Kayzen, an 8-year-old from Arkansas, has demonstrated that great gifts indeed come in small packages.
His efforts to help a Waffle House waiter get a family car have led to him raising over $90,000 from more than 2,000 donations, enabling his favorite Waffle House waiter, Devonte Gardner, to buy a family car and move into a new apartment.
Kayzen first met Gardner while eating breakfast at a Waffle House in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he learned that Gardner was a hardworking dad with two little girls and a wife.
According to Yahoo News, on February 18, Vittoria Hunter, Kayzen’s mother, posted a link to a GoFundMe campaign to support Gardner.
Kayzen introduced himself in the fundraiser’s description and explained his motive for raising funds for Gardner. “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. Devonte is a hard-working dad with two little girls and a wife,” Kayzen wrote.
Devonte, who is described as one of the happiest and most positive people you will ever meet, always greets everyone with the biggest smiles, according to Kayzen. The donation would help his friend move into a clean rental and buy himself a reliable family car to drive his family and go to work. Kayzen praised Gardner’s work ethic and urged people to give as he wrapped up the description.
Donations to help Devonte buy a family car and get a clean rental poured in shortly after the page was set up. Many of the donations came from the customers he served before, said The Daily Mail. One of the donors stated on the GoFundMe page’s comment section, “This guy is ALWAYS in a good mood and a hard worker!”
In an interview with THV 11, Devonte spoke candidly about his employment at Waffle House and some of the reasons he enjoys it. “I love working at Waffle House, basically just, you know, meeting new people every day, and making their day,” he said. “I come with a positive attitude. I treat everybody with positivity. I love to see everybody smile.” However, he had to leave his home after his girls fell ill from the mold; Gardner also provided more information about how expensive it has been to live in a hotel.
“All my tips and everything that I get to go straight to my kids; I pay for the room daily, pay $60 a day, and it’s just eating my pocket alive,” he said. The mold forced them to give up most of their belongings, but they are working their way back. Despite working extra shifts, it is hard to go ahead, he said. He is grateful to have a career he enjoys, but putting away enough money to improve their family’s situation is challenging.
Kayzen’s selfless act of kindness has been a source of inspiration for many. According to Korey, Kayzen’s father, his son is a selfless young man who puts others before himself. “Kayzen does not, you know, not want anything in return. Just wants other people to pay it forward,” Hunter said. He wants to serve as a role model for people of all ages. “It just feels good to help someone else,” Kayzen said.
Thanks to little Kayzen’s efforts, Devonte can now get a decent family car and move his family to a comfortable apartment. Devonte said he cried when he learned what Kayzen had done for him. “I started crying – I’d been quietly struggling and didn’t want to ask anybody for anything,” he said.