Two-year-old Lincoln Hanley was so shocked by a documentary his parents were watching about rough sleepers that he insisted they help him “feed the people”.
The adorable tot went shopping with his dad, Jamie Hanley (29), buying bread, sandwich fillers, sweets and even dog food.
After making sandwiches and heating up soup the pair headed into Peterborough City Centre in Cambridgeshire, England, earlier this month to hand out the food.
After a successful trip the youngster is now planning on sharing his birthday cake with his newfound friends.
“We’ve not worked with homeless people before and when he wanted to do it we said, ‘Go for it’. He just wanted to feed the people and the dogs,” Lincoln’s mom, Elissa (28), said.
“I’m unbelievably proud of him. I hope it makes people more aware,” she added.
Elissa says she and Jamie were watching a documentary about homeless people while Lincoln was in the room playing. They didn’t think he was paying too much attention to it at the time.
“There was a dog with the homeless lady on the screen and he started saying it had no food. He was asking where the lady slept.
“We explained to him that the dog and lady didn’t have any food and he said, ‘Me go and feed the people’.
“He kept going on about how he wanted to feed the people. He was really interested in it.”
Jamie gave Lincoln £20 (about R380) and took him to the supermarket to buy the food and other items.
“They went to the town centre on a Friday night and were walking around to find some people they could speak to,” said Elissa, who works at a call centre.
“Lincoln was asking people himself, he was approaching them and asking if they wanted any food. He was really excited about it.
“They found a man called Joseph who Lincoln really took a liking to. He gave Joseph lots of sweets and sandwiches.
“There was another man called Henry who had a dog so he got to give him some dog food which he was really happy about.
“He invited Joseph to his birthday party next month and he’s been saying he wants to go back and give him some birthday cake.
“I know it seems far-fetched that a two-year-old would want to do that. Now when we go into town he always asks if we’ve got food for the people.”
Jamie says when they walked through the city centre that evening, he was very cautious about who they approached.
“The few people we did approach seemed very shy and nervous at first, but as Lincoln offered them food, shook their hands and said hello, they soon opened up and were very receptive to Lincoln's cause, offering a smile, conversation and gratitude.
“Lincoln has responded very well to this – he’s made friends for life and developed a very keen attitude towards those in need and less fortunate than himself.”
Jamie says Lincoln plans to make this a regular thing.
“He’s become very aware that the winter weather is creeping in so we’re looking to provide people with blankets, food, hot soup, hats, gloves and scarves.
“We love our son and are very proud of him. We would encourage any parent to do the same with their children as it’s very rewarding.”
Elissa says that when they got home, Lincoln said to her: “Mommy, those people don’t have a house. They sleep outside, and the sun gets in their eyes.”
“He’s a very kindhearted little boy and he’s very strong-minded. I think he’ll go on to help people when he’s older. It makes him so happy.”