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Monday 24 June 2019
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Free food in St Clair

TT is happiest nation in Caribbean

In celebration of the UN declared International Day of Happiness, local company ReThink put happy smiles on hundreds of people who yesterday turned up at Ross Advertising at the corner of Gray and Alcazar Streets in St. Clair yesterday.

From 6.30 am, bake and shark from Richard's Bake & Shark of Maracas, doubles from Chatter Box Doubles that operates from Chacon St in the capital city, Cotton Candy from Shan Events, Slices of Happiness from Pizza Hut, Oasis premium purified water, free tickets from MovieTowne, Starbucks Coffee and Cups of kindness (coffee from ReThink) were all served to them.

Chester Paris, CEO and Creative Director of Ross Advertising, and also a partner of ReThink, the organisation responsible for putting the event together told Newsday: “Every year since 2013, we’ve been putting on this event and helping somebody. That simple act of making somebody happy makes us happy as well.”

Paris said the idea of the event began with Ross Advertising chairman Ernie Ross, who also founded ReThink, when he Ross asked himself, ‘who am I? What is my purpose? and how will I be remembered?’ then realised that the answers were indeed fundamental to his existence, success in life and personal fulfilment.

Paris said Ross, already knowing himself, further questioned himself as to whether he was fulfilling his purpose in life other than being an advertising executive. “Like ‘How am I impacting society? What am I leaving back that would help society become better. I’ve looked at it and complained about it but if I am not doing anything about it then I am not really contributing to its improvement.’ So it’s on that basis he came up with the idea of ReThink, that is all about transforming lives and changing minds.”

Paris said: “Once we got a sense that this event was impacting people in some way and making them smile we knew we were making a difference and leaving people with something to remember.”

The concept of the event was always about providing people with a free meal. “Some people who come here you could see that they hadn’t have a meal. So we are doing this, giving away these free things that people can get a sense and say hey there is somebody else who cares about me in some way,” said Paris who added that Rethink catered for some 1,500 persons.

There was a steady flow of people throughout the morning, and at times, snaking around Alcazar street corner from Gray Street.

“Everybody is just happy to be a part of this, because they see the need for it. I feel great about this event because I just like to make people happy, ever since I was a kid,” said Paris, who added that his fellow staffers also shared his view. “We all enjoy doing it! We at Rethink now need to spread that word and get other organisations to make more people smile. This is not about us alone.”

Paris lamented about social media and traditional media all having to address not so pleasant issues and how that has helped to shape the world and overpower the good that is taking place that you don’t see. He said: “The good that our police officers do, the good that everybody in the workplace does on a daily basis, and you helping somebody, nobody sees that or the care and love parents put into raising their children, these are the stories we should be hearing and seeing more of. ReThink encourages each citizen, every day, to play a part in sharing happiness to make TT a better place for all. At the end of the day it is all about happiness.”

ReThink also engaged the public in sharing their happiness with others by writing messages of positivity on its Note of Happiness Board.

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