Jermaine Bell watched his dreams of exploring Walt Disney World slowly vanish after saving for about a year to visit the theme park. Instead of taking the dream vacation, the 7-year-old used the roughly $500 to provide Hurricane Dorian evacuees in South Carolina with food and water. Now, the little boy will get to go to Disney after all.
“We were contacted by a team from Disney … and they were able to surprise him for his birthday with Mickey and a cake and some gifts,” Bell’s mother, 31-year-old Lauren Creech, tells PEOPLE. “We’re coordinating with them to go [to Disney] later this month!”
Disney officials learned of Bell’s good deed and went to the family’s Jacksonville, Florida, home on Sunday and broke the news that they were sending Bell and his family on a VIP getaway at Disney’s vacation kingdom.
“His jaw just dropped open and he was smiling from ear to ear,” Creech says of Bell’s reaction to the news. “He was really happy. He was very grateful for what they did. They gave him an animated Simba toy and he was just like, ‘This is my favorite Simba toy ever. I think I’m gonna sleep with it, it’s gonna go everywhere I go.’ ”