"We've been thrilled to have them."

By Michelle Darrisaw
September 14, 2017
Millionaire Foster Kids Mansion Irma
Credit: WSVN/Marc Bell

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, many Floridians are still without power. Some, even, still with no place to go after their homes were damaged or completely destroyed. Among the displaced were a group of 70 foster children of foster care community SOS Children's Village Florida. However, thanks to one generous millionaire, these kids went from sleeping on the floor of a hurricane shelter to relaxing in style in a 27,000-square-foot mansion in Boca Raton. Marc Bell is the former owner of a magazine and a producer of the popular musical Jersey Boys. He and his wife, Jennifer Bell, were happy to open their home to dozens of kids, when they needed somewhere safe to say.

Before staying at the Bells, the children and their caretakers were in a gymnasium that served as a temporary shelter for locals. However, after Irma swept through Florida, leaving behind a trail of destruction, the group was asked to leave on Monday, September 11. In a CNN interview, Bell said that he got a call around noon on Monday from an SOS representative detailing their eviction. Bell, without hesitation, told the rep that she could bring the children to his house, while SOS came up with another alternative.

What was only supposed to be a few hours ended up turning into a few days, although, according to Bell, it's been a couple of entertaining days for the kids. He also added that they could stay as long as they want.

"We've been feeding them—doing their laundry and activities," Bell said. "We've been very lucky to have an amazing group of friends to come over and help out. It's been a fun-filled few days for them [foster children], so they're making the best of the storm."

Some of those fun activities have included clowns performing for the children, as well as friends coming over to play football with them. The kids also took part in arcade games in Bell's special game room and were serenaded over dinner by singers and a live guitarist. The Bells also treated the young girls to manicures.

"We're very blessed, and we're very lucky," Bell told CNN. "We're thrilled to help the community to help these kids out. These are great kids who had a bit of a bad luck, but they're all delightful and wonderful. For us and our friends, it's just been an eye-opening and beautiful experience."

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The Bell family's Southern hospitality is representative of the many acts of kindness shown to those affected by both Hurricane Harvey and Irma in these last few weeks.