A promise is a promise according to 11-year-old Miguel Goguen of Bouctouche, N.B. Just over a year ago he made a promise to his mom that when he grew up and no longer lived with her that he would spend his life helping others.
He just never knew it would happen so soon.
“I think she would be really proud of what I am doing,” Miguel said.
Last March, Miguel’s mom Rhonda Goguen was killed in a tragic car accident, but instead of focusing on his loss he decided to celebrate his mother’s life by helping others.
Every week, he volunteers to prepare food for the Humanity Project, which helps house and feed the homeless in Moncton.
Miguel’s great aunt, Andrea Leger, said losing Rhonda was difficult.
“It was very hard for all of us because she was such a light and she was always smiling,” said Miguel’s great aunt, Andrea Leger.
Miguel said volunteering allows him to help others.
“Just being around people that don’t have homes and making them feel good cause they don’t have a lot, you know?” he said.
Leger said Miguel is like a “ray of light” for people who are struggling.
“Some come in and you know they are sad and they have had a hard day, but when you see his light you just become part of it,” she said.
Paul Kirkpatrick knows that “light.” He spent months living on the streets in a tent before finding his way to the Humanity Project and bonding with Miguel, who he now calls “buddy.”
“He doesn’t stop working, he works continuously,” Kirkpatrick said.
He said Miguel even helped him get off the streets and move furniture into his own place.
“They come and got my keys and I come home and it was all furnished.”
Miguel says helping people who are struggling helps him cope with losing his mom
“I miss her very much and I wish I could have her back, but everything happens for a reason,” he said.
He said he hopes his mom can see that he kept his promise
“She would be really proud of me.”