BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- "Every day is a day to help someone in need," says 12-year-old Ethan Hill, "that's what I live by pretty much. It's important to treat people how you want to be treated, so if you need help at the end of the day, people won't be hesitant to help you."
At just six years old, Ethan was driving with his mother to school when he noticed the same homeless man sitting outside in the cold. "He asked why is he out there," recalls his mother Ebony Hill, "he didn't like it, it just didn't sit well with him." That Christmas, Ethan spent the $100 his aunt sent him as a gift to get survival supplies for the homeless man. "That's different," says his mother, "no kid passes on Christmas money especially when it's that much."
Along with his father, David W. Hill Jr., the family gave away the supplies but quickly learned that there was a larger homeless community in need. "He got distraught and destroyed in the car because he couldn't help the rest of the people that were out there," says his father, "I helped them, but I didn't help everybody."
From there, Ethan decided he was going to do whatever it took to help as many people as he could. Through social media, friends, family, and his church, Ethan raised money each year to give supplies to the homeless. During the pandemic, he applied to become a non-profit, and Ethans Heart Bags4Blessings officially took off.
Today, he's raised enough money to purchase a mobile store that is filled with survival supplies which they're able to drive around town and help those in need. He also organizes packing parties where volunteers come together to help restock the store and pack duffel bags with supplies.
This year, Disney Parks & Resorts surprised Ethan at his weekly church service with a trip to Disney World for him and his family. "It's not easy to do this when you have to get people to buy into a dream that a child has," his mother says tearfully, "I'm just full to finally see him have a moment, for all the work he does."
Don't forget to tune in this Sunday, 11/27, to Disney's Magical Holiday Celebration to see Ethan's trip! You'll also see special performances by Run DMC, Meghan Trainor and more! It all starts at 8/7c.