Thorns FC

Stand Together Week | For Thorns' Porter, a deep love of reading sparks desire to help inspire

Porter, along with teammates Reyes, Moultrie and Weaver volunteer at Children's Book Bank

Thorns FC midfielder Taylor Porter loves books.

And when we say she loves books, we mean she REALLY loves books.

At last count, Porter believes she’s read over 100 books this year alone. The fantasy genre is a favorite of hers and she often posts on her Instagram feed her month-to-month favorites with mini reviews.

So, it should come as no surprise that when the sign-ups posted for the 12th annual 2023 Stand Together Week projects came up for players, she jumped at the chance to volunteer for Children’s Book Bank.

On Friday afternoon, Porter was joined by teammates Olivia Moultrie, Reyna Reyes, and Morgan Weaver along with a host of club staff and fans to clean up and rehabilitate donated books that will be distributed to low-income preschool children in the Portland area.

STWeek 2023 | Sept. 8

“I liked reading a lot as a kid,” Porter explained. “I think it's a form of being able to escape. Sometimes it could be educational. I just think [cleaning and preparing these books] is just a simple thing to do for kids.”

As she picked up a book from a pile that she and the group were working on, Porter said, “[This book] could be some kid's favorite book…I just think [books] can spark something in kids at a young age.”

Porter acknowledges that while she herself read a lot as a kid, as she got older, she kind of drifted away from it. But since rediscovering a love for it, she has re-committed to it hard.

“I think it kind of started off as just a way to escape a little bit,” she reflected. “To me, it's like a form of self care.

“I think it allows me to live a bunch of different lives through a book and experience emotions that I may never feel in a situation. That's just always been kind of why I love reading, is living through so many characters’ lives.”

The love of books is one shared throughout the Thorns roster. Somewhere along the line, the players started a community library in the locker room where teammates donate and share various books that they’re reading. Both Reyes and Moultrie said they’re also both avid readers—“Reyna [Reyas] has one of my books,” said Porter—but the midfielder keeps her particular collection protected, but open for sharing.

“I like people to treat my books very well. So that's why mine's private, but if you want one, you can have one,” she said with a laugh.

Once borrowed, Porter loves to continue the conversation with her teammates.

“Everybody reads at different speeds but they all check in,” she said. “I feel like I'm like the advisor. I'm like, ‘Okay, where are you at in this series? Okay, now, where are you at?’”

As the group continued to wipe down, remove stickers, erase smudges and help prepare books to head out to new young readers, Porter reflected on what this work, and Stand Together Week as a whole, meant to her.

“One of the things about the Thorns is that we're very connected with our community,” she said. “Everyone always looks forward to this week-long volunteering. I think it's just really fun, and it's something everybody looks forward to.”