An 8-year-old boy tried to raise $500 to help his favorite Waffle House waiter through a hard time, and the campaign went viral and raised more than $69k.
Kayzen Hunter has a ritual of going to the Waffle House in Little Rock, Arkansas, with his family for breakfast, and on those trips, he became a friend to waiter Devonte Gardner.
Kayzen’s mom, Vittoria Hunter, said that her son and Gardner have been friends for over a year.
“It was about a year ago when they met. My dad started going and Kayzen would go with him. When he came home, he talked about Devonte and how much he liked him,” she said.
Gardner has memorized Kayzen’s favorite meal.
“Every time he comes in, I always give him a high five because that’s what he expects,” Gardner said.
“He’s a wonderful kid. He tells me jokes every time he comes in, like, ‘Hey, Devonte, I got a joke for you,’ and the next thing you know, we’re laughing,” he explained.
One day, Kayzen found out that his friend and his family were living in a motel because of horrible conditions at his previous apartment, and he didn’t have a car to get to work.
“We wanted to find something affordable, so we moved into a low-income area,” Gardner explained. “We just got tired of infestations with rats and roaches and all this black mold. My daughters were getting sick. No heat and things like that. When it was cold outside, we had to bundle up with like four or five blankets in order to stay warm.”
So Kayzen jumped into action. Originally, the GoFundMe campaign he started had the goal of raising $500 to purchase a car for Gardner.
“Devonte is one of the most joyous and positive people you’ve ever met!! He always greets us with the biggest smile,” Kayzen wrote in the campaign description. “I hope your heart is as BIG as mine and you will help me spread kindness in the world. Any amount helps!!”
After the campaign raised tens of thousands of dollars for Gardner, he says he has signed a lease for a two-bedroom apartment for himself and his daughters. He says he’s looking to buy a sedan but will save the rest of the money for his daughters.
“I’m gonna save the rest because I want to put my daughters in a good school, I want them to be in a good environment,” Gardner said. “Everything I’m getting is going mostly towards my daughters to make sure they have a great, great life. Make sure we won’t have to struggle anymore.”
Kayzen said he was surprised and excited by the number of people who helped Gardner.
“Devonte is a positive person who works hard to make everyone happy,” Kayzen said. “Sometimes people just need a little help.”
Here’s a news report about the campaign:
8-year-old all-star raises money for kind Waffle House serverwww.youtube.com
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