Lincoln Hanley is only two years old, but he’s already more empathetic and generous than many grown adults.
Lincoln’s parents, Elissa and Jamie Hanley, were watching television in their Peterborough, England home one afternoon when a documentary about homelessness came on the air. As the Hanleys watched the program, they noticed their toddler paying close attention from his seat on the floor. By the time it was over, the little man was so moved that he made it his mission to help those in need.
“There was a dog with the homeless lady on the screen and he started saying there was a dog and it had no food. He was asking where the lady slept,” Elissa described. “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.”
Elissa was surprised that he’d even paid attention to the show much less wanted to take action, but she and her husband were both very much on board.
“It was all Lincoln’s idea,” said Elissa. “We’ve not worked with homeless people before and when he wanted to do it we said ‘go for it.’ We wanted to encourage him. He just wanted to feed the people and the dogs.”
That very day, Lincoln’s parents gave him £20 and Jamie took him to the local market to pick up bread, sandwich meat, sweets, and dog food. They then returned home and made sandwiches, heated up soup, and made lunch kits to deliver in the city center that Friday night.
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 homeless man who had a dog, and Lincoln was particularly thrilled to be able to give his dog some food. As the tiny tot met and spoke to various homeless in their city, he began mentioning his upcoming birthday party.
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.
Jamie says that Lincoln is now well-known in their town, and they could not be prouder of their boy for thinking of others and taking action to help them at such a young age.
“Now every time we are out, as we pass by the homeless people we spoke to and offered food to, we often hear ‘hello Lincoln’ followed by short but friendly conversation and a polite hand shake,” said the proud father.
Lincoln isn’t finished helping, either. In addition to sharing birthday cake with the area homeless, he’s already thinking ahead to the winter months and planning to give out warm hats, mittens, and blankets. His parents are confident that this philanthropy is simply a part of who their son is, and they think he’ll always be the kind of person who seeks out ways to help others throughout his life.
We love our son and are very proud of him. We would encourage any parent to do the same with their children as it is very rewarding. 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. He’s a very kind-hearted 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.
We can all take a page from this toddler’s book. Whenever we think we’re too young, too small, or too broke to help others, someone like Lincoln comes along and reminds us that there’s always something we can do.