LAST WEDNESDAY, July 14, two youngmen joined forces to deliver meals to persons in need or who are living on the streets, in an informal project dubbed “Do something for nothing”.
While 22-year-old Vincentian Josh Mounsey has already been attaining major charitable goals while studying at the Catholic University of St Thomas, located in St Paul and Minneapolis in Minnesota, he is not showing any signs of slowing momentum even while on summer break.
In fact it was just last Christmas that the Environmental and Political Science student succeeded in drawing up enough support to help fill thousands of “Boxes of Joy”, which were sent by the Florida-based non-profit organisation ‘Cross Catholic Outreach’, to children in different parts of the world so that they may experience the joy of Christmas.
A priest named Father Timothy Combs, who works at the University of St Thomas in Campus Ministries, and teaching Theology “wanted to make a contribution to people in St Vincent who were experiencing hard times”, Mounsey revealed to SEARCHLIGHT last Friday, July 16, one day before he was to travel back to the United States of America.
Combs contributed a sum of United States currency, which combined with some of Mounsey’s own money in execution of the project. “I told my friend that I wanted to do this, and immediately he was on board and I think that was my extrinsic motivation going forward, explaining to him what I wanted to do and seeing how willing he was to get on board,” the 22-year-old said.
He and his friend, who wishes to remain unnamed, set about buying 30 lunches from a local chicken and chips business, because “that was one of the main parts of the project – to support a local business”. They then roamed on foot around the capital in the midday heat to give boxes “to people who want them or who need them.”
“We distributed 22 boxes and we gave eight boxes to the children at the school for Children with Special Needs; and they accepted it,” Mounsey explained.
The young man assured that he intends to repeat the gesture. “I’m definitely gonna have more of my friends who attend the University of St Thomas to be much more involved, and my goal is to raise some money and give it to multiple charities in St Vincent,” he said.
Some of the charities in his mind are the Catholic Church’s soup kitchen, the Salvation Army, the Lewis Punnett Home, the Mental Health and Rehabilitation Centre and the ‘Our Lady
of Guadalupe’ home for girls in Mesopotamia that was hollowed out by a fire in March 2020.
He realised during the project and meeting certain persons, including a pregnant woman asking for funds on the street, that there would be differing needs.
“…Next time I’ll be properly prepared to address those needs…” he said, and “instead of just walking around ‘town’ with chicken and chips….” he contemplated that he may carry cash, food items and things like baby items.
He also noted: “I will try my best to help out in any way possible from the little that I have, and I will also strive to always help people because I know some people are less fortunate or less privileged that I am and it hurts my heart and it breaks my heart sometimes to know I have a specific opportunity and some people are not afforded this opportunity that I have, so I will try my best to help out in any way I can to improve someone’s standard of living or quality of life as much as possible.”
When asked what his advice would be to others his age, Mounsey commented, “just know that in the back of your mind you should be thinking that there are people who will be less privileged than you are and always look for ways in which you could help, whether it’s by just buying someone food on afternoons maybe once a week, twice per week and just try and get your friend group involved and keep increasing the amount of people, and I think that could be a possible solution to this problem, more people involved.”