ONLY ON: Jacksonville man giving a second chance to inner-city youth

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Dozens of Jacksonville neighbors got a turkey as part of a drive on the Northside. However, this giveaway donated more than meals.

Jelani Allison is gifting a second chance to at-risk youth in neighborhoods like Washington Heights, Cleveland Arms, and next, he’s looking to help Hilltop Village.

“I had a rough life growing up and I know how it feels not to have meals on Thanksgiving and presents on Christmas.”

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Allison grew up in Boston but bounced house to house while his father was in prison and his single mother worked as much as possible to make ends meet.

It’s a common thread found in many youths’ lives in Jacksonville.

“The only people they look up to are the people on the street corner and the gangers who show them the most love. Because at the end of the day, they’re just looking for love,” Allison said.

Love is what Allison is gifting to kids growing up in a life of poverty. He’s also working to mentor youth to keep them out of a path to gangs and drugs.

That motivation drove Allison to start “Ghetto Seeds still Grow,” a nonprofit that helps youth.

Monday was the organization’s fourth turkey drive. Now they are taking toy donations for a Christmas drive on Dec. 18.

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You can learn more about how to help here.