A Tennessee teen has received an outpouring of support after his humble request for help went viral on Facebook.
Matt White, 30, was shopping at a Kroger in Memphis when 16-year old Chauncy Jones approached him and offered to carry his groceries to his car in exchange for a pack of glazed donuts.
“This kid looked like he had been turned down 100 times. He looked ashamed, hungry and broken,” White wrote in the Facebook post.
White not only accepted Chauncy’s offer, but also bought him a few bags of groceries and toiletry items. As the two spoke, White learned that Black did not have any food to eat at home. Black’s guardian, Barbara, is disabled and receives social security but not food stamps and they both live in a rental home in Memphis. Chauncy shared his accomplishments as a straight-A student and dream to open his own business.
After shopping, White offered Chauncy a ride home and discovered that Barbara and Chauncy had no furniture, using sleeping bags as beds.
“They didn’t even have beds or furniture. They were sleeping on pads made out of sleeping bags, they had two lamps and nothing in their fridge. Nothing,” White wrote.
A friend suggested that White create a GoFundMe page to help Chauncy. The initial goal was to raise $250 so that Chauncy could get an I.D. to apply for jobs and a lawn mower to start his own business cutting grass. Within a few hours, that goal was reached and in the coming days White steadily increased the goal in addition to asking for clothing and furniture donations.
Now, the fundraiser has made over $72,000 and the goal is to raise another thousand dollars to help Barbara and Chauncy buy a home.
White expressed amazement at all the support this effort has received.
“I cannot explain what is happening. It’s beyond words,” White wrote on the GoFundMe page. “I didn’t know this much love could exist in one place, be aimed in one direction, but seen and felt and empowered by so many people.”
Chauncy is touched by the acts of kindness he has received.
“I’m so happy,” Chauncy said.