Jermaine Bell went viral after he used the money he'd saved for a trip to Disney World to help victims of Hurricane Dorian.
On Sunday, his seventh birthday, Disney gave him the gift of a lifetime.
In a video posted on the company's website, Mickey Mouse and a few of his friend surprised the boy with a free trip to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.
"The family will enjoy a VIP getaway at the vacation kingdom later this month," Disney announced.
Disney also presented him with a Lion King-themed cake, Mickey balloons and stuffed animals.
Lauren Creech, Bell's mother, is heartened by the gesture, reports USA Today.
"Never in a million years could we have imagined anything like this from him," Creech said in the video. "Just coming up with an idea to help someone else ... It really does instill in him that when you do good, you know, good comes back to you."
Bell definitely learned the lesson.
"Be strong and if you do good things, you will be rewarded," the 7-year-old said.
Original story: Jermaine Bell was ready to celebrate his seventh birthday on Monday at Disney World.
But when Hurricane Dorian devastated The Bahamas and made its way up the Florida coast, the 6-year-old thought the money could be better spent.
Bell and his grandmother Aretha Grant live in Allendale, South Carolina and decided to use the money they saved for their trip to Disney World to help evacuees fleeing the storm on the South Carolina coast.
“The people that are traveling to go to places, I wanted them to have some food to eat, so they can enjoy the ride to the place that they’re going to stay at,” Bell told WJBF-TV. “I wanted to be generous and live to give.”
Bell stood along Highway 125 in Allendale with a sign which offered hot dogs, chips and water to available to family's forced to leave their homes. Bell and Grant served almost 100 people and even took time to pray with one family.
Grant said she was proud of her grandson and wanted him to understand how fortunate he was. They both told The Tampa Bay Times many families didn't even have enough time to take all their belongings before fleeing.
Hurricane Dorian spent much of Sunday battering the Bahamas with three feet of rain, 200 mph winds and 23-foot floods. At least 30 people have been confirmed dead, but local officials expect that number to rise significantly.
“The public needs to prepare for unimaginable information about the death toll and the human suffering,” Duane Sands, health minister of the Bahamas, said during a radio interview.
“It is ruined. The fences are knocked down. The walls, there’s no wall left. If anybody had ridden out the storm there I don’t know how they would be alive.” @CNN_Oppmann, describing the scene at Grand Bahama International Airport in Freeport, Bahamas https://t.co/j6lzu0F60Q pic.twitter.com/wYm0aG8kUQ— CNN (@CNN) September 4, 2019
Despite downgrading from a Category 5 to a Category 2 hurricane, Florida and South Carolina have seen heavy rain, tornadoes and flooding all week. South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia saw 15 inches of rain on Thursday.
In South Carolina, 360,000 people have been forced to evacuate, and 200,000 people in the state lost power. In addition to thunderstorms, two tornadoes touched down on Thursday.
Back in Allendale, Bell's grandmother said she was happy her home was not affected and thanked her grandson for understanding how lucky they are.
“He actually even prayed for a family while they were here in reference to their house being okay when they got back, so that was really tear dropping,” Grant told WJBF-TV.
“They weren’t able to take everything. So just knowing that they couldn’t take everything and we were able to have a house, so that’s the blessed part that he should be thankful for and get out of it.”