A teenager took advantage of Popeyes' long chicken sandwich lines by registering people to vote

via dllegrande / Instagram

Earlier this month, Cajun fried-chicken restaurant Popeyes rolled out its first nationwide chicken sandwich, and it kicked off a heated debate on social media: Which chicken sandwich is better, Popeyes or Chick-fil-A?

The sandwich is getting rave reviews for its large friend chicken breast, brioche bun, and two pickles.

People have been flocking to Popeyes to find out for themselves and many are experiencing long lines or can't get the sandwich because its sold out.


While the folks at Popeyes are obviously seeing dollar signs, 17-year-old David Ledbetter saw it as an opportunity to create social change.

On Saturday, Ledbetter took advantage of the long lines at a Popeyes in Charlotte, North Carolina by asking people to register to vote as they waited. According to reports, he was able to register 16 people.

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"I decided to register people to vote after I saw there was a lack of young people politically involved," Ledbetter told CNN. "I believe that it is our duty to vote as American citizens and it would be wrong not to exercise our political voice."

Ledbetter came up with the idea after talking with Stephanie Sneed, an attorney running for a position on the local school board.

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"Because he's young, he has a new perspective on candidates engaging with young people," Sneed said. "He's already engaged and it's in his makeup."

"I like engaging with the community and I have aspirations with helping people and making society better as a whole," Ledbetter said.

Ledbetter is setting a great example for his fellow North Carolinians by encouraging them to register to vote. North Carolina is a swing state that'll be pivotal in the 2020 election. In 2016, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton 49.8% to 46.2% in the state.

Joe Biden has a large lead amongst Democrats in the state, polling at 37.5%. Bernie Sanders (18.5%) and Elizabeth Warren (14%) round off the top three.

Biden also wins in a hypothetical matchup versus Trump in North Carolina. Real Clear Politics has Biden with a 51.3% to 43.7% lead.

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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