IN this crazy world where good people are as rare as good service from telecommunications companies, it is always a humbling experience when you come across one. That’s exactly how I felt when I met today’s FITC, Vernetta Cherubin, of La Toc.
The 32-year-old mother of one was in the process of being pampered from head to toe at a spa in the north of the island when she spoke to The VOICE.
Before thinking that this is a norm for her, think again, because she was actually being honoured with the luxury treatment for her years of wholehearted, genuine and unsung philanthropy.
As Cherubin opened up about her life, there was not a dry eye in the room, especially when she expressed her deep and genuine gratitude for even being recognised in the first place.
Through her actions, Cherubin is a reminder that no matter how bad we might think our lives are, there are always others worse off than us, and so we must always help others whenever we can.
She also serves as a true reminder that good deeds always come back full circle and we should never let that flickering flame of goodness die in our hearts or give up the fight because good fortune will surely find us when we least expect it.
In fact, she is so humble that she has even refused to show her face! With that said, readers, prepare to be humbled.
The VOICE: You have always gone out of your way to help others even when you don’t have much for yourself. Why?
Cherubin: I always care. You could be good or bad but I will still care for you. I like helping others. I don’t know why; that’s just my weak point, that’s why so many people take advantage of me because I love helping others. From the age of 16, I used to take care of my mother’s children — all six of us — and I’ve always been helping them. I never thought somebody would have ever helped me in return, so it has me feeling so happy. At the same time, I’m just overjoyed because I never thought anybody would think about me or give me a gift. That’s the biggest gift I’ve ever gotten and I appreciate it.
The VOICE: Why have you felt it necessary to help people, though?
Cherubin: Growing up, I was poor. I didn’t have food. Sometimes I would go to school and couldn’t even function properly because I didn’t have break or lunch. Sometimes my school bag filled with books would burst or I would have a shoe that would burst open. So from the time I started working and saw that I could help, I did what I could. Only now, I’m really struggling because I’m unemployed. It’s very hard to get a job but to see a child go to school without a pair of socks or shoes and I have the means to get it to them, I will always try to help, especially when you know you were raised poor. I came from that background and I know what it is like.
The VOICE: How do the families or the people that you help out react to or feel about your kind gestures?
Cherubin: Most of them don’t know — well I don’t know if they know — it was from me, and I would never tell them it was from me but that’s just who I am and I like being anonymous.
The VOICE: What do you get out of this?
Cherubin: It gives me a joy in my heart to know that I can help somebody that cannot help themselves. That’s all.
The VOICE: Instead of moping and walking with your head hanging down, you are cheerful and smiling non-stop. How do you manage to stay positive?
Cherubin: Firstly, I have a lot of people praying for me and there are people who counsel me. If it wasn’t for these people, I don’t know how I would have made it. There are good people out there and God always makes a way.
The VOICE: You mentioned earlier that because of your big heart, people have taken advantage of you. Explain what you meant.
Cherubin: I haven’t had good relationships in the past. I have hoped and tried for a good relationship with a good partner, but…God has blessed me with a good one right now and I appreciate Him. But I have been through the worst and now God has blessed me.
The VOICE: You have survived a lot of tribulations in your life but there are many people in similar situations who are not as strong as you and feel like the world is against them, that they are alone and no one understands. If you could send a message to these people personally, what would you say to them?
Cherubin: Just have faith in God and do what you can because the little that you do, God recognises you. You don’t have to let the world see your tears and struggle, but pray. If I wasn’t praying, I would have probably gone insane or worse and I wouldn’t be getting treated today.
The VOICE: There are also people who are wilfully ignorant to others in your situation and pass judgment or look down on persons like yourself because you are not on the same wealth level as they are. What would you say to them?
Cherubin: Today is ours, but tomorrow it might be your family member or maybe even you. It’s not nice to look down on people because they are poor or because they cannot wear the expensive clothes that you’re wearing or because they cannot get their hair done five times a week. Sometimes, the same person you’re looking down on is the same person that can save your life.