8 Questions With Joshua Williams, a Jamaican-American Teen founder of Joshua’s Heart Foundation

Written by Xavier Murphy

American actor and former fashion model Josh Duhamel with Joshua Williams

American actor and former fashion model Josh Duhamel with Joshua Williams

Joshua’s Heart Foundation was founded in 2005 in Miami, Florida and is dedicated to the fight against global hunger and poverty. Joshua’s Heart Foundation was founded by Jamaican-American , Joshua Williams, who discovered his passion for philanthropy when he was almost 5-years-old. His little heart conceived a passion for helping those who struggle daily to put food on the table and make ends meet. And so a vision was born to stomp out hunger in poor and underprivileged communities, and to help those with debilitating diseases that hinder their ability to provide for themselves.

How did you did get started with the Joshua’s Heart Project? How old were you when you started it? 
I started with Joshua Heart Because I saw that there were people out there that needed help and also at a young age I was taught that I could help others and do whatever I wanted. This all motivated me to do something to help those who need it. Most importantly I believe that God showed me one of my purpose at an early age. I was four years old. He showed me that my purpose is to help those in need, to create awareness about those who need our help and to motivate, inspire and empower others.

Tell us how does a 4 year old start an organization like this?
I had my idea to try to help those who are in need at 4 and a half years old. It’s alarming to know the statistics out there that millions of children are hungry, how can we all be aware of such an issue and not help. When I am hungry I know where my next meal is coming from, some families have no job and nothing in their cupboards.  Some have no cupboards to put the food in. I am still flabbergasted whenever I learn about families or individuals in other countries that are homeless, hungry or in need of some basic necessities. Everyone is entitled to the basic necessities of life, water, food, shelter and  I added this one some love.

At four and a half I learned all if this, I was not aware that some families did not have the basic necessities in life, and sometimes it’s no fault of their own. Imagine that.

At four and a half my grandmother have me $20 to spend as I wish, little did I know that on my way to church I would see a homeless hungry man for the first time begging for help. I decided to immediately help him by giving him my pocket money. My mother insisted that we purchase food at the gas station for him, but my thoughts were – what if he has a family, what if he doesn’t  like what we give him. I knew in my heart this was the right thing to do. Affirmation came a few weeks later when I saw a infomercial on BET from Feed the Children, about homeless, kids in Africa. Some were orphans and some lived with their families in deporable conditions. I stated to cry, the infomercial was powerful, the children were filthy, their living conditions were horrible, they were living worse than animals.

How can other kids get involved?
If other kids want to get involved visit www.joshuasheart.org to join and start to help out in the mission to change the world. Sign up to receive our newsletter to get update of upcoming events. Follow us on social media – Instagram and twitter handle is @joshuasheart and Facebook is joshuasheartfoundation. We are a youth run organization we always need more young people. You can start a Joshua’s heart service club, or start your own joshuas heart project, we will guide and support you.

We read that you and  your family cook Jamaican food for the homeless. What was the reaction by the people? 

We would cook food for the homeless every weekend,the homeless took this very well. They were very nice and compassionate about it. They also were very grateful for what we were doing.  It was a great feeling to help them and also a great feeling to be able to give them warm, Jamaican food. We would give them water or drink, sometimes curry chicken, rice, vegetables or salad and a snack in a to go container.

Did they like the Jamaican food? 
The people loved the Jamaican food, they really enjoyed it. Every Saturday they would form a line and wait patiently before we arrived. They would wait no matter how late we were even if it rains.

How many people have your organization helped and how much money have you raised? 
So far we have given out over 900,000 lbs of food, and have raised over $400,000.  We should reach the million pounds of food by  May 2015.

How as the Jamaican culture affected you and this project? 
As  Jamaican heritage my family and I are very close, we support each other,  and work togeher as a team. We are religous and I believe that God gave me the passion and purpose to do what I do. Jamaican culture has also affected me. Jamaicans typically are warm and giving people.

What do you do for fun? 
I’m a regular 13 year old boy who hangs out with his friends, plays soccer, video games and watches movies. I love to read, travel and sail.

Thanks for your time. Where can people learn more about 
You can learn more at our website Joshuas Heart  and visit our social media  or google us.

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