This Teen Waffle House Waiter Who Helped A 78-Year-Old Customer Cut Up His Food Just Got The Best Surprise
A Texas teenager waitressing to save for college has been awarded a college scholarship after her act of kindness was captured by a diner and went viral on Facebook. Evoni Williams, who graduated from Texas City High School in May 2017 and works at a Waffle House in La Marque, Texas, "went above and beyond to make sure her customer could enjoy his breakfast," wrote Laura Wolf, the customer who snapped a photo of Williams cutting up the man's food for him, in her Facebook post Mar. 3.
Williams' 78-year-old customer, Adrien Charpentier, had recently been released from the hospital after having surgery and was struggling with his food when he caught Williams' attention, reported Click2Houston. "He was like, 'My hands are not functioning too well.' He needed me to cut up his food. And I did," Williams told KVUE.
She added to Click2Houston, "All I know is we were busy. And all he asked was, ‘I don’t have functioning in my hands, can you cut (my ham) for me? It would be easier for me.’ I was like, sure, I stopped. I had food on the board to pick up. They were calling my name. I stepped away, came back and finished."
In Wolf's Facebook post, which has has since garnered more than 123,000 reactions, nearly 65,000 shares, and more than 7,000 comments, she said she overheard Charpentier's request, and noticed that "[w]ithout hesitation, [Williams] took his plate and began cutting up his ham." Wolf added, "This may seem small but to him, I'm sure it was huge. I'm thankful to have seen this act of kindness and caring at the start of my day while everything in this world seems so negative."
Williams told Click2Houston, "That’s just me. It came from the heart. I would do it any other time, not just this time.”
The City of La Marque Facebook account shared Williams' story Mar. 7, saying La Marque was proud to have her. And news of her helping hand even reached those who were offline. "Someone told me a few days later that I was very popular because they got me on Facebooks," Charpentier told KVUE. "They got a fancy picture of my suspenders in the back."
La Marque's mayor also recognized Williams with her own official day: Mar. 8 is now Evoni "Nini" Williams Day, KVUE reported. Colleen Merritt, spokeswoman for the City of La Marque, told Chron, "City of La Marque is proud to have this thoughtful young woman working in our city and we'd like to acknowledge and honor her. La Marque Mayor Bobby Hocking is passionate about our community's youth and wants to encourage her dreams of attending college."
But it's the response Williams is getting from Texas Southern University that's truly life-changing. The university is donating a $16,000 college scholarship to Williams — $4,000 per semester for four semesters, Click2Houston reported. It is also providing a counselor to help Williams enroll at the university and plan her degree.
A representative for the university told Williams, "Your act of kindness is exactly the kind of student we want at Texas Southern University," reported Click2Houston.
Commenters on the City of La Marque's Facebook post about Williams are also proud to have her among them. "What a wonderful young lady," said one.
"God bless this beautiful lady for caring for others," said another. "We need more like her."
"[S]uch a sweet, kind, generous young lady...You, and your family can be proud [...] Good luck in the future," said a third.
"Very sweet gesture on this young lady's part and clearly done out of kindness!" another commented.
According to KVUE, Williams plans to attend Texas Southern University and study business management.