Tavin Leggate has two goals in life: to end world hunger and to stop homelessness.
For the past four years, Tavin, an 8-year-old Springhill Elementary School student and Alexander native, has been making the world a better place by hosting food drives in the summer and coat and blanket drives during the winter.
This summer, Tavin held a July 29-30 food drive on behalf of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Trojan Food Pantry.
Tavin brought in a vehicle full of donations Aug. 8 with help from his mother, Shana Leggate, who is pursuing a master’s degree in school counseling at UA Little Rock, and Stephanie Futch-James, a family friend and sociology major at UA Little Rock.
After they dropped off the donation, Tavin was so elated he wanted to clap his hands and sing Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy.”
“I want to end homelessness and hunger, because I don’t like it. It’s rude,” he said. “People need to donate to help the hungry, so they won’t be hungry anymore.”
Tavin received donations from his swim team, neighbors, and even strangers who showed up at his house after seeing the food drive on social media. The donated items included canned vegetables, peanut butter, grape and strawberry jelly, canned meat, rice mixes, spaghetti, tomato sauce, chicken noodle and tomato soups, mixed fruits, and cereal.
“We greatly appreciate Tavin for donating to the UA Little Rock Trojan Food Pantry for the second year in a row,” said Betsy Hart, assistant director of the UA Little Rock Community Connection Center. “It’s so great to see someone so young give back to the community. His donation will serve many students and staff who utilize the services of the pantry every week. He is a great kid and already has the heart of a Trojan.”
Shana Leggate said Tavin has held food drives ever since seeing families who needed help after the 2014 tornado in Mayflower, Arkansas.
“He’s always had a big heart, and he wants to help people,” Shana Leggate said. “He saw that the food pantry needed donations and asked how he could help.”