Jermaine Bell was supposed to spend his seventh birthday at Disney World. He had saved up money to take his family on a trip to Animal Kingdom in Florida.
Instead, he emptied his piggy bank to buy hundreds of hot dogs and serve them for free to Hurricane Dorian evacuees passing through their South Carolina town.
The 6-year-old opened a hot dog stand along the side of a busy road in Allendale and offered those escaping the coast free franks, water, chips and prayers.
“The people that are traveling to other places, I wanted them to have some food to eat so they can enjoy the ride to the place that they’re gonna stay at,” he told CNN affiliate WJBF.
Manning the shaded stand in a makeshift apron down to his feet, Jermaine served more than 100 evacuees on Labor Day, his first day out. He told CNN he’s served “a lot” more since then.
His grandmother, Aretha Grant, said she’s watched her grandson pray with a family who wasn’t sure how their house would hold up during the storm.
“I am very proud,” she 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.”
Jermaine said he’ll keep up the cooking all week long until evacuees are safely back home. And he’s not giving up his dreams of Disney World yet — he’ll visit another time. This is just the start of his birthday celebration.
“I just wanted to be generous,” he said.