‘I just want everyone to be happy’: Tallahassee kindergartners feel the Christmas love from the community


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – Friday was a Christmas surprise for the kindergartners of John G. Riley Elementary as The Moore Agency, Second Harvest and countless other businesses pitched in to give them presents and food.

But how this day even happened is the true gift.

“Merry Christmas!”

A very merry Christmas indeed. A’lan Jenkins, a kindergartener in Ms. Griffin’s class at John G Riley Elementary, and when asked by Santa what he wanted for Christmas earlier this week, he gave an answer that might surprise you.

“You said you wanted some new clothes from your mom, why did you say that? Why was that your answer instead of toys for yourself? I asked for toys for my baby brother and my baby sister too! And clothes,” shared John G. Riley Elementary Kindergartner A’lan Jenkins

Jenkins’ class has been adopted by The Moore Agency through the Chamber of Commerce’s Classroom Connections initiative, and his response floored them.

“To me the fact that a five year old would do that while standing in front of Santa told me how much he needs and how much his family needs and so I could not get it out my head,” said The Moore Agency’s Associate Managing Director Shannon Colavecchio.

So she took to Facebook to tell his story. And while she didn’t ask for any donations, people wanted to lend a helping hand. Dozens asked Colavecchio if they can send her money for the students and from their the love snow-balled in.

“It’s been three days and here we are just $17,000 later and there’s a huge pile of food over there for all of them to have for Christmas and every kindergartner got a toy, gift cards and it restores my faith in the world frankly,” explained Colavecchio.

Second Harvest of the Big Bend donated ninety-five boxes of food and help from other small businesses added to the fun, making this Christmas surprise unlike any other.

“To see the kids faces and their eyes light up was absolutely amazing,” shared John G. Riley Elementary School’s Principal Maurice Stokes. “There’s nothing more precious than making sure that our kids know they are loved and know that we support them.”

This show of support proving that one kid’s selflessness can change the lives of many.

“Why was today so special? I wanted it to be special for everyone. Why? So everyone can be happy,” exclaimed Jenkins.

Everyone involved says they hope days like Friday can convince others to spend just a little of their time with kids in need because you don’t know how much it can shape their world.

If you’re looking to continue to add to the blessings at John G. Riley Elementary, you can do so by going to their gofundme here.