Kayzen Hunter, 8, has a daily ritual that involves eating breakfast at his neighborhood Waffle House in Little Rock, Arkansas,
sometimes with his grandfather and other times with his parents and siblings. With these journeys comes his lunch, which is delivered by Devonte Gardner, his preferred server.
They first met around a year ago. My father began going, and Kayzen would accompany him. When he got home,
he chatted about Devonte and how much he liked him, according to Kayzen’s mother Vittoria Hunter, who also reveals that the family typically has breakfast together on the weekends.
Gardner feels the same way about him.
Because that’s what he anticipates, I always give him a high five when he enters, Gardner tells TODAY.com.
Kayzen typically orders scrambled eggs with cheese, no toast, hash browns with cheese on top, and an Arnold Palmer. Gardner has memorized Kayzen’s usual order.
‘He’s a great child. Every time he enters, he tells me a joke, saying things like, ‘Hey, Devonte, I got a joke for you,’ and before we know it, we’re both laughing.
Hunter claims that over time, the family learned more about Gardner, his wife Aissa, and their two kids, Amoura, 2, and Jade, 3 years old.
As Hunter continues, ‘We realized Devonte is just really a light in the world as we started to travel more and more and we met him.’
We eventually began to always sit in his section, she continues. ‘He always has a smile on his face and asks, ‘Hello, Kayzen, how are you?’’
Kayzen discovered one day that Gardner was in a terrible condition because the family’s previous residence was full of problems and he didn’t have a car to get to work.
We went into a low-income neighborhood because we needed to locate something reasonably priced, explains Gardner.
‘We simply grew weary of insect, rat, and black mold problems. My daughters had been falling ill. Lack of heat and similar issues.
We had to hunker down with four or five blankets when it was freezing outside in order to stay warm.
Gardner says, ‘That was simply awful,’ and adds that for the past eight months, he and his family have been residing in a motel.Knowing this, Kayzen made the decision to assist his friend.
Devonte walks or gets a ride to work, and I’m going to start a GoFundMe,’ he informed me when he got home,
says Hunter, adding that Kayzen had pleaded with her for some time before she finally gave in. ‘Oh, Alright, that’s pretty sweet, I thought. It’s a wise move.
The original plan was to gather enough cash to purchase a car for the Waffle House employee. Gardner informed the family that he was seeking one,
but the arrangements had to be postponed because of his housing predicament. Because the motel was so pricey, Hunter says it really cost him.
Kayzen hoped to raise $500 for Gardner with the aid of his mother. They published the GoFundMe with the subject ‘Help Devonte get a family automobile» on February 18.
The GoFundMe page’s description begins, ‘Hello, my name is Kayzen, and I’m eight years old. ‘Devonte is a
dedicated father of two little daughters who also has a wife. He commutes to work every day on foot or by ride, a committed worker.
The Hunter family wishes to place Gardner’s family in a tidy rental home, Kayzen continues, adding that Gardner was seeking for a reasonably priced car.
‘Devonte is among the happiest and most upbeat people you’ve ever met! He always extends the widest smile when he welcomes us, noted Kayzen.
‘I’m hoping your heart is as big as mine and that you’ll join me in trying to make the world a better place. Every little bit helps!
Although the Hunters claim that the GoFundMe initially had a low amount, as more people became aware of it, the sum—and the goal—has now soared to more over $100,000 as of publication.
According to Kayzen, it’s exciting. His mother chimed in to say that the child had found the attention to be a little too much.
He’s still eight, you know, right? Hunter declares. He stated, ’I was simply trying to maybe make
$5,000 and get him a car,’ the other morning. It has now become a crowd. We had no idea that this would occur.
For us, that is the insane part, Kayzen Hunter’s father Korey Hunter tells TODAY.com. ‘I understand,
but the target was $5,000, and people keep giving and donating without giving a thought to the target.’
Gardner, who talked with TODAY.com during his morning break at Waffle House, claims that his young friend’s efforts were instrumental in getting him to sign a lease on a two-bedroom apartment.
‘I’m about to move into my apartment. Gardner says, ‘We’re able to have something more stable. I’m hoping to acquire a family car or minivan but I’ll save the remainder for my kids.
For my daughters to attend a decent school and live in a good environment, I’m going to save the rest, says Gardner.
‘Whatever I receive is mostly going to my girls in order to ensure that they lead fantastic lives. Make sure we’ll never struggle again.
After the Fundraising at the Waffle House, when Vittoria Hunter took a photo of Gardner still at work, Gardner and the Hunters also say that they just recently ran into each other.
He is a cheerful young man. He has a heart of gold, and I’m grateful he entered my life, adds Gardner.
Vittoria Hunter says, ‘I think so many people waste a lot of energy whining about what they don’t like.
’But if you just stay upbeat, you’ll know that eventually love and positivity will win out. It constantly does.
You know the saying, ‘Be the change you desire to see in the world’? We are aware of both our own potential as individuals
and that of our children, Korey Hunter continues. ‘Love is actually Kayzen’s middle name.’
Both of Kayzen’s parents give a resounding ‘Absolutely’ in response to the question of whether they believe their son is living up to his name.