Popcorn vendor grateful, wants more help for struggling youths

The outpouring of love shown to Laventille popcorn vendor, Kevin Thomas by complete strangers has been so inspiring that Thomas is now calling on wider T&T to continue to support struggling youths who want to live respectable, decent lives.

Thomas's call came after several people offered to pay his $600 fine after he was charged by police for unlawfully pitching a stall, selling without a license and obstruction of a passageway on the street. 

In an exclusive interview with Guardian Media, Thomas said he has been trying to earn an honest living since he came out of prison nine months ago, having served an 18-month sentence for possession of a stolen vehicle.

Thomas said after his sentence he tried looking for a job but people did not want to hire him once they heard he was from Laventille.

"As soon as people hear you're from Laventille they either choose not to hire you of if they do, they are always watching you because trust is not there," Thomas said.

Saying he was trying his best to do something good with his life, Thomas added, " It is easier to do wrong things than doing the right thing. Doing the wrong thing is easy and some people glorify you, but when you try to do the right thing people chastise you and bring up things about your past and this makes it very hard."

He noted that despite the struggle, he was determined to make it in life.

"I am working hard to sell popcorn the right way but I also want the opportunity to be respected. Maybe I can get a job. I don't know. This went worldwide and I am so happy that so many complete strangers cared about me. It says a lot about our people," he added.

Thomas was arrested by municipal police on Tuesday and charged. The magistrate felt sympathy when he explained his predicament and gave him a $600 fine.

 - by Radhica De Silva

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