Updated September 9, 2019, 10 p.m. ET: Star 6-year-old of the week Jermaine Bell is getting his birthday wish after all: CNN reports that after Bell donated all his Disney World travel-fund savings to Hurricane Dorian victims last week, Disney is now stepping in to gift Bell the trip of his dreams anyway. Whoever said no good deed goes unpunished?
Original story: Most children dream about going to Disney, and for good reason. From fireworks and rides to character meals, the house of the Mouse is magical. But would you give up your vacation to help others? One young boy did just that. Jermaine Bell, a 6-year-old from South Carolina, decided to donate his “Disney money” to those impacted by Hurricane Dorian.
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According to local ABC affiliate WJBF, Bell had been saving up his money in order to spend his birthday at Disney World. But when Dorian hit his home state of South Carolina, Bell realized he wanted to do more.
“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,” Bell told the outlet. He then bought hot dogs, chips and water and stood alongside a highway in Allendale to give food to coastal evacuees.
“I wanted to be generous and live to give,” he told WJBF.
Bell’s family is extremely proud. His grandmother, Aretha Grant, told CNN “we knew Jermaine was very special, but we didn’t know he was special in this way to be such a giver like this.” Bell served 100 evacuees on Labor Day and plans to keep his roadside stand open until everyone has returned home safe.
Complete strangers are also in awe of his generosity. Many have taken to Twitter to applaud Bell for his kind and loving heart.
"I wanted to be generous and live to give." – 6-year-old Jermaine Bell
This is the best thing you'll watch today!pic.twitter.com/Ijpe0Do4v1
— Jason Romano (@JasonRomano) September 4, 2019
My Heart 😭❤️
6 year-old black boy gave up the money he raised for a Disney birthday trip to buy food and water for Hurricane Dorian evacuees. Distributed the food and water for FREE.
YOUNG KING showing us the way.
HE IS A HERO. HIS NAME IS JERMAINE BELL. KNOW HIS NAME. pic.twitter.com/8scWxUmxOR
— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) September 6, 2019
That said, Bell still hopes a Disney trip is in his future. The young boy told WJBF he wants to go to “Animal Kingdom and see lots of lions and have a Lion King party.” And since a GoFundMe page was set up in his honor Friday afternoon, we have a good feeling Bell will be staring at the Tree of Life soon.
A version of this story was originally published on September 6, 2019.