+

When 4-year-old Austin Perine found out some people are homeless, his first instinct was to help.

One day, Austin was watching an animal show with his dad, T.J., and they saw a mom panda abandon her baby. Concerned, Austin asked what would happen to the cub. T.J. told him it would be homeless for a while, but it would eventually figure out how to live on its own.

Austin asked his dad if people ever become homeless. That question sparked a conversation about homelessness, a trip to see where homeless people live, and one of the sweetest outreach projects you'll ever see.


Good morning 🌞 I’m headed to work! “Don’t Forget to #showlove ❤️💙❤️💙

Posted by Austin Perine on Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Austin wanted to give the homeless people he saw some food. So his dad bought 25 chicken sandwiches for him to hand out.

T.J. says he originally planned just to drive Austin by the area in Birmingham where homeless people live. But Austin wanted to talk to the people there — and offer them some food. So that's what they did.

"He liked it," says T.J. "The people were touched that a 4-year-old took the time to talk to them, and despite everything they were going through, they were able to smile because Austin was out there." People thanked T.J. for teaching his son to treat people who are down on their luck with dignity.

Austin hands out chicken sandwiches and sodas to Birmingham's homeless. Photo via T.J. Perine.

Austin liked it so much, he told his parents that he wanted to use all of his allowance to buy food for the homeless. Now, thanks to an ongoing donation from Burger King, Austin takes sandwiches to his homeless friends about three times a week.

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

Austin is a tiny hero with an important message.

Adding yet another adorable layer to this story, Austin dons a red superhero cape while he delivers his meals. As he hands each person a sandwich, he smiles and tells them, "Don't forget to show love!"

T.J. said his son asked to be called "President Austin" because he thinks that feeding the homeless is what a president is supposed to do. "I was like, 'Buddy, you have no idea,'" laughed T.J. in an interview with CBS. "But hey, I'm going along with it."

"He took this initiative on like a champion," T.J. says. "He looks forward to it."

Austin's parents have encouraged compassion throughout their son's young life.

T.J. thinks Austin's generous spirit is a solid mix of innate quality and learned behavior. Austin has an older brother who has autism, and Austin has gained compassion and generosity through helping him. "We compliment him when he does well with his brother," says T.J. "Austin helps him find things, helps him with his clothes ... so circumstantially, he has gained compassion that way."

Austin and T.J. are on a mission to #ShowLove to people down on their luck. Photo via T.J. Perine.

But T.J. said the key to his parenting philosophy is listening. "If I entertain Austin's interests, then in return, Austin is going to entertain the substance of what I want to talk to him about," he says. "So if he wants to talk about 'Cars 3' or 'Paw Patrol' or whatever a 4-year-old wants to talk about, then I make sure that I give him my undivided attention."

Whatever he's doing, it appears to be working. The duo has even started a fund to help fight hunger, and they just donated $5,000 to help build a shelter with services for the homeless in Birmingham.  

Keep up the stellar parenting, T.J. And thank you for showing us all how to love, Mr. President. You've definitely got my vote.

Check out Austin's story on CBS News:

This article originally appeared on 09.06.17


Being married is like being half of a two-headed monster. It's impossible to avoid regular disagreements when you're bound to another person for the rest of your life. Even the perfect marriage (if there was such a thing) would have its daily frustrations. Funnily enough, most fights aren't caused by big decisions but the simple, day-to-day questions, such as "What do you want for dinner?"; "Are we free Friday night?"; and "What movie do you want to see?"

Here are some hilarious tweets that just about every married couple will understand.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

A man told me gun laws would create more 'soft targets.' He summed up the whole problem.

As far as I know, there are only two places in the world where people living their lives are referred to as 'soft targets.'

Photo by Taylor Wilcox on Unsplash

Only in America are kids in classrooms referred to as "soft targets."

On the Fourth of July, a gunman opened fire at a parade in quaint Highland Park, Illinois, killing at least six people, injuring dozens and traumatizing (once again) an entire nation.

My family member who was at the parade was able to flee to safety, but the trauma of what she experienced will linger. For the toddler with the blood-soaked sock, carried to safety by a stranger after being pulled from under his father's bullet-torn body, life will never be the same.

There's a phrase I keep seeing in debates over gun violence, one that I can't seem to shake from my mind. After the Uvalde school shooting, I shared my thoughts on why arming teachers is a bad idea, and a gentleman responded with this brief comment:

"Way to create more soft targets."

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75.

Lynch is part of a growing crowd of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory.

At first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
Keep ReadingShow less