Sometimes — rarely, but it happens — there are stories that remind us that all hope is not lost, that humanity can still be decent and pure. The story of 4-year-old Austin Perine — better known as President Austin — is definitely one of them.
Meet Austin Perine, a 4-year-old boy from Birmingham, Alabama, with the wildly admirable goal of feeding the homeless. But not only does Perine feed the homeless — he does so with undeniable flair as he turns into the caped superhero “President Austin” in order to carry out his mission.
Once a week, Austin and his father TJ Perine use the money that used to go to Austin’s toys or allowance to buy chicken sandwichs and soda to feed the city’s homeless. But how did a child not even old enough for kindergarten become inspired to help end hunger? Well, pandas.
According to CBS News, Austin’s desire to “do the right thing” began when he and his father were watching a TV show about pandas that a mama panda abandoning a baby. After TJ explained to his son that the panda cub was now homeless, Austin only had one question: “Are people homeless?”
Since then, Austin asked his parents to use his toy and allowance money on chicken sandwiches for the homeless instead.
via CBS News:
TJ says this all began when they were watching a TV show about pandas. It showed a mama panda abandoning a baby, and TJ told his son the cub was now homeless.
“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,'” said TJ. That’s when Austin asked: are people homeless?
Once Austin learned some people are homeless — and some are hungry — he launched this caped crusade. Told his mom and dad that he wanted all his allowance and money they would spend on toys to go toward chicken sandwiches instead. After he gives out each sandwich, he gives each person a bit of advice. “Don’t forget to show love,” he tells them, and most do, immediately.
Raymont Baugh says this kid gives him hope. Everyone who meets Austin leaves with hope. That’s why, with any luck, someday “President Austin” won’t be a superhero anymore, he’ll just be a president.
Despite young Austin being 1/5 my age, when I grow up, I hope to be half the man he is.
Oh, and the nickname “President Austin” comes from Austin’s idea of what the President of the United States is supposed to do. But as his father wisely tells him, “Buddy, you have no idea.”