Acts of Kindness
4-Year-Old Feeds Homeless People Using Allowance
This little boy is one of the most compassionate souls you'll ever meet. Grab a tissue, folks!
D.G. Sciortino
05.21.18

Austin Perine is a 4-year-old superhero. His superpower… feeding the homeless. The Montgomery, Alabama boy uses his allowance money to feed the hungry in his community while dressed in a cape.

His mission… to spread love. His superhero name… President Austin.

“That’s his idea of what the President is supposed to do,” Austin’s father, TJ Perine told CBS Evening News. “I was like ‘Buddy, you have no idea! But hey, I’m going along with it.”

YouTube Screenshot
Source:
YouTube Screenshot

Austin’s superhero days started when he and TJ were watching a TV show about pandas. They watched as a mother panda abandoned her baby.

TJ told his son that the baby was homeless but would be able to find his way.

“He says, ‘What’s homeless?’ I said, ‘It’s when you don’t have a home and sometimes you don’t have mom or dad around,” TJ said.

Austin Perine
Source:
Austin Perine

This prompted Austin to ask if people were homeless. His dad had to deliver the news that some people were homeless.

He also explained that some people went hungry.

First TJ decided to just drive by the Birmingham area with Austin so he could witness this for himself. But Austin wanted to get to know them and offer them some food.

Alabama News Center
Source:
Alabama News Center

“He liked it,” T.J. told Upworthy. “The people were touched that a 4-year-old took the time to talk to them, and despite everything they were going through, they were able to smile because Austin was out there.”

Seeing this little tyke in action is a truly beautiful thing to witness.

“Excuse me!” he says in his high-pitched voice handing someone a sandwich. “Don’t forget to show love!”

Alabama News Center
Source:
Alabama News Center

People literally turn into a pile of mush when he does his thing on the street.

“It warms my heart to see him,” said one of the sandwich recipients.

Everyone Austin encounters leaves with a fuller belly and a hopeful heart.

“That’s where it starts,” said another pointing to the boy.

His father used to take him out about once a week to buy sandwiches and hand them out.

Alabama News Center
Source:
Alabama News Center

He would forgo his allowance and any toys in order to pay for the food.

But now donations from Burger King allow him to make sandwich deliveries three times a week.

“He took this initiative on like a champion,” T.J. says. “He looks forward to it.”

Austin Perine
Source:
Austin Perine

“Feeding the homeless is the highlight of my life,” he says

And there’s one reason why he does it.

“You know what Mr. Steve, it’s just the right thing to do,” he told CBS Evening News’ Steve Hartman.

Austin Perine
Source:
Austin Perine

TJ says generosity comes naturally to Austin and that he has also learned compassion by helping his older brother who has autism.

“We compliment him when he does well with his brother,” T.J. says “Austin helps him find things, helps him with his clothes … so circumstantially, he has gained compassion that way.”

TJ says he goes out of his way to make sure to listen to his son.

Austin Perine
Source:
Austin Perine

“If I entertain Austin’s interests, then in return, Austin is going to entertain the substance of what I want to talk to him about,” he says. “So if he wants to talk about ‘Cars 3’ or ‘Paw Patrol’ or whatever a 4-year-old wants to talk about, then I make sure that I give him my undivided attention.”

Now Austin is doing even bigger things to help the homeless.

He and his father donated $5,000 to help build a shelter with services for homeless people. And hopefully one day, we’ll see Austin graduate from superhero to politician as the future President of the United State. He’s eligible to run in 2052. See Austin in action in the video below.

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By D.G. Sciortino
hi@sbly.com
D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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