On November 3, Derron Power-Bernard turned 11.
But he wasn’t very concerned about receiving presents for his birthday. Instead of getting more things he didn’t need, Derron wanted to give to those who do not have much.
So, to celebrate his birthday, he decided to distribute food to 65 socially displaced people in Arima. The meals were shared on Saturday.
“It’s not about what you get but about what you give,” he told Newsday Kids in an interview at his home on Tumpuna Road. “Instead of you having a lot of stuff that you don’t really need, you can give it to people that actually need it.”
This isn’t the first time Derron has helped Arima’s less fortunate.
Last Christmas, he served pelau, cole slaw and pastries to the homeless. The idea came about while he playing with his friend, Omari Seejagath.
“We sat and thought about things we can do for Christmas,” he said. “That’s when we came up with the idea to feed people in need and then we made a book where we wrote all our ideas.”
To bring the idea to life, Derron and Omari held fundraisers. At home, Derron sold all his unused toys in a yard sale. He even made slime and sold it at school.
After recording a message about their effort, Derron said Omari attached a speaker to a bike and road along their street to get support from the neighbourhood. Their efforts worked. They got enough food items to prepare 25 meals.
With that experience, Derron knew it was possible to meet his goal of preparing 65 meals this year. His grandmother, Joanne Power-Bernard, assisted with the food drive.
“My grandma is part of an organisation called Jehovah Nissi,” he said. “They (in the organisation) feed people in need and I recently joined the organisation. The people in the organisation helped distribute food this year.”
He also got assistance from Hearty Foods Supermarket in Arima and the Arima Borough Corporation. The menu was Spanish rice, lentil peas, baked chicken, fresh salad, and macaroni salad with a drink.
Derron’s not stopping there. He plans to prepare snack hampers for children this Christmas. His dad is helping with this and preparations will start later this week.
When Derron isn’t busy helping others, he creates art. He has been drawing since he was five, and paints and makes crafts. He enjoys drawing portraits of people and whenever he goes to the beach, he collects shells to make art pieces.
A standard five student at Arima New Government Primary School, Derron wants to be a chef and artist. Someday, he may even open his own restaurant decorated with his artwork.
Where will the restaurant be? In London or Paris. Why?
“London or Paris are great places to cook and share your food with other people,” he said.
With more time at home, due to covid19, Derron has been making more art and painting. He is also preparing for next year’s Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination.
“I’m not nervous for SEA because our teacher gives work and usually stay on with us for extra time on Zoom to study with us.
“In the free time, after my Zoom classes, I sit down and paint.”
Derron encourages other children to do what they can to help people in need in their communities.
“When you donate something, it’s going to a good cause to help the people that don’t have anywhere to stay and don’t have anything to eat.”
Anyone interested in donating items to Derron’s Christmas hampers for children in need can contact his aunt, Leah Fouchong, at email@example.com or 474-2144.
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