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Tallahassee teens, children make care packages on MLK day ahead of cold weather

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jan 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-16 09:40:17-05
  • With temperatures dipping below freezing this week, the Kearney Center is opening up overnight cold weather shelter through Wednesday night.
  • An area teen and the local chapter of Jack and Jill of America donated over 100 care packages to homeless people across our city.
  • Watch the video to see how they are keeping them healthy amid frigid temperatures.


Ahead of a cold week, young people in Northeast Tallahassee are working to take care of neighbors in honor of a civil rights trailblazer.

With temperatures set to dive below freezing in the nights ahead, I'm tracking the effort to keep unsheltered people in Tallahassee safe and warm.

Brooke Butler wanted to spend her day giving back.

"On MLK day, he gave back to our community so we're giving back to the community to commemorate him," Butler said.

The sophomore at Maclay School teamed up with her local chapter of Jack and Jill of America to give back to Tallahassee neighbors without a home.

It's called #LunchbagLove.

The teenagers, children and parents put together care packages with not only food but also items to keep them warm.

"Linens and pillows, we have things that will help them and keep them warm and keep them healthy," Butler said.

Something especially important with temperatures set to dip below freezing Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

It's dangerous weather that many of the 308 homeless people in Leon County will have to face.

This map from the Tallahassee Leon County Homelessness Dashboard shows they live in clusters from my neighborhood in Northeast Tallahassee to midtown to southwest Tallahassee.

On the west end of town, the Kearney Center is opening up to help get people out of the cold.

That's where the families with Jack and Jill dropped off over 100 care packages Monday.

Something the local family group's President Angela Suggs said serves their overall mission of helping give back to those in need where we live.

"It is our duty and our honor to pour back into our home community as we serve others," Suggs said.

A value that Brooke's mom Monique said she wants to instill in her daughter and other youth in the community.

"It's a pleasure to be able to build within our children to make sure we are giving back," Dr. Butler said.

That's why Butler said this is how she wanted to spend her day.

"We have them in mind," Butler said. "Give back to our community let them know we are here."

Overnight Cold Weather Sheltering is available tonight through Wednesday night.

Anyone needing cold night sheltering on these nights should go to The Kearney Center at 2650 Municipal Way from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. for intake.