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Good Samaritan buys books for student

Published: 
Saturday, July 21, 2018
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Shonel Purcell shows six-year-old Malick Nelson, of Duncan Street, the school items she purchased for him yesterday to attend the Eastern Boys’ Government Primary School, where he will be going into Second Year next term. Photo by:ANISTO ALVES

Shonel Purcell is a single mother of three who takes joy in helping others, especially children. For the last four years, Purcell has been buying school supplies for random children she would come across on the street, in a store or any arbitrary place.

Yesterday, the T&T Guardian caught up with Purcell, 35, on Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain, busy purchasing books and stationery for one of her three children and a six-year-old boy, Malick Nelson, she recently met.

“I met him while going to work at HDC on Duncan Street. He lives at Duncan Street with his family. He would tease me. His brothers and sisters would be ducking, but he would say ‘look the fat lady passing’ and stand up,” she said as she chuckled at the memory.

She bought everything on his book list at a cost of $968.

The child will be entering Second Year at the Eastern Boys’ Government Primary at George Street when school reopens. Purcell, who owns a creole restaurant and bakery in San Juan, said she has been doing charity from a young age.

“It is something that is in me, to give back,” said Purcell.

He is about the sixth child she has purchased school supplies for thus far and she intends to continue.

“Sometimes I feel sad because there are more children in the household, but I cannot help everybody because I have my own kids,” she said.

Purcell also distributes presents to children in her community at Christmas time. Purcell is originally from Cocorite, but she currently lives in Morvant with her three children.

She said helping a child and seeing a smile on his/her face is more precious than silver or gold.

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