SAN ANTONIO — It felt like the right thing to do when Nicholas 'Mikey' Fabella said he was walking near his old apartment complex. Then, at six years old, he told his mother, Alexandria Fabella, he wanted to help a homeless man.
"I asked my mom if we could give him a blanket and a Lunchable," Mikey said.
Fabella said she quizzed her only child a bit but put together a care package for the person in need.
"We packed up the blanket. We packed food up for him (The homeless person)," she said. "Couple of days later, he was like--Mom, I got an idea."
Her little one wanted to put on a full-fledged drive to help the homeless with blankets and food.
"The first year I did it, I got 40 blankets. The second year I did it, I got 60," Mikey said.
The pandemic put a pause on his effort. The Bonham Academy student is at it again with a bigger goal.
"Let's do a hundred," Fabella recalled.
Through his mother's TikTok account and Facebook, Mikey asked for new fleece blankets, water, and snacks.
One post said, "I have already collected 40 blankets, 72 candy canes, and a case of water. A nine-year-old is doing this because everyone deserves a token of love."
Mikey said he is a child of faith, so it seems natural he would say, "I want to give them a smile and a reminder that Jesus loves them." Mikey even included 'Give a Smile' in his CashApp name for receiving donations.
The third grader met his goal but is still raising funds for the homeless through December 15th, that's his deadline.
"He asked me, mom, what's a deadline?" Fabella said.
His third fundraiser is a success. The San Antonio Independent School District product loves the church, and he used to play soccer and flag football. Mikey is working on his judo and kickboxing as he plans to be a photographer or an artist.
"I wasn't ready for this," Fabella said.
Mikey was a strong supporter of his mother when she battled thyroid cancer---praying over her at four years old. That mother/son bond would be invaluable, especially since the two would fight a different battle.
"I had some mistakes in my life," Mikey said. "After all, what my dad did because--like--he was an alcoholic."
It's partially unclear why Mikey would try to bear the blame for what he heard and saw. His tearful mother did not squirm away from her son's acknowledgments.
"I went through physical and verbal abuse with his father," she said. "But I walked away two years ago, and I'm doing better."
The cancer survivor is an educational assistant with an associate's degree who is also working toward her Bachelor's. She also learned how to drive because of a painful day for her and Mikey.
"My dad--he like hurt my mom, and one day he left us on the side of the road," Mikey said.
They had a home, but that moment felt like being just as homeless as the individuals Mikey helps now.
"I wasn't driving yet. And the incident occurred when he was taking me to work," Fabella said. "He abandoned me on the side of the road."
Fabella forgave Mikey's father. She said Mikey still loves him and is working to heal things he won't discuss.
"He used to like call me names and stuff," Mikey said. "And I want to show him that I'm useful for something."
As his journey continues, Mikey wears a cross around his neck on a chain for sanity and security.
"It makes me feel safe from him (His dad) because I know that God's with me," Mikey said.
The elementary student's passion for helping others and getting ingratiated with love makes sense from the view of Christianity.
"Because if you give to people less fortunate than you---they'll thank you," Mikey said. "It will like make you happy."
He confesses a warm and fuzzy feeling stretching as big as his smile each time he does it. Meanwhile, his mother wants to ensure her great kid grows up to be a great man.
"I want him to be someone," she said. "I want him to make a difference in somebody's life."