LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A Little Rock second grader is raising money for his favorite Waffle House server, and friend who needed some extra help getting a car and a safe place for his family to stay.
We have watched as donations poured in since we first brought you the story in February, and Waffle House server Devonte Gardner's life has now changed.
When you think of Devonte Gardner, his smile is probably the first thing that comes to mind— even though he looks like he's on top of the world, he said his life hasn't always been happy.
"The way I was brought up was crazy. But I'm old now. I'm 30 years old and now I'm not gonna live my life the life that I did live affect where I want to go in my life," Gardner said.
Most days you'll find him waiting tables at Waffle House on Stagecoach and making friends with everyone who walks in the door.
One of his regular customers, 8-year-old Kayzen Hunter, quickly became his friend and created a GoFundMe to help get him a car and move into a new apartment.
Devonte moved his wife and two little girls out of their last apartment because of a mold infestation. They spent the last 10 months in a motel until they were able to move into their two-bedroom apartment a couple of weeks ago.
"I just got some furniture today and got my bedroom set, got my daughter's bedroom set. Got some living room furniture and stuff like that a couple of TVs. So they can be able to watch TV and stuff like that just to make it feel like a home for my daughters," he said.
Kayzen made it possible, and it all started with a $5,000 goal. Within a month of creating that GoFundMe, he ended up raising over $113,000 to help Devonte and his family.
"I was like, oh, what? How's it going up this fast?," Kayzen Hunter said.
On Thursday, Kayzen was able to join Devonte and his family to buy a car with that money. After looking at one car, Devonte was sold.
"Me and Kayzen picked it out of course. We loved it like we both sat in the car like oh my god, Kayzen, you're gonna be right here. I will pick you up from school and stuff like that," Gardner said.
Kayzen's mom, Vittoria Hunter explained that she wants to eventually help Devonte find a house.
"I feel like I've known him forever. And so that's been super, super special. They're all amazing people and they deserve this wholeheartedly," Vittoria Hunter said.
"It tears me up because all this positivity is happening right now to me and I just don't know what to do about it like I might just now. I try to be cool with everything, but like is this happening to me," Gardner asked.
Those days of worrying about his finances are gone.
Now, he and Kayzen can keep making memories at Waffle House and wherever else the road takes them.
To make a donation to his GoFundMe, please click here.