8-Year-Old Finds Out His Favorite Waffle House Waiter Is Hiding a Secret – Doesn’t Hesitate to Raise $64,000 for Him
When the little boy found out Devonte and his family were struggling, he immediately knew he had to do something to help.
Every weekend Kayzen Hunter, 8, and his family go to their local Waffle House in Little Rock, Arkansas for breakfast. Every weekend they sit in the same section. And every weekend, Kayzen orders the same breakfast — hashbrowns and eggs with cheese — from his favorite waiter, Devonte Gardner.
Devonte dishes up more than just breakfast, he dishes up a heaping serving of joy and kindness as well.
“Devonte is one of the most joyous and positive people you’ve ever met!! He always greets us with the biggest smile,” Kayzen said of his friend.
But behind the bright smile, Devonte has been hiding a dark secret.
The Secret Struggles One Waffle House Waiter Was Going Through
For the past eight months, Devonte has been walking several miles a day to and from work and living in a motel room with his wife and two young daughters, aged 2 and 3.
They were forced to move out of their apartment when it became infested with rats and dangerous black mold, leaving nearly all of their belongings behind.
And yet, through it all, Devonte kept on smiling.
Kayzen only heard about Devonte’s troubles months later during a breakfast date with his grandfather. Devonte mentioned that he was looking for a cheap car and struggling to save for one. He also revealed that having to pay $60 per day for a motel room was taking a huge financial toll.
Kayzen didn’t waste any time. He immediately went home and told his mom, Vittoria Hunter, that they had to do something to help Devonte and his family.
It was, after all, a struggle she knew only too well. Back in 2019, their family faced a similar situation, forced to leave a rental house also contaminated with black mold.
“Our water heater leaked, and mold grew in the wall and blew out everywhere through the air conditioner return,” Vittoria’s husband, Korey Hunter told the Washington Post. “Everything in the house was ruined.”
How a Little Boy Made a Huge Difference in the Waffle House Waiter’s Life
The mother-son duo got to work.
With the help of his mom, the second-grader set up a GoFundMe campaign with the goal of raising $5,000.
Little did they know that Kayzen’s efforts would go viral and he would raise more than 10 times that amount.
“Hi, my name is Kayzen, I am 8 years old. I am wanting to raise funds for my friend, Devonte, who I met and have come to know from eating breakfast at Waffle House,” he wrote on the page.
“Devonte is a hard-working dad with two little girls and a wife. He is a dedicated worker and has to walk or get a ride to get to work every day. He was looking for a decent-priced car, and his family was unfortunate and ended up in an apartment riddled with black mold. He had to get his kids out and it set him back a lot.”
Kayzen further explained that he wanted to help the family get into a clean rental property and purchase a reliable vehicle.
The GoFundMe Takes on a Life of Its Own
Within a few days, the GoFundMe page had garnered the attention of people across the globe, and donations started pouring in. The news of Kayzen’s act of kindness spread like wildfire on social media, and it wasn’t long before his story was featured on news channels across the country.
The little boy’s efforts paid off, big time. So far, he has managed to raise a staggering $64,000. More than enough to pay for a new car and a new place to call home.
And Devonte? He is beyond grateful. Upon hearing what his young friend had done, he burst into tears. “I started crying — I’d been quietly struggling and didn’t want to ask anybody for anything,” he said.
Now, he doesn’t have to.
They say it takes a village. But the village starts with one person. For one Waffle House waiter, that person was a little boy with a huge heart. And he could teach us all a lesson in giving.
Kayzen’s selfless act serves as a reminder that small acts of kindness can go a long way in making a positive impact on someone’s life, regardless of how old, or young, you are.