By Andre Simpson, January 18, 2022
We often find our purpose through adversity. After being wrongly accused and facing 32 years to life in prison, Cornell Bunting spent ten months incarcerated, fighting for his freedom. Before his arrest, the day-to-day operations of his security company consumed his life. Due to this, he could not spend the quality time he so desperately needed with his children. All the hard work and dedication he had injected into his business was now in vain as he sat in jail. Determined to use his time wisely while incarcerated, Cornell developed a passion for writing. He has since written fifty books and published eight.
The ten months away from society was hard on Cornell, especially being away from his children. He recalled an instance when he was sitting with other inmates and saw a fly, which was unusual, based on the jail location. Somehow, spotting the fly brought a ray of hope for Cornell and many other inmates. Many go to jail and become lost in the system as outcasts of society. However, here is a fly that somehow found its way in. The significance of this gave Cornell hope that it was possible to make it out.
The determination to prove his innocence remained at the forefront for Cornell. After attending 13 pre-conference trials, the prosecution decided to proceed to trial. Mr. Bunting, along with his defense team, was confident. His legal team proved his innocence on all charges. He now had his second chance at life, and he was determined to make good on it.
Since being released, Cornell made it a duty to spend quality time with his children. While behind bars, he desperately yearned for their company, so he makes the most out of every opportunity now. Three months after his release, he was in church listening to the Pastor preach, and five minutes into the sermon, something happened that once again changed his life. He fell out of his chair, and everything went blank. Mr. Bunting had just suffered cardiac arrhythmia. Those in the congregation thought he was laughing, but Mr. Bunting had died for 16 minutes unbeknownst to them. Upon realizing he was not responsive, they tried to revive him but were unsuccessful in doing so. After going through so much, this could not be the end of such a purposeful life. Everyone in attendance thought he had died; however, the Pastor prayed over him and at the sixteenth minute, he came back to life. Once again, God had shown his grace and mercy on Mr. Buntings’ life.
Fulfilling his Purpose
Today, Mr. Bunting is a published author of 8 books that include multiple number ones on Amazon. He has since taken on the role of a motivational speaker, traveling the world to share his life experience and how important God has been in his life. For Cornell, this was not enough. He felt like he had so much more to offer. “We are all unique, and we all have a purpose”, Cornell stated when asked about his passion for giving back. In 2021 he founded a nonprofit, EHAS. The acronym stands for Everyone Has A Story. The purpose of the nonprofit is to impact the lives of our youth, more so our boys.
Even though EHAS is registered in the U.S., Cornell is determined to make a difference in his homeland of Jamaica. That determination has led him back home, where his organization has pledged to impact the lives of those at two boys’ homes; Mannings Boys Home in St. Elizabeth and Sunbeam Boys Home located in Old Harbor, St. Catherine.
EHAS’ vision is to create a space for everyone to tell their story, live a fulfilled life, and dream big. The EHAS team toils daily to make this vision a reality.
Taking time out of his busy schedule, Mr. Bunting decided to come to Jamaica to meet and speak directly to the boys at Mannings and Sunbeam Boys’ Homes, but he didn’t show up empty-handed. Both homes received slippers, underwear, and a pledge of $735,000. “The joy on their faces was priceless, and our talk was very interactive. These boys are absolutely brilliant and are filled with so much potential,” Mr. Bunting said when asked about his visit to the homes. “These boys are our future, and with the right support and foundation lies endless possibilities for these boys”.
As explained before, using adversity to find purpose resonates with Mr. Bunting. EHAS teaches our youth how to overcome and find purpose irrespective of their adversities. With the help of grants and donor partners, EHAS is determined to touch, improve, and change lives each day through a message of hope.
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July 3, 2023
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