8-Year-Old Arkansas Boy Raises Nearly 90k to Help Waffle House Server Living in Motel with Family

An eight-year-old Arkansas boy helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for his favorite

An eight-year-old Arkansas boy helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for his favorite Waffle House server after finding out the man lived in a motel room with his family.

Kayzen Hunter, 8, often dines at a Waffle House restaurant in Little Rock, Arkansas. That’s where he met a friendly server named Devonte Gardner, THV 11 reported.

“I come with a positive attitude. I treat everybody with positivity. I love to see everybody smile,” Gardner explained to the outlet. 

TODAY reported when Hunter learned Gardner had been living in a motel room with his wife and two daughters for eight months due to unsafe living conditions at their previous home. Gardner said:

We wanted to find something affordable, so we moved into a low-income area. 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.

Additionally, given the high costs of staying in the motel, Gardner was struggling to save up for a car on his earnings, he told THV 11.

So Hunter decided to set up a fundraiser to help his friend buy a car, explaining on the GoFundMe page that Gardner is a “hard-working dad” who “has to walk or get a ride to get to work every day.”

According to the GoFundMe page, the original goal was to raise $5,000, but the fundraiser soon wildly exceeded Hunter’s expectations. As of 9 p.m. Saturday, over $88,000 has been raised.

“The other morning, he said, ‘I was just trying to maybe make $5,000 and get him a car.’ Now, it’s turned into a crowd. We had no clue that this was going to happen,” the boy’s mom, Victoria Hunter, explained to TODAY.

Gardner explained to the outlet he now plans to buy a vehicle for the family, find an apartment, and put any remaining money towards his daughters’ education.

“It just be a blessing. You know, I’m always counting my blessings, always. Thanks. Anything that anybody gives me. So this is… it made me almost cry,” he told THV 11.


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