“Don’t forget to show love!” Austin Perine
This uplifting story of adorable 4-year-old Austin Perine from Birmingham, Alabama puts the biggest smile on my face and renews hope in my heart. This beautiful child instinctively understands what far too many adults don’t or won’t embrace – sharing the love with all people!
Austin doesn’t look for the differences in others, just how he can help by sharing a simple chicken sandwich and spreading a message of love with those in need. He uses his allowance and forfeits toys to pay for his superhero mission of feeding those without because according to Austin, “it’s the right thing to do.”
I sing the praises and commend his dad, Terrence (TJ) for supporting his son’s efforts to “show love” by going out weekly into his community to feed the homeless. Austin embraces his “customers” (as he calls them) and doesn’t view them as different, he just sees their need.
Linn Park in Birmingham is a regular stop where many of Austin’s “customers” recognize the red-caped superhero as the highlight of their day.
Austin took on this charge after watching a video on the Animal Planet Channel about a baby panda being abandoned by its mother. Austin began to ask where the panda would go; his dad told him the panda would be homeless which led to the heartbreaking conversation that pandas, as well as, people can become involuntarily homeless. That was it for Austin and his superhero alter-ego “President Austin” was born.
“Feeding the homeless is the highlight of my life.” Austin Perine
Austin shared his mission of love with his local paper the Birmingham Times:
“When I feed the homeless it makes me really happy and I think what I do is very special,” Austin said. “When I grow up I want to be president. My jobs when I become president would be to feed the homeless and to chase the bad guys out of schools.”
Austin has become a worldwide phenomenon with coverage by the news in France, Germany, and England. He’s also shared his remarkable story with local networks in addition to CNN, NBC and CBS. Austin’s dad, TJ says his son isn’t phased, just doing his thing. However, dad remarks that “Every day I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m still alive because this is like a dream.”
Since I first learned about this remarkable child a couple of weeks ago, Burger King has joined “President Austin’s” team, donating all the chicken sandwiches or whatever he requires to serve his community. According to his Twitter page, Austin has recently received support from Fight Hunger to expand the reach of his food project.
— Austin Perine (@PresidentPerine) May 7, 2018
Austin’s dad, TJ has also been inspired by his beautiful son and has helped him set up a GoFundMe for a future nonprofit organization called Show Love, which when funded will become a traveling facility with food and resources for homeless people.
I’m encouraged that our youth are the key to our future and as more people learn about Austin and TJ I hope they’ll realize that all of us, no matter how small, plays an essential role in creating a world of love. I pray we learn from this amazing child’s vision and take a page out of ‘President Austin’s” superhero playbook. Let us be reminded daily to always “show love” and help make our planet a better place to live – one person at a time.
Austin wants to go global with feeding the homeless. If you’d like to see him do it in your city please donate at paypal.me/AustinPerine.
To donate or for additional information, you can also visit, www.presidentaustin.org.