FAMU Gives Back to Big Bend Youth


Although the fall 2016 semester is rapidly coming to a close, FAMU’s incentive to give back to the Tallahassee community has yet to falter. With the holidays approaching, the university, with the help of faculty, students, and Larry Robinson, FAMU interim president, organized and held a toy drive at the FAMU president’s house on Adams St.


During a brief speech alongside his wife Sharon, Robinson delivered thanks and gratitude to all who attend the event at their home on Friday, Dec. 2nd.


“Let's remember what the spirit of the holidays is really all about. It's about giving,” Robinson said.


The holiday event was an awe-inspiring scene of red and gold as faculty, staff, students and alumni alike were greeted by the royal court and door prizes upon entry. Music was provided by Soul Xone, and catering was accommodated by Metz. Indoor and outdoor seating were also included in addition to multiple self-serve stations and a colossal Christmas tree that complimented the décor, making the toy drive a truly grand event.


The university partnered with the Tallahassee Housing Authority and other organizations that help provide housing for families who are homeless or have loved ones who are incarcerated. The gifts collected at the toy drive will be donated directly to these organizations in hopes of lifting the spirits of Tallahassee children in need.


While donations of all sorts such as books, dolls, and gadgets were made, the deans of the university made a noteworthy gesture by rolling their gifts in… literally. Each dean of every school throughout the university was asked to donate a bike to the toy drive. “It’s a good opportunity to allow a child to get a toy,” said Dean of Agriculture and Food Sciences Robert W. Taylor.


Taylor was not the only event-goer happy to oblige the interim president's call for giving as many other families attended the event and gave gifts. FAMU alumnus Ozel Martin, accompanied by his granddaughter Jazae, was more than happy to donate and express his take on the overall message behind the event. “It was a powerful event for youngsters…I'm sure that they would be very proud that we are supporting them through these efforts,” Martin said. “I think donating is very important. There wouldn't be a community if no one gave back,” his granddaughter added.


FAMU alumna Leah Alexis also expressed the sense of joy and gratitude she felt as a participant in the toy drive. “The food was good and the people were friendly. It’s nice that they thought about the children and brought new gifts.”


As the night came to an end and the crowds started to disburse, the warm feeling of giving back lingered in the air.


For any additional information regarding the toy drive or any inquiries about donations please contact Vernon Bryant at 850-599-3413.