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Stepping up to the plate
Family donates furnishings to ministry
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Gavin and Leanna Floyd deliver “everything you can think of” to Shepherd’s Village to help two families.
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Gavin Floyd, an Atlanta Braves pitcher, and his wife, Leanna, donated two households of furniture to Shepherd’s Village which provides affordable living space for single-parent families in Belleair Bluffs.

A single mother was all smiles as she helped move furnishings into her home.

“I’ve got a microwave. I’ve got a microwave,” she said.

And much more.

For the past two years Leanna has been the master of ceremonies for a fundraising banquet for the housing ministry.

During the moving event Jan. 2, Phyllis Alderman, founder and director of the village, said the ministry had two units for single mothers and their infants that weren’t furnished.

The Floyds stepped up to the plate. Leanna has a passion for decorating.

“The lord has always blessed us. So we love to give back; I just felt this was the perfect fit for us,” Leanna said.

She told Alderman that she and Gavin would love to take on the role of furnishing the homes for the two families.

The Floyds, who live in Trinity during the off-season, helped unload the furnishings to Shepherd’s Village. They brought silverware, garbage cans, shower curtains, regular curtains, rugs, cribs, full dining and bedroom sets.

“Everything that you can think of. I even asked each girl what their favorite color was,” Leanna said.

When the families first moved to Shepherd’s Village, they had few possessions. Being parents, the Floyds recognized the importance of having a good support system. They also had learned that Alderman was committed to helping others through Shepherd’s Village.

“This is one of the joys in life – that you can bepart of something that helps somebody else out, make it easier for somebody. It’s all done in a great way. It seems like a great ministry,” Gavin said.

After Gavin ends his baseball career, he hopes to remain in the area. The upcoming season will be his first with the Braves. Gavin has been in the Major Leagues since 2004, beginning with the Philadelphia Phillies before going to the White Sox in 2007.

“I’ve been there (Chicago) for seven years and have lots of relationships that I have grown with –guys and coaches; even people in the front office. I think that’s what we are going to miss,” he said. “And Chicago is a beautiful city. We can always go visit.”

But he looks forward to another opportunity to pitch for Atlanta.

“We are really pumped,” he said. “I think we are excited about this opportunity to be with the Braves. It just seems from the front office to the city like a great fit for us.”

Alderman said that “it is absolutely amazing” the Floyds are bringing so much hope to the families.

“The Floyds just had a vision of helping them and just took over the thoughts all the way from interviewing the parents. What are some of their likes and dreams and desires for the future? They coordinated decorating, delivery setup – made a home. From a house to a home,” she said.

Alderman also complimented the city of Belleair Bluffs and the Bluffs Business Association for their support.

Lifting some items from the truck with others, Gavin wasn’t worried about getting injured.

“Have to get a workout,” he said, laughing.

With several people pitching in, it didn’t take long to empty the truck – furniture, a vacuum cleaner, rugs, and coffee pots.

“Everything but a toothbrush,” Alderman said. “That’s probably in there somewhere.”
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