Jeremiah Smith said he didn’t want toys for his birthday. Rather, the five-year-old Durham boy said he wanted to feed the homeless.

More from WRAL: 

Jeremiah and his family received their own surprise while handing out food – a Durham police officer stopped by.

The birthday boy’s dream is to be a police officer when he grows up. He was able to meet the officer and sit in the patrol car.

Jeremiah’s family said they can’t be prouder.

“Oh my God, words can’t even express how proud we all are of him,” said Smith [his grandmother.] “He has a very big heart. He likes for everybody to be together. That’s what we’re trying to promote now, just being together.”

His family even grilled up some great-looking chicken and WRAL reporter Sarah Krueger shared some photos from the event.

I rarely watch local broadcast news but it was a delight to see the coverage of this story. That it came from a generous and thoughtful 5-year-old is no shocker and stories like this should shame us all into more giving and becoming active in service to our communities. It’s a great reminder, not to just give financially, but to roll your sleeves up. There is no substitution for a ministry of presence in an age where so many feel alone and isolated from society.

I wrote about the importance of voluntary charity back in December, delving into how government and bureaucracies can never replace a voluntary society. The lessons are timeless. Most of all, it’s great to see young children remind us of the importance of charitable giving in a world that is often cruel and cynical.