+
upworthy
Joy

8-year-old raises $100,000 after finding out his favorite Waffle House server lived in a motel

Living in a hotel with his family has been the safer option for the health of his daughters.

Waffle House; GoFundMe; Kayzen Hunter; Devonte Gardner; fundraiser

Boy raises $100,000 for Waffle House server who lived in a motel.

Everyone has their favorite place to eat, and if you visit enough, you get to know the regular servers and sometimes even form a bit of a friendship with them. When 8-year-old Kayzen Hunter started going to a local Waffle House in Arkansas with his parents and sometimes grandpa, he became familiar with his server, Devonte Gardner. Actually, Gardner became Kayzen's favorite server, giving him high fives and letting Kayzen tell him jokes.

The relationship between Gardner and Kayzen's family continued to develop, which led to the little boy noticing Gardner was often dropped off for work because he didn't have a car. Eventually, the Hunter family found out Gardner had a wife and two daughters who were living in a hotel because of issues in their previous home.

“We wanted to find something affordable, so we moved into a low-income area," Gardner told Today.com "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."



Garner had been living in a hotel with his wife and two daughters, who are 2 and 3 years old, for the past eight months. I'm sure most people have spent a night or two in a hotel, and unless it's a penthouse suite, the space is crowded with more than two people in a room. It serves the purpose for a vacation, but living in a standard hotel room would likely begin to take a toll on your mental health as well as your finances. But when your options are limited, it's an understandable best option.

Of course, after learning this information about his Waffle House best bud, Kayzen wanted to do something to help. That's when he came up with the idea to start a GoFundMe to help Gardner get a car to help him get back and forth to work. Kayzen's mom took a bit of convincing to get on board, but since 8-year-olds can't open an account on their own, his mom had to sign off.

Originally, the goal for the fundraiser was set at $500 to help Gardner get back and forth to work, but as it started to gain more traction, it blew past the original goal and continued to climb. People were moved by the GoFundMe page written by Kayzen and his mom.

“Devonte is one of the most joyous and positive people you’ve ever met!! He always greets us with the biggest smile,” Kayzen wrote on the GoFundMe. “I hope your heart is as BIG as mine and you will help me spread kindness in the world. Any amount helps!!”

Gardner has big plans for the money raised by Kayzen, but his first step is moving into a brand new apartment. The father of two told Today.com that he recently signed the lease on a two-bedroom apartment. As for the rest of the money? Well, the donations keep pouring in. It's currently up to $108,000, and Garner isn't planning on spending it frivolously.

“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 explained to Today.com. “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.”

And yes, he still works at Waffle House and greets Kayzen and his family just like always, high five and all.

True

Making new friends as an adult is challenging. While people crave meaningful IRL connections, it can be hard to know where to find them. But thanks to one Facebook Group, meeting your new best friends is easier than ever.

Founded in 2018, NYC Brunch Squad brings together hundreds of people who come as strangers and leave as friends through its in-person events.

“Witnessing the transformative impact our community has on the lives of our members is truly remarkable. We provide the essential support and connections needed to thrive amid the city's chaos,” shares Liza Rubin, the group’s founder.

Despite its name, the group doesn’t just do brunch. They also have book clubs, seasonal parties, and picnics, among other activities.

NYC Brunch Squad curates up to 10 monthly events tailored to the specific interests of its members. Liza handles all the details, taking into account different budgets and event sizes – all people have to do is show up.

“We have members who met at our events and became friends and went on to embark on international journeys to celebrate birthdays together. We have had members get married with bridesmaids by their sides who were women they first connected with at our events. We’ve had members decide to live together and become roommates,” Liza says.

Members also bond over their passion for giving back to their community. The group has hosted many impact-driven events, including a “Picnic with Purpose” to create self-care packages for homeless shelters and recently participated in the #SquadSpreadsJoy challenge. Each day, the 100 members participating receive random acts of kindness to complete. They can also share their stories on the group page to earn extra points. The member with the most points at the end wins a free seat at the group's Friendsgiving event.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

This Map Reveals The True Value Of $100 In Each State

Your purchasing power can swing by 30% from state to state.

Image by Tax Foundation.

Map represents the value of 100 dollars.

As the cost of living in large cities continues to rise, more and more people are realizing that the value of a dollar in the United States is a very relative concept. For decades, cost of living indices have sought to address and benchmark the inconsistencies in what money will buy, but they are often so specific as to prevent a holistic picture or the ability to "browse" the data based on geographic location.

The Tax Foundation addressed many of these shortcomings using the most recent (2015) Bureau of Economic Analysis data to provide a familiar map of the United States overlaid with the relative value of what $100 is "worth" in each state. Granted, going state-by-state still introduces a fair amount of "smoothing" into the process — $100 will go farther in Los Angeles than in Fresno, for instance — but it does provide insight into where the value lies.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Woman bakes cheeky curse word pies for her grandma and it becomes a quirky holiday tradition

2023's pie is an homage to her favorite word to use while stuck in traffic.

Canva

You never know where a holiday tradition will come from.

Tried-and-true holiday traditions certainly have their merit, but there’s something quite special, magical even, about discovering personal rituals that commemorate one’s unique life. In my household, for instance, nothing quite rings in the Christmas spirit like sipping my partner’s delicious coquito and putting up a cardboard gingerbread house for my cats.

The beauty of creating customized holiday traditions is that they can be as festive, sentimental, or as silly as you want them to be. And you never know how one small moment can become the catalyst for a tradition that sparks joy year after year.

For Jess Lydon, that tradition is baking expletive-laden pies for Thanksgiving. (This is your profanity warning—the images below contain swear words.)

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

3,700-year-old Babylonian stone tablet gets translated, changes history

They were doing trigonometry 1500 years before the Greeks.

via UNSW

Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.

Keep ReadingShow less

Peter Bence's piano cover of "Africa" by Toto

Peter Bence’s performance of “Africa” by Toto has over 17 million views on YouTube because of his creative reimagining of the song and, well, just about everyone loves “Africa.”

Bence is a Hungarian composer and producer who has become a viral sensation for his Michael Jackson, Queen, Sia, and Beatles covers. He has over 1.1 million followers on YouTube and has toured the globe, playing in more than 40 countries across four continents.

His performance of “Africa'' is unique because it opens with him creating a rhythm track and looping it by strategically tapping the piano and rubbing its strings to create the sound of shakers and congo drums.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Family posts a very chill note to neighbors explaining why their dog is on the roof

“We appreciate your concern but please do not knock on our door.."

via Reddit

Meet Huckleberry the dog.

If you were taking a stroll through a quiet neighborhood and happened to catch a glance of this majestic sight, you might bat an eye. You might do a double take. If you were (somewhat understandably) concerned about this surprising roof-dog's welfare, you might even approach the homeowners to tell them, "Uh, I'm not sure if you know...but there's a...dog...on your ROOF."

Well, the family inside is aware that there's often a dog on their roof. It's their pet Golden, Huckleberry, and he just sorta likes it up there.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

12 hilariously relatable comics about life as a new mom.

Embarrassing stains on your T-shirt, sniffing someone's bum to check if they have pooped, the first time having sex post-giving birth — as a new mom, your life turns upside-down.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

Some good not so good moments with babies.



Embarrassing stains on your T-shirt, sniffing someone's bum to check if they have pooped, the first time having sex post-giving birth — as a new mom, your life turns upside-down.

Illustrator Ingebritt ter Veld and Corinne de Vries, who works for Hippe-Birth Cards, a webshop for birth announcements, had babies shortly after one another.

Keep ReadingShow less