'Superhero' 4-Year-Old Uses His Allowance To Feed The Homeless

And he does it all while wearing a cape.

While most 4-year-olds are making mud pies or selling lemonade, Austin Perine of Birmingham, Ala. decided to take his culinary contributions one step further. With his red satin cape draped across his shoulders, Austin Perine feeds the hungry and homeless population throughout the city in an effort to "show love" to those who need "food and smiles."

"Show love means, you care about someone no matter what they look like," Austin explained to CNN. "Show Love," he added, has become his superhero motto. 

His superhero name? President Austin, of course.

Austin's father, TJ Perine, told CNN that Austin has always been compassionate, as he acts like a "little dad" for his brother, Taylor, who has autism. However, it wasn't until Austin learned that people are experiencing homelessness that he decided to share his altruistic soul with the rest of his community. TJ noted that Austin's first encounter with homelessness came after watching a nature documentary about a baby panda on television.

"Austin and I were watching an animal show and there was a mother panda that was leaving her cubs," TJ said. "Austin began to get concerned, and I told him that the panda would be homeless."

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To better teach his son about homelessness, TJ took the young boy to the city shelter, at which point Austin asked what any sensible person would: "Can we feed them?"

In response, TJ took Austin to Burger King where he enthusiastically volunteered to pay for the chicken sandwiches using his weekly allowance, thereby forfeiting new toys that week. Since gaining national attention for his efforts, Burger King has agreed to allot Austin a $1,000 monthly allowance for a year so he can fulfill his mission, a company spokesman said.

"Feeding the homeless is the highlight of my life," Austin told CBS News

Austin and his father have plans to expand their community outreach efforts so they can also fight homelessness at its roots. Not only has Austin been working with Mayor Randall Woodfin on a new homeless shelter, but he and his father have also started a GoFundMe that will aid "traveling and fighting hunger and establishing a facility that will help with food, toiletries, drug rehabilitation and shelter integration" as part of their fledgling Show Love Foundation.

"We've gotten a lot of support from the country, and what we want to do is expand from more than just giving out sandwiches," TJ told CNN, emphasizing that, ultimately, he and Austin hope to build a facility that addresses the many causes and symptoms of homelessness. "Mental illness, drug abuse, addiction, and things like that," he said. "Austin and I want to build a facility and get some specialists in there that can actually help these people get back into the workforce."

Of course, while Austin might be young, as Mayor Woodfin told CNN, his story "is one of hope." Here's hoping that Austin's selfless acts continue to fill the hearts (and stomachs) of Birmingham and beyond for years to come.

Cover image via addkm / Shutterstock

(H/T: CNN)

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