Boy, 8, Raises More Than $50K for Waffle House Waiter Currently Living in a Motel with His Wife and Two Kids
After learning that the 29-year-old lost his house and was staying with his family in a motel, an eight-year-old Arkansas child raised more than $50,000 so far for his favourite Waffle House waiter.
Every weekend, second-grader Kayzen Hunter from Little Rock goes to the neighbourhood Waffle House with his family for breakfast. He always makes sure to sit in the area that waiter Devonte Gardner is covering.
When Kayzen enters the restaurant, Gardner always gives him a high-five and remembers to bring him his usual order of hash browns with cheese and eggs with cheese. According to Kayzen, who spoke to the Washington Post, Gardner “always treats everyone with kindness.”
Nevertheless, Devonte had run into financial trouble after his flat became infected with rats and black mould, forcing him to relocate his wife and two young girls into a motel and walk several miles to work, Kayzen discovered during a recent visit with his grandfather.
Devonte needed help, so Kayzen created a GoFundMe page and managed to raise an incredible $38,000. With that money, Devonte was able to buy a car and rent an apartment for his family for one full year.
After breakfast with his grandfather, where Devonte mentioned he was looking for a cheap car so he wouldn’t have to walk as far to work, the boy found out about Devonte’s problems.
Devonte explained to the youngster and his grandfather what had happened to him and his family eight months earlier as they spoke.
‘Devonte said he wondered if anyone might know where he could buy a cheap car – he’d been having a hard time saving for one,’ Kayzen told The Post.
According to the boy’s mother Vittoria, Kayzen was determined to assist Devonte after learning about his difficulties.
‘He kept saying, “We have to start a GoFundMe and help Devonte get a car,”‘ she told the Post. ‘He didn’t give up on it. He’s a kid with a big heart.’
Therefore, in February, she worked with Kayzen to create a GoFundMe page for the project, with a $5,000 fundraising target.
Soon after the page was created, a local news station covered it, and donations poured in, many of them coming from clients he had previously helped.
‘This guy is ALWAYS in a good mood and a hard worker!’ one person commented on the GoFundMe page while making a contribution.
When Devonte learned what Kayzen had done for him, he reportedly sobbed uncontrollably, according to the Washington Post.
‘I started crying – I’d been quietly struggling and didn’t want to ask anybody for anything,’ he said.
In order for him and his wife to alternate in taking care of their three and two-year-old children, Gardner revealed that he had used his tip money to pay for the $60 per night motel. His wife had worked the opposite shift at McDonald’s.
‘We had to give up most of our belongings because of the mold, but we’re slowly working our way back,’ Gardner said.
‘Even when you can work double shifts, it’s hard to get ahead,’ he said. ‘I’m thankful to have a job that I enjoy, but it’s hard to save enough to improve my family’s situation.
‘I love working at Waffle House because I have an opportunity to make people feel good every day,’ Gardner said. ‘I love the people who come in, especially Kayzen. For this little guy to do this out of the kindness of his heart is really humbling.’