For over a year, Jermaine Bell was saving up his money to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom for his seventh birthday, but when Hurricane Dorian approached South Carolina at the beginning of September, he decided to use the money to help feed evacuees instead. To reward his compassionate act, The Walt Disney Company invited Bell and his family to a VIP getaway so his birthday wish could still come true.
Bell, who lives in Jacksonville, Fla., was in South Carolina visiting his grandmother when he used his birthday money to buy hot dogs, chips and water for coastal South Carolina evacuees instead of saving it for his birthday trip to Walt Disney World. Bell's generosity moved many and he made headlines across the nation.
“I wanted to be generous and live to give,” Bell told WJBF on Sept. 3.
Video: Jermaine Bell Donates Savings to Hurricane Evacuees
On Bell's birthday on Sept. 8, his act of compassion was rewarded. Mickey Mouse, along with Walt Disney World cast members, surprised Bell at his home to invite him and his family to a special getaway to Walt Disney World Resort for a weekend later in the month, where he would be able to enjoy all four of the resort's theme parks.
Bell's favorite part of the trip was visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom. He told WJBF that he had hoped to see lots of lions and have a Lion King party—but he was treated to so much more during his VIP trip.
Lead by Disney Animal Programs, Bell went on a private tour, watched "Festival of the Lion King," a Broadway-style show that features song and puppetry and was surprised by a private meet and greet with the cast of the show.
Bell's mother, Lauren Creech, was not surprised by her son's kindness, but she tells Disney Parks Blogs the reaction he received for it did. Even during Bell's visit to the park, some guests recognized him.
“In our family, we are givers and it just makes me overjoyed to see that at such an early age that he has grasped those values,” she said. “There’s no way we could’ve known that something as simple as him being generous would’ve blown up and affected so many people.”
Yahoo Lifestyle was unable to immediately locate Creech for comment.
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