Six-year-old Jermaine Bell had been saving money for over a year with hopes of going to Disney World for his 7th birthday. But in a moment of crisis, the little boy gave up his hard-earned cash to help others.
Bell, who is from Jacksonville, Florida, was in Allendale, South Carolina with his grandmother ahead of Hurricane Dorian. Residents began evacuating the coastal areas of the state ahead of the storm, and Bell wanted to ease their burden. So he used all of his savings to buy food and water for evacuees.
Instead of celebrating the magical birthday he'd dreamed of, Bell stood on the side of the road handing out hotdogs. "The people that are traveling to go to places, I wanted them to have some food to eat, so they can enjoy the ride to the place that they're going to stay at," the boy told WJBF-TV.
He helped nearly 100 evacuees, even though it meant giving up his birthday trip — or so he thought. Representatives from Disney, including Mickey Mouse himself, surprised Bell on Monday with some big news. They'd heard about his selfless act, and wanted to thank him.
Mickey and his friends surprised Bell with a free trip to Disney World, and the boy could not believe his ears. He and his family will get to celebrate his birthday with a VIP vacation later this month, Walt Disney World said in a press release,
For Bell, wise beyond his years, the choice to help others was simple. "I wanted to be generous and live to give," he said. That motto earned him a lot of praise — and, in the end, the trip he always dreamed of.
First published on September 11, 2019 / 1:02 PM © 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.