President’s toy drive still accepting donations

First Lady Sharon and President Larry Robinson at last year’s toy drive. Photo courtesy:

Brightening the holiday season for children in the Big Bend area, the Florida A&M President’s Holiday Toy Drive is in full swing. A time to laugh and spread the joy of the holiday season, this annual event is one of the heights of the fall semester.

Faculty, administrators, staff, students, alumni and community members have been asked to donate new, unwrapped gifts for children of all ages. Gifts can range from toy cars and Barbie dolls to a variety of age-appropriate bicycles. To donate to the drive, gifts are being accepted daily from 10:30 a.m. to noon through Friday, Dec. 8, at the President’s House, 1810 S. Adams St.

Wanting to maximize their impact, the mission of the drive is to provide an opportunity for all children, regardless of their age, to receive a gift.

“In some homes with multiple kids, it’s possible that toys can impact more than one person. It is likely that our toys collected last year have been enjoyed by far more than 1000 plus youth in our area,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson.

Staff has noted that since the start of the drive, the number of gifts donated every year has exceeded the previous year’s. Beyond proud of the drive’s success, faculty had the privilege of donating more than 1,000 gifts to less fortunate children in the area last year.

Personally touched by the drive’s accomplishments, Robinson said, “I get extremely excited about the toy drive every year. In many ways I can personally relate to the kids and families who are the beneficiaries. But most impressive to me is the generosity of FAMU faculty, students, staff, alumni and friends who donate and work to make the toy drive successful.”

A community event, FAMU encourages all in the Tallahassee area to come out to the President’s house from 5-7 p.m. Dec. 8 for the main event. There, Robinson will be accompanied by his wife, Sharon Robinson, and members of the senior leadership team to greet donors and accept drive-by donations.

To make for a smooth and festive event, student volunteers and staff members will be there to assist and welcome those from the local community.

“As a volunteer for the drive, I look forward to the event every year” said Charles McWhite, a fourth-year business administration student. “It’s such a blessing to give back to the community during the Christmas season.”

A showcase for the university’s direct involvement in bettering the Tallahassee community, this all-hands-on-deck event is eagerly anticipated by many.

“Providing toys and gifts to families in our community demonstrates the university’s commitment to Tallahassee. We set the standard for community engagement and our faculty, staff, and students have all bought in to support the families,” said William Hudson, vice president of Student Affairs. “As FAMUly we enjoy helping to make the holiday special for our community.”