We will help provide that assistance,” said John Brode, Board President and Teresa Brode, Indiana representative for the PCBA.
To read additional information about Drake “Little D” Taylor’s story and to learn how to donate resources to this amazing and unique organization, visit bigheartsoutdoors.org.
“Although Drake is with his Lord and Savior,” said Beverly Taylor, “his spirit lives on at Big Hearts Outdoors.”