Little Rock, AR

Positive News: 8-Year-Old Arkansas Boy Wants to Help His Waffle House Waiter & Starts a GoFundMe that Raises Over $100K

Zack Love

An 8-year-old boy and his family patronize their local Waffle House in Little Rock, Arkansas almost every weekend, and have come to know their waiter, and he is "the nicest person." The family learns that the waiter had fallen on hard times, partly due to their apartment complex being unsuitable for living, and needing a reliable vehicle. The boy wants to help this lovable waiter, so he starts a GoFundMe for $5,000 but it surpasses the initial goal by much more, blessing their waiter far beyond measure.
A Waffle HousePhoto byAndrew WinkleronUnsplash

One boy found out that his favorite waiter was having a difficult time finding a place to live and a vehicle to get to work as he supports his family, and the boy wants to do something to help.

The following is a positive and touching story that we need to read more of in today's news.

A Boy with a Huge Heart Helps a Waiter with a Huge Smile

TODAY reported that 8-year-old Kayzen Hunter loves going to Waffle House in Little Rock, Arkansas with his family on the weekends, and over the course of a year, they get to know their waiter, Devonte Gardner. He is a special person, and the Hunter family shares that Devonte "is just really a light in the world."

Kayzen's mom, Vittoria, spoke TODAY about their beloved waiter, Devonte.

She said:

“It got to the point where we always would sit in his section,” she adds. “Every time we go in, he’s so smiley, he’s always like, 'Hey, Kayzen, how are you?’” -Vittoria Hunter, Kayzen's mom (Source: TODAY)
Devonte (left) with Kayzen (right)Photo byVittoria Hunter

Devonte is always smiling and doesn't let the world know that he has been through some difficult times recently as he supports his family with his Waffle House job. Devonte has a wife and two beautiful girls, 3-year-old Jade and 2-year-old Amoura, whom he cares for and supports.
Devonte Gardner with his daughters in a poolPhoto byDevonte Gardner

One weekend, the Hunter family learns that Devonte was having trouble. His apartment was unsuitable for people to live there with infestations and mold and without heat, and even worse, Devonte's car had broken down. As a result, Devonte ended up moving his family into a motel, and they had been living out of a motel for 8 months. He decided to move into a motel because his daughters were getting sick from the living conditions at their apartment.

Devonte Gardner described living out of a motel as "just horrible."

This really bothered Kayzen and his family.

Kayzen Hunter Wants to Help Devonte and His Family

8-year-old Kayzen Hunter came up with an idea to help their favorite waiter.

Vittoria said that Hunter had a brilliant idea to help Devonte.

She said:

“He came home and told me that, ‘Hey, Mom, Devonte walks or gets a ride to work and I’m gonna start a GoFundMe,’” Hunter says, adding that Kayzen had begged her for a while to do a GoFundMe before she agreed to take the plunge. “I was like, ‘Well, OK, that’s really sweet. It’s a great idea.” -Vittoria Hunter, Kayzen's mom (Source: TODAY)

Vittoria helped her son set up the GoFundMe page with a goal of $5,000.
GoFundMe for Devonte GardnerPhoto byVittoria Hunter

The description of the GoFundMe campaign reads:

"Hi, my name is Kayzen, I am 8 years old. I am wanting to raise funds for my friend, Devonte, who I met and have come to know from eating breakfast at Waffle House. Devonte is a hard-working dad with two little girls and a wife. He is a dedicated worker and has to walk or get a ride to get to work every day. He was looking for a decent priced car, and his family was unfortunate and ended up in an apartment riddled with black mold. He had to get his kids out and it set him back a lot. We are now helping him get into a clean rental property and want to help him even more by raising funds so he has a reliable vehicle to drive his family and get to and from work. Devonte is one of the most joyous and positive people you’ve ever met!! He always greets us with the biggest smile. I hope your heart is as BIG as mine and you will help me spread kindness in the world. Any amount helps!!" (Source: GoFundMe page)

As more and more people learned of this GoFundMe campaign, donations continued to pour in to help Devonte.

At the time of publication, GoFundMe has raised $109,480, which has far exceeded the goal.

On 6 March 2023, Vittoria Hunter posted the following comment on the GoFundMe page:

She wrote:

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO DEVONTE!!!! ❤️ Wow!! What an incredible birthday present!!!! The world has showed up and showed out with LOVE ❤️✨ " (Source: GoFundMe page)

Devonte Gives an Update on His Living Situation Since the GoFundMe

Devonte shared an update on his living situation with TODAY since the kindness from Kayzen and his family and the GoFundMe campaign.

He said:

“I will be moving into my apartment very soon. We’re able to have something more stable,” Gardner says, adding that he’s looking to get a family sedan or minivan but will save the rest of the money for his kids." -Devonte Gardner (Source: TODAY)
“I’m gonna save the rest because I want to put my daughters in a good school, I want them to be in a good environment,” Gardner explains. “Everything I’m getting is going mostly towards my daughters to make sure they have a great, great life. Make sure we won’t have to struggle anymore.” -Devonte Gardner (Source: TODAY)

Vittoria was able to get a picture of Devonte at Waffle House after the GoFundMe campaign and he is still smiling. Devonte has been a blessing to the Hunter family, and it is great that they could help him improve his living situation with the GoFundMe campaign.
Devonte Gardner at Waffle HousePhoto byVittoria Hunter

Final Thoughts

It is refreshing to read that people are being kind to other people in today's world. There is enough negative news to go around, and I'm glad that there are people like Devonte in this world. Despite his circumstances, he has been touching lives with his light and positivity no matter what he faces, and he still finds happiness.

Thank you to Kayzen and the Hunter family for setting up a GoFundMe campaign to help Devonte Gardner and blessing his life. Thanks to Kayzen's big heart, Devonte can get his family into a better apartment. What an incredible story.

Please help share this positive article on social media so friends and family can be informed about good news.


Hunter, Vittoria. GoFundMe campaign page: "Help Devonte get a family car."

Lamour, Joseph. "An 8-year-old learned his Waffle House waiter was living in a motel. He's raised over $100K for him." TODAY. 6 March 2023.

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Zack covers interesting and inspiring news stories that impact local communities. He has a bachelor's degree and an MBA.

Huntsville, AL

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