Tallahassee community leaders, students band together for Thanksgiving giveaway


A number of Tallahassee families will get a surprise from Florida A&M, Tallahassee Community College and Tallahassee officials that they can be thankful for.

Ray Bellamy, a FAMU academic adviser, organized a meeting with FAMU and TCC administrators, Tallahassee Police Chief Dennis Jones, Sheriff Larry Campbell and several students in an effort to give back to families in the community that may not be as fortunate.

“I’m really proud of the community itself,” Bellamy said. “We had some people here today that are difference makers in our communities, and if they can come by and give a hand, then we can move forward. I’m excited about that.”

Bellamy took suggestions from community organizations when it came to choosing which families would receive assistance.

More than 40 turkeys, with matching sides, were loaded into boxes labeled with the address of the recipientsby the group, who worked together in an assembly-line fashion.

FAMU’s Interim President Larry Robinson said the chance to give back in a time when all families are struggling was something that is important to him.

“It just shows the type of connection that we have at this university to the community,” Robinson said. “It makes me proud because I know it’s going to brighten some people’s day.”

Robinson did not waste time after the boxes were packed. He planned to deliver a package to a family in person.

“I look forward to meeting with that family,” he said.

Jim Murdaugh, TCC president, joined Robinson. Murdaugh said he was proud to offer assistance to FAMU and the families that the group was helping.

“We’re all family,” Murdaugh said. “Most often, we help people with their education and realize their dreams, but during this holiday season, we help in a more basic way. We make sure people have food.”

JauQuinn Timmons, 22, was one of the students who offered to help load and deliver boxes. He said Bellamy helped him get into school, so that, coupled with his desire to give back, makes helping much more rewarding.

“A lot of people don’t really have things,” Timmons said. “When people need help, that’s what we’re here for – to lean on. I hope everyone has a happy holidays.”

Bringing together community leaders was important to many in attendance. Robinson said it was a sign of the togetherness that people share during the holidays.

“We’re all in this together,” Robinson said. “We all have a role – a very positive role – to play in the community. This is another indication of the strong bond and the commonality that we have in serving citizens of this community in our own special ways.”

With some exposure, Bellamy hopes to include Florida State University next year.