Students plan to feed and warm homeless over Mardi Gras break

Two Norco Elementary School third graders have big plans over Mardi Gras break, and it has nothing to do with sleeping in late or vacations.

John Thomas Terrell and Greyson McGovern, each 8 years old, have been friends since PK2. This year the duo is working hard to collect money and items to put in bags for the homeless.

It’s a task JT first took on in 2019 with his family.

“We put together blessing bags and we drove around the city handing them out,” JT’s mom Mary Terrell said. “What started as a small idea that his dad and I were going to help him with turned into friends and family donating items and money to help put these bags together.”

Mary said the family project started after a conversation that she and JT had during a drive to Wal-Mart.

“He told me, ‘I just want to help others,’” Mary remembers. “I posted the plan on Facebook and within a few days we had people donating supplies and money.”

JT said it made him very happy to help others, and Mary said organizing and handing out the bags taught everyone involved important life lessons.

“It was an eye opener to do it,” she said.

Recently Kayla McGovern, Greyson’s mom, approached Mary and told her that Greyson wanted to do something similar and asked if the Terrells would be interested in doing it again. Mary said she’s excited to see the young friends work together to do something so worthwhile.

“We were talking about New Year’s resolutions and she said she wanted to either help the sick people in the hospital or help the homeless,” Kayla said of Greyson.

With heightened hospital regulations in place because of the pandemic, Kayla told Greyson it would be more feasible this year to help the homeless.

“She’s super sweet and has always had a big heart,” Kayla said of Greyson. “We’re proud of her … she’s always been giving and loving. We’re excited to do something for someone else.”

The friends got together last week to make a plan for the blessing bags.

“We sat down and wrote down socks, food, toothbrushes, hats, dry shampoo, gloves, blankets, deodorant, hand sanitizer and a mask,” Greyson said. “We want to thank our family members and friends because they’re supporting us to give us money and help get donations.”

Mary said the plan is to shop for items and put the bags together so that during Mardi Gras break JT and Greyson can hand them out around New Orleans. To donate money to their cause, Venmo Mary at mary-terrell-1.


About Monique Roth 314 Articles
Roth has both her undergraduate and graduate degree in journalism, which she has utilized in the past as an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University and a reporter at various newspapers and online publications. She grew up in LaPlace, where she currently resides with her husband and three daughters.

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