Farewell, Angel

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December 1, 2015 12:52 PM

Pam Taylor during a happy moment with her daughter, Alisha. Taylor, who operated mostly behind the scenes to help the needy, has left for the East Coast.

A local angel has packed her wings and is driving east for greener pastures, but her absence will be felt, say those she leaves behind.
An advocate for the homeless, Pam Taylor left Lloydminster for good on Sunday, but not before her friend Bernice Toews reached out to the Source to give her a collective farewell hug.
Toews, who called from Marwayne, didn’t want to let Taylor’s volunteerism and behind-the-scenes-acts-of-kindness go unnoticed.
“She is moving away and will be missed by many especially  the lives she has touched and that alone is many,” said Toews.
Taylor lived in Lloydminster for more than 14 years and was a former manager of the Lloydminster Men’s Shelter.
But that wasn’t an unusual job for Taylor, who had deep empathy for the homeless, said Toews.
“She never went around tooting her own horn to be noticed, but (she) quietly showed love to those in need,” said Toews.
Toews said Taylor would take the homeless to appointments, would buy a hot meal or a coffee, or just stop to gives hugs if she saw someone digging in the garbage.
The Good Samaritan would often tell others not to give the less fortunate money, but instead supply needed items, such as food or clothing.
“She didn’t want them doing drugs and stuff like that. She would make sure they had their medication and got medical help,” said Toews.
Toews said she will dearly miss her friend, but was quick to add the homeless will miss her too.
“She always referred to them as her shelter boys,” she said.
“She would stop and check up on them if she would see them walking on the street (or) she would stop and give them a hug and see how they were doing.”
When contacted at home, Taylor took a moment from packing to say she never made a habit of letting people know she did that kind of stuff.
“I just do it,” she said noting she was still working on finding some support for an older shelter client before she left.
She and her spouse, Lee McDonald, are driving to Halifax where he’ll work in construction.
“With the way the economy is, construction has definitely dropped as well,” said Taylor about the local situation.
“That’s why we’re leaving, because of jobs — there is no work (in Lloyd).”
Taylor last worked for Onion Lake EMS and before that Lloydminster Emergency Care Services.
She has a daughter studying to become a nurse in Red Deer and a son who lives near Regina.
You can almost sense the lump in Taylor’s throat as she recalled a special memory about one former homeless person she ran into a couple of months ago. 
“I do see him often,” she recalled.
“We stopped and had a visit and he said to me, ‘You saved my life.’ “
“You know when I thought about this, that was the way he saw it, but it wasn’t the way — I didn’t save his life. I just believed in him,” said Taylor.
Taylor’s selfless generosity led her to volunteer with The Olive Tree, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lloydminster, the Jack Kemp School Christmas dinner, Victim Services and the Northside Fellowship Church, among other causes.
Taylor let on that she was the masterminds behind the hanging of scarves on downtown trees for the homeless and asked Toews to join her without going public.
“We wanted to do this anonymously as we do not feel we need to be recognized for things we do,” she said.
“We just like to help those people in need.” 
Taylor also likes to gather warm clothing and hand it out to those on the street.
“I will definitely miss the people,” said Taylor.

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