Matt White was a man like any other. He put his groceries in his cart one apple at a time, just like the rest of us. One night, while he was on his way back home after shopping at his local grocery store in Memphis, Tennessee, he encountered a boy who would change his life forever.
The boy would offer him something—a humble offer— and from that moment on, these two people's lives would be intertwined. Keep reading to find out what happened next.
Meet Matt White
This is Matt White. At the time our story begins, Matt was a 30-year-old college graduate who studied the music business. Every week, he would go to the grocery store to pick up food and general supplies.
His grocery store of choice was a Kroger located in an upper-class part of an otherwise poor area of Memphis, Tennessee. On this particular day, Matt went to the grocery store, paid for his items as usual, and started to walk towards the exit.
A Chance Encounter
As Matt was exiting the Kroger, a teenage boy started walking towards him. Matt noticed that the boy was alone and that he looked sort of sad and ashamed.
The two strangers made eye contact and a whole bunch of scenarios rushed through Matt's head. He wondered if this kid was a beggar, or if he just wanted to ask for directions. Then the boy opened his mouth and started to speak.
Meet Chauncy Jones Black
The boy introduced himself as Chauncy Jones Black. He was 16-years-old at the time and he had traveled by bus to the "rich people's Kroger" hoping that he would find somebody who would let him work for food.
Black was willing to work for his supper— he wasn't just asking for spare change. He needed to catch the last bus home in an hour, and he asked Matt for some sympathy.
Any Job Would Do
Chauncy Jones Black looked underweight. Matt later said that "he looked ashamed, hungry, and broken." Chauncy told Matt that he would literally do anything for a bite to eat. He offered to carry Matt's groceries to the car for him in exchange for a box of doughnuts.
Later Matt said, “In my heart, I screamed a loud 'yes!’ But to him, I just chuckled and said, ‘yeah dude, we’ll get you some doughnuts.'"
The Start Of Something Amazing
Matt White felt terrible for Chauncy Jones Black. He couldn't believe that this kid was in such rough shape that he was begging for a box of doughnuts. He wondered about his life and how he got to this point. Matt started asking Chauncy some questions.
Chauncy said that he lived with his mother and that they didn't have very much money. All he had on him was a bus pass and the clothes on his back. The two strangers started walking towards the doughnuts.
Matt White Went Above And Beyond
Matt got Chauncy a pack of doughnuts, but he felt like that wasn't enough. There was a boy here asking for his help and he didn't just want to send him away with a box of sugary treats.
Matt knew it wasn't his responsibility to feed Chauncy, but he liked that Chauncy was willing to work for what he was asking for. White saw this moment as an opportunity to help a kid in need.
A Generous Shopping Spree
Matt and Chauncy continued to talk as they walked around the grocery store. Matt led Chauncy down different aisles, loading up his cart with all kinds of household staples— everything from cereal and snacks to produce, pasta, milk, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.
Chauncy couldn't believe what was happening. He was thankful to Matt for helping him out in his time of need, and for doing it so casually like it was no big deal at all.
Chauncy Jones Black Was Motivated To Change His Circumstances
While the two strangers-turned-friends were talking, Matt poked more into Chauncy's personal life. He asked him how school was and how his mother was doing.
When Matt recounted this story, he said, "all the while we talked and he told me how he makes straight A's in school and is trying to get a job to help his mom pay rent. This kid was amazing."
Chauncy Wanted To Pay It Forward
While Matt and Chauncy were speaking, Chauncy kept referring to himself as "poor." White knew that Chauncy didn't have a lot of money, but he noticed that "poor" was part of Chauncy's identity.
Chauncy told Matt that his goal was to become a rich entrepreneur. Once he makes a fortune, he wants to give back to other people in his neighborhood and buy them groceries like Matt was doing for him.
Now Chauncy Had To Get Home
Matt paid for Chauncy's grocery's Chauncy thanked Matt, and Chauncy thought that was going to be the end of their interaction. Chauncy had to catch the last bus back home to get to his mother before she started to worry about him.
Matt decided that he couldn't watch this kid try to carry all of those groceries home on a bus. Matt offered to drive Chauncy home. He was going to finish this thing that he started.
Chauncy's Living Conditions
Matt said, "I gave [Chauncy Jones Black] a ride home so that he didn't have to take the bus and when we got to his house I was truly humbled." Matt quickly realized that Chauncy wasn't exaggerating when he said that he didn't have any food at home.
Matt continued, “They had two lamps and nothing in their fridge. Nothing.” There was something else about Chauncy's house that particularly disturbed Matt.
Meet Barbara Black
When Matt got to Chauncy's house, he met Chauncy's mother, Barbara. Matt noticed how kind and gracious Barabra was. She was genuinely thankful for what Matt did for Chauncy. Barbara also seemed to be fragile and in pain.
Barbara had a condition that caused her to shake all the time. It made it difficult for her to get around on her own. Matt realized that there was more he could do to help this family.
Matt Had A Plan
Before Matt could do anything else, he had to help Chauncy and Barbara unpack the groceries. Chauncy looked so happy to be home and to receive all of the groceries. Matt said that "he looked like a kid again."
The Black's refrigerator was now full, and Matt said goodbye to Chauncy and Barbara. He gave each of them a hug and headed out. Chauncy didn't know it yet, but that wouldn't be the last time he saw Matt White.
Matt Wanted To Make A Real Difference
After Matt left Chauncy's house, he couldn't get the Black family out of his head. He started asking around about Chauncy and his mother, and what he learned really troubled him. Apparently, these two were barely getting by on Barbara's disability checks.
Chauncy hadn't bought new clothes in years. Matt realized that the groceries would only last for a week or so, and he wanted to make a real lasting difference in the lives of these two people.
Matt Needed Others To Help The Family
Matt White lived a comfortable life. He had enough money to buy groceries and to afford his own place. But he didn't have enough to really make a lasting impact on Chauncy's life all by himself. Matt decided to use social media to reach out to others who could also help Chauncy.
He shared the story about his encounter with Chauncy on Facebook hoping to inspire others the way Chauncy had inspired him.
Matt Started Developing His Plan
Matt White hoped that all of the attention his Facebook post was getting would turn into tangible donations for Chauncy and his mother. Matt attached a GoFundMe page to his Facebook post so that people could donate to Chauncy's cause. The page included information about Chauncy's size in clothing and shoes, but it also included a video interview with Black where he talks about his life story.
Viewers quickly fell in love with Chauncy and how motivated he is. All of that love translated into financial contributions to the GoFundMe page.
What Were They Going To Do With The Money?
The GoFundMe account was quickly picking up traffic. Donations kept coming in and Matt and Chauncy were getting very excited. They started coming up with a plan for what they were going to do with all of the money.
Matt wanted to raise enough money to get Chauncy a lawnmower so that he could earn some cash by cutting lawns in the summer. Then he would have some money when he started tenth grade in the fall.
The Money Just Kept Coming In
Matt's Facebook post kept picking up more traffic. It looked like this story was going to go viral. Total strangers started offering all kinds of things to Chauncy, including food, clothing, dental care, and even jobs. At this point, White’s Facebook post was shared 14,000 times and commented on 3,500 times.
White was starting to think that he should raise his goal on GoFundMe. Why stop at a lawnmower when he can get Chauncy a college education or even a new home?
So How Much Money Did They Raise?
So we already know that the post got a lot of likes and shares, but exactly how much money did they raise? Well, eventually, $340,000 poured in for Chauncy and Barbara. Barbara was ecstatic. As a single mother who raised Chauncy on disability checks, this money was life-changing for her.
Barbara said, "I did the best I could. The past few years, Chauncy has been taking care of me. He's a good boy. I couldn’t ask for better.”
Matt Created A Movement
Matt turned the GoFundMe page into a whole movement that he called "Chauncy's Chance." Pretty soon, all of the major news networks were talking about this story. People started recognizing Chauncy on the street.
Chauncy told People magazine, “It’s so awesome – my life has been completely changed. I can’t go anywhere now without people recognizing me. They go, 'Oh, my God, you’re Chauncy!’ And I’m like, ‘Yes, ma’am.’ I’m very happy and very grateful to everybody.”
Fame Isn't Always A Good Thing
The news coverage didn't exactly turn Chauncy into a household name, but a lot of the people in his neighborhood now knew that he had a lot of money. Chauncy didn't exactly live in a safe area, and he and his mother really had to be careful.
Chauncy said, "My relatives were like when you get some money can you help me, asking for help in business and all that kind of stuff."
Chauncy Needed Help Managing All That Money
$340,000 is a lot of money to receive all at once. Matt and Chauncy wanted to make sure that the Black family could make that money last.
White said that he and the Black family were going to get in touch with a lawyer "so that they take the least amount of hit on taxes. So it's set-up in a trust and not at risk of anybody trying to come and claim it."
Matt White's Motivation
If you're wondering why Matt would take time out of his busy day to help another family, you're not alone. It seems like a stretch that one person would go above and beyond like this. It turns out that White is a practicing Christian and his faith is a big reason why he took it upon himself to help the Black family.
White thanked a higher power for stepping in and using him as an agent to help Chauncy and his mother. Matt said, "In every sense of the word, God has provided."
A Call To Action
Chauncy Black got the opportunity of a lifetime. Matt said that instead of praising him, people should "look for Chauncys out there." There are so many ways you can make a difference in someone's life.
“The focus of this is not me and what I did, because I really didn’t do anything. I just captured a story and put it online, but our community, Memphis, picked up this family and put them on a platform,” White said.
Chauncy And Barabara Give Matt A Lot Of Credit
Even though Matt believes that everything that happened for Chauncy because of God, Barbara and Chauncy know that Matt put this plan into action.
"He's the nicest person I’ve ever met," Chauncy said. “Nobody ever cared more than he did.” “He’s family, that’s what he is,” Barbara added. “He’s in our lives forever now. He’s family.” Barbara and Chauncy are also grateful for everyone who donated their money and time to Chauncy's cause.
This Wasn't Matt's First Good Deed
Matt White has made a habit of doing nice things for other people. Charity work is kind of his thing. His whole Facebook page is full of evidence that he's dedicated his life to helping children in need. Even when he's not directly involved in a charity project, he still shares charity success stories on his page.
Matt has found a way to use social media for good. Chauncy Black isn't the first person White opened a GoFundMe page for.
This Is Matt White's Calling
A couple of years earlier, Matt set up a GoFundMe account for a blind bottle collector. Matt just ran into this man by chance in one of the rougher areas in Memphis. The man's name was JB Kibbler and he was digging through the trash for cans so he could feed his daughters and granddaughters.
The GoFundMe that Matt set up for JB Kibbler eventually brought in $36,000. That money made a huge difference for JB and his famliy.
Making Memphis A Better Place
According to a University of Memphis report, as of 2017, Memphis was home to the largest share of poor people out of all of the larger American cities. The poverty rates are even higher for the African American community.
Dr. Elena Delavega, a professor at the University of Memphis who produced that poverty report, said that the alarming poverty rates are due to a low minimum wage, transportation issues, and a number of other factors.
Making A Positive Change
Children bear the brunt of the city's issues with poverty. Delavega said, "What that means and I want you to think about it, is that when you see a child walking down the street, when you see a child, there’s a 50-50 chance […] that that child is living in poverty."
That statistic is extremely troubling, but people like Matt are out there trying to make a difference. There can be change if we all work together.
The Good Side Of The Internet
GoFundMe is a for-profit online fundraising tool. It's a way for people to quickly and efficiently raise money for important causes online. The thing is, this company does take a cut of the money. They take 5% of all donations, plus a 2.9% processing fee. The company has to make money somehow.
Even though GoFundMe is a for-profit endeavor, it can be a very useful tool for people who want to collect money from a large group of people. Matt White used GoFundMe, and look what he accomplished.
Company CEO Couldn't Believe What Employee Did On His First Day Of Work!
A strong work ethic can take a person far in life as long as they don't give up. Faced with an unbelievable challenge, college student Walter Carr showcased how badly he wanted success by walking many miles to make it for his first day of work. It was also the day Jenny and her husband Chris Lamey were moving to a new home, so they had hired movers to come assist and woke up early to greet them. The couple would later hear a knock at the door at 6:30 A.M. They assumed it was the movers, but to their surprise, it was the police standing next to a young man...
Walter Carr was a 20-year-old college student from Homewood, Alabama, with hopes of becoming a Marine. He ended up in Homewood with his mom after they lost their home to Hurricane Katrina. As a young man in college, he didn't have a ton of money, and his job at the time didn't help with that. He quit the fast-food business and found new employment with a moving company called Bellhops. The pay was higher, and Carr gained more flexibility with his hours, allowing him to focus on his studies a bit more.
First Day, No Way
Sometimes, life hits you unexpectedly. A day before Carr began his new job, his 2003 Nissan Altima broke down! Carr was about to run some errands when he went to start his Altima, and he couldn't get it going.
With little money to his name, he couldn't take it to the mechanic, so his options were slim. None of his friends were available to take him either. After asking several people, including his girlfriend, Carr gave up on finding a ride.
Beginning To Panic
After none of his ideas panned out, Carr's mind began racing. There was no immediate solution he could think that would help his situation! The public transportation from where he was and needed to be wasn't a viable option.
If he were to take a cab, it would cost him half his salary. After taking a look at his GPS, Carr knew the distance would be incredibly challenging without a car. He needed a lot of creativity to figure out how to pull this off!
A Long Journey Ahead
The GPS revealed that it would be roughly a seven-hour walk for Carr. He needed to get to his new job so he could help a couple of move in the morning, and he was short on options.
After deep contemplation, he decided to use his two feet to get where he needed to be. Even though it seemed like such a far walk, Carr knew he was fit enough to do it. This was complicated, but Carr knew it was possible...
The Walk Of Fate
Carr dreamed of joining the Marines once he completed college, so he saw this as a test to prepare his body for the future. He wanted to do everything he could to secure this new employment opportunity, so he had to make it to work on his first day!
To make it by eight in the morning, he thought the safest bet would be to leave at midnight. Carr even challenged himself to make it there before the estimated time of arrival that Google told him.
It Was Time To Go
After Carr made the decision, he began getting ready for the mission. He cooked up some eggs with bologna so he would have the energy to complete this trip.
Carr went to bed to get in a couple of hours of sleep, but that was more than enough for him. It seemed like only five minutes before the alarm rang, but that meant it was time to begin his 20-mile walk to his first day of work!
Don't Forget About Safety
Another great thing about his new job is that Carr didn't need to take that much with him. He really only needed strong characteristics, such as strength and attitude. That allowed him to keep his backpack light for the walk.
He grabbed his wallet, phone, a bat, and a kitchen knife for safety purposes. Not because of other people, but in case a wild animal approached him, at least he'd have something for protection. Walking in the dark at night can be frightening!
Off Into The Darkness
Carr started his long walk finally, walking at a steady pace and adding in sprinting every now and then to make up some time. He knew a dangerous situation could've happened at any moment, so he remained conscious of his surroundings.
A few hours into the trek, he saw eyes in the distance, so he grabbed his bat before realizing it was just a stray dog. He walked across the street, hoping the pooch wouldn't bother him, and he also picked up a ball and threw it in the opposite direction. It worked. Due to Carr making great time, he decided to rest for a couple of minutes...
Time To Rest
Carr walked for four hours straight and felt great about it. His legs burned a bit, but another four hours wouldn't hurt him. He thought a quick rest would help him.
Taking a break would give him more energy, so it was a calculated decision on his behalf. That's when he saw a pair of lights pulling up to him. After walking for so long, Carr hadn't seen any vehicles, so he became a little frightened upon seeing this car at four in the morning...
Was It The Police??
As the vehicle drew closer, Carr realized it was a cop car! The last thing he wanted was for the police to see him sitting on the side of the road, but they pulled up right next to him.
He began to worry that they wouldn't believe him, so his fear grew. For someone with his ethnicity, dealing with the authorities isn't always the easiest of things to do. And receiving sympathy might've been out of the picture.
A Kindred Spirit
When the officer finally pulled up to Carr, he rolled down the window and asked why he was all alone in the morning on the road. The officer's name was Mark Knighton, as Carr remembered.
That's when Carr tried to explain his situation. He told the policeman that his car broke down and that he had no other option but to walk to work because it was his first day on the new job. Thankfully, Knighton believed him right away.
Time To Eat
Officer Knighton told Carr that his determination to arrive on time was impressive, even if it meant getting there on foot. He asked if Carr was hungry to which he said yes, but he didn't have any money.
The policeman invited Carr out to eat and said he didn't need to pay for a thing. At first, Carr had his suspicions about his generosity, but he knew he didn't have much choice. It was time to eat with the cop...
Helping Carr Tremendously
After chowing down on some much-needed food, Officer Knighton informed Carr that he couldn't take him all the way where he needed to be, but he could get him closer to Birmingham. He transported Carr closer to his destination, and Carr was extremely grateful.
Knighton still had another trick up his sleeve. After speaking with another officer nearby, they figured out a new plan. Knighton dropped Carr off at the local church, and the other policeman would scoop him up from there.
Starting To Feel Anxious
After thanking the officer, he went on his way, and Carr waited as instructed. Some time passed, but the new policeman still didn't show up, so Carr grew anxious thinking all his work would be for not.
As the moments passed, Carr chose to continue his heroic journey. It was over five hours since he started his trip, and Carr began to see the light of the dawn coming up. He was running out of time...
Luck Was On His Side
As luck would have it, Carr only made it so far before seeing a police car pulling up next to him. One of the policemen in the vehicle rolled down the window to make sure it was Carr.
Finally, Carr entered the cop car, and they happily started their trip to Carr's final destination. He was so grateful because he would be early on his first day, and he would even have some time to rest before working!
Getting In Early
Arriving early was great for Carr since the job required a bunch of energy and effort. His first duty was to help Jenny and Chris with their move, and he made it there at 6:30 A.M., thanks to the police.
Carr knocked on the door with the police officer next to him, and when Jenny Lamey opened it, she couldn't believe her eyes. That's when the officer explained that Carr had walked all night to make it on time.
Full Of Energy
Jenny Lamey was in disbelief over the whole situation. She immediately offered Carr a cup of water and told him to get some rest before the rest of the team showed up in an hour. Carr had a lot of energy and wanted to get started.
Shortly after, everyone else arrived, and although they had never met, the employees had a ton of chemistry. The Bellhops workers packed up everything and unloaded it at the new home with ease.
Something Of A Role Model
The efficiency the workers showed, mixed with Carr's determination and energy, impressed the Lamey family. Carr had so much extra in the tank that he even played basketball with Jenny's three young children.
Carr's story went viral, and that's when Jenny told the media Carr was the perfect type of role model she wanted her kids to be around. That's incredibly high praise, to have a stranger willing to vouch for you and want you to spend time with their children!
Going Social With It
The story touched Jenny and her whole family so much, and she wanted to make sure Carr's efforts would get proper recognition. She didn't have to do it, but it was important to her.
After figuring some things out, Jenny called Walter's boss to say how impressed she was by his grit and performance at work. She also shared the situation with everyone on her social media accounts. Jenny wanted this news to spread far and wide...
Good News Travels Fast...
Jenny had no idea the whole world would hear about this story! Her post went viral, and everyone wanted to help Carr.
That's when she started a GoFundMe page for him to assist with donations that could get him back on his feet. Much to their delight, the campaign brought in over $44,000 for Carr! On top of that, a financial adviser agreed to help Carr for free so that he wouldn't make the wrong decisions with all that money.
Someone Was Very Proud
All Carr wanted to do was keep his job, which he did. And his luck didn't end after that day. The CEO of Bellops heard about this story and chose to add even more recognition to Carr's efforts.
The CEO, Luke Marklin, called Carr, who couldn't believe it when he answered the phone. Marklin told him how much he appreciated the hard work and effort Carr showed and said that he wanted to meet him in person.
A New Future Awaits
The two chose a day to meet at a local cafe. Carr arrived and saw a few of his colleagues awaiting him. There was some confusion, but Carr was also excited to see what would happen next.
Then, CEO Luke Marklin handed Carr a set of keys. He told him the keys were for his 2014 Ford Escape, a gift for an extremely hard-working employee! Marklin gave Carr a vehicle free of charge, and Carr was in utter disbelief.
Working Hard Does Pay Off
This heartwarming story shows that determination and hard work can go a long way. Carr knew he wasn't getting enough income from his fast-food job and needed more money, so he wasn't afraid to venture out to something new.
As it turned out, having his car break down was a blessing in disguise, but it took strength and confidence to succeed. Had he not had the determination to walk all those miles, Carr wouldn't be driving in a new car with thousands of dollars to his name.
Luke Marklin Was Really Impressed
When you grab the attention of a highly successful CEO, then you're on the right track. Carr did something many would've laughed at the idea of, and Marklin loved it.
"I am honestly blown away by him. Everything Walter Carr did his first day of work is exactly who we are — heart and grit. So far, he's batting 1,000," said Marklin. Do you know anyone with the courage to attempt what Carr did?
Steve Harvey Loves It
The story got so big that Steve Harvey invited Carr on his show. When speaking with Harvey, Carr told him: "My car broke down, my ride bailed on me, and I was thinking I got two legs and two feet … I have a way to get there."
The inspiring story pushed Harvey to tears, and he also provided insightful feedback. "You see, the color is all out of this story," Harvey added. "This ain't a story about color. This is really the truth about who we are and who we're supposed to be."