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5-year-old Austin Perine, the boy who donned a cape and helped feed the homeless, named one of 2018's most influential people

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Updated December 27, 2018 04:20 PM EST

Editor's note: This story was originally published April 12. We are bringing it back because Austin Perine, who is now 5, was named one of the most influential people of 2018 by CNN. See below:

By RACHAEL WILKERSON, WPMI

PRICHARD, Ala. (WPMI) — Five-year-old Austin Perine has been named one of CNN's most influential people of 2018.

"True happiness is when you know your child is becoming a good person," said his father, Terance Perine.

WPMI first brought you this story earlier in the year when Austin Perine began his big journey passing out food to the homeless in the Alabama cities of Prichard and Mobile.

Perine's selfless acts gained national attention. You may remember the video of Perine passing out the food that was shared millions of times.

He's little boy with a powerful message. He loves to put his cape on and hit the streets with his #ShowLove motto to make sure no one goes hungry.

"It's important to show love to the homeless because love is the answer," Austin Perine said.

His father says it makes him proud every time Austin puts a smile on someone else's face.

"It warms my heart to know the city of Mobile is proud of Austin and that he has made a difference throughout the entire world for people who needed hope," Terance said.

By DERRIKIA YOUNG, WPMI

PRICHARD, Ala. (WPMI) — A little man is making a big difference. A video has gone viral after a 4-year-old from Prichard chose to spend every dollar he earns to feed the homeless. The video has more than 26,000 shares on Facebook.

Little Austin Perine said when he's not wrestling, he's giving back, not only in Prichard but everywhere he travels.

"I want to be a president of the United States of America," said Austin.

In the meantime, the 4-year-old said he likes to do more in his free time to get him there, other than play and eat candy.

"Because I wanted to show love for the homeless," he said.

Little Austin says his motto is "show love." The now-viral video his father made shows him showing love by feeding the homeless.

"It makes me feel great," said Austin.

Austin's father Terance Perine tells NBC 15 News this idea sparked after watching Animal Planet on TV. Austin asked his father why a mother panda had left her cubs alone.

"And I said, 'Well, I guess it's going to be homeless for a while,' and he said, 'Are people homeless?' and I said, 'Yeah, some of them.' And he asked me to take him to see a homeless person," said Perine.

They did just that. Father and son bought food for the homeless in Prichard. That experience launched a passion project for the 4-year-old who now helps the hungry wherever he goes, in Birmingham, Washington — even in the middle of an interview with WPMI.

Austin said with excitement, "I got an idea. We should go feed the homeless right now."

So, that's exactly what happened. Austin took NBC 15 News with him as he went out the door to demonstrate what it's like when he's out giving back.

"I would say to feed everybody else that's homeless," Austin said.

"I just want Austin’s experience to be contagious to everyone else. Even though people are different, they still deserve to be loved," Perine said.

A homeless man said to Austin, "God bless you."

Click here if you would like to help Austin's cause.

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