Florida A&M University kicked off the holiday season Friday with the annual president’s holiday toy drive.
Hosted by Larry Robinson and his wife, First Lady Sharon Robinson, community leaders, faculty, staff and students were invited to donate new, unwrapped toys.
Dolls, basketballs and even bicycles filled a room in the president’s house and will be given to children of all ages who either come from foster homes or low-income families.
Upon entering the president’s house, guests were greeted by the Robinsons.
Notable attendees included FAMU’s presidential ambassadors and the university’s basketball team.
Armani Jones, a third-year professional cardiopulmonary science major, also serves as a presidential ambassador. He said he enjoyed Friday’s event.
“It is my favorite event to do as a presidential ambassador because it gets us in the holiday spirit and gets us in the right mindset as to what the holidays are about, which is giving back to others,” Jones said. “My favorite moment of tonight’s event is seeing everyone bring in their toys and be festive with one another. ”
The overall goal of the annual holiday toy drive is to collect thousands of toys and bikes to distribute to families who are in need on the south side of Tallahassee during this year’s holiday season. Faculty, staff, and students were encouraged to bring a toy to give back to the community and have a significant impact on families in the area.
Along with the songs and melodies, guests also had the opportunity to partake in delicious hearty meals catered by Metz’s university food service. Guests were able to indulge in various meals, including Cajun style gumbo, homemade chili and even a dessert bar.
“I really enjoy this event every year; it’s a great opportunity for the campus to participate in community outreach,” allied health occupational therapy faculty Aurelia Alexander said. “It was great to see everyone participate.”
Toward the end of the night, the toy drive extravaganza concluded with alumni, students and local residents socializing, laughing and even singing with one another as they indulged in the holiday spirits.