“Don’t forget to show love!” Austin Perine reminds us, as he distributes food across the nation to homeless individuals. “President” Austin’s caped crusade to help the homeless is going global, but was launched from his living room couch:
“This whole thing started when we were sitting at home watching Animal Planet, and a baby panda was abandoned by its mom,” Austin’s father, Terance, recalls. Austin was confused, and wondered what would happen to the panda. “Just to give him an answer, I told Austin that the panda would be homeless. Then he asked, ‘Well, are people homeless?’ and I said yes. That sparked an idea for him to want to go and feed the homeless, so here we are.”
With a sponsorship from Southwest Airlines, Austin travels to communities across the country to feed the homeless, and his campaign has gained national attention. CNN selected him as one of the five most inspiring people of 2018, Google featured him in their “Year in Search,” he appeared in an Apple Music video, and Steve Harvey surprised him with a trip to Disney Land on his talk show.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Austin is traveling to Gaithersburg from Birmingham, Alabama, for the first-ever #ShowLove Fest on Sunday, February 10th. While many folks are left feeling like Grumpy Cat during this frigid time of year, Austin’s simple, straightforward message will inspire compassion among the community.
In partnership with the Montgomery County Humane Society (MCHS), the event will feature a Q&A with Austin and presentations from the city’s homeless services division, then culminate in a feel-good, funny animal video festival. Attendees can share their favorite animal videos in advance on Facebook and Twitter @ArtsontheGreen using #ShowLove for a chance to be a part of the show.
MCHS will also be collecting shelter supplies for homeless animals onsite. Pet-themed gifts and art work by local artists will be for sale starting at 6pm. A portion of all sales and ticket proceeds will benefit MCHS.