Chauncy Jones, a 16-year-old boy from Memphis, Tennessee, is receiving an overwhelming amount of support after he asked to carry a man’s groceries in exchange for food.
Matt White was doing some grocery shopping at the “rich people’s Kroger” in Memphis on June 10 when he was approached by a teenage boy, who looked completely defeated. The boy, who identified himself as 16-year-old Chauncy Jones, stopped Matt in the produce section and asked if he could carry his groceries out to his vehicle in exchange for a pack of glazed donuts. What happened from then on is something Matt will never forget, and he took to Facebook to share the experience with his friends and family.
“This kid looked like he had been turned down 100 times,” Matt recalled. “He looked ashamed, hungry and broken. In my heart I screamed a loud ‘yes!,’ but to him I just chuckled and said, ‘yeah dude, we’ll get you some donuts.'”
Right here in “M-town” 16 year old Chauncy Jones of Memphis, TN appearing ashamed, hungry, and broke humbled… https://t.co/dULNETGu1I
— LaTrica R. Sanders (@VLICOBS) June 24, 2016
Chauncy then started telling Matt about his life. He said he had rode the bus all the way to the Kroger on Highland in hopes of getting someone to buy him something to eat. He said it was just him and his mother at home, and they had no food. Chauncy’s story touched Matt, who then took Chauncy on a bit of a shopping spree.
“We had so much fun! We got cereal and chips and frozen veggies, pizzas, Cheetos, melons and pasta, peanut butter, milk, soap, tooth brushes, just a little bit of everything,” Matt wrote.
While they filled the grocery cart full, the pair continued to chat, and Matt learned more about the teenager’s life.
“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,” Matt continued. “This kid was amazing. Chauncy kept calling himself poor, but he told me that one day he was gonna be wealthy and own his own businesses so that he could help other people in his neighborhood and buy them groceries like me. I was in awe.”
— Perez Hilton (@PerezHilton) June 24, 2016
After Matt paid for the groceries, he offered to drive Chauncy home, and got a first-hand look at how hard his life had been. Not only was there no food in the house, Chauncy and his mother had no furniture, not even a bed.
“They were sleeping on pads made out of sleeping bags, they had two lamps and nothing in their fridge. Nothing,” Matt wrote. “As we unpacked the food into their kitchen, you could see the hope coming back into Chauncy’s eyes. He knew he wasn’t going to be hungry. He looked like a kid again.”
After the humbling experience, Matt decided to create a GoFundMe page called “Chauncy’s Chance” to help Chauncy and his mother out with their basic living expenses. Because he doesn’t have a regular I.D., Matt said he hoped to raise enough money to purchase Chauncy a push-mower so he could mow lawns until he could get another job. Matt started out by setting a goal of $250. Little did he know that in only 10 days, he would raise over $100,000.
“People have been showering Chauncy and his mother in an ocean of love and support,” Matt wrote on the GoFundMe page. “At this rate, I have started talking to some people about helping find them a house of there own!!! Can you imagine?! They could go from not being able to pay rent to owning home owners!!! All because of the love of strangers. This is really happening?!?! Yes, it absolutely is. Thank you all so much!! God bless you all!!!!”
On Friday, Matt shared a video on Facebook of him and Chauncy returning to the Kroger store where they first met. In the video, Chauncy can be seen smiling and laughing with Matt, a much different kid from two weeks ago. Check out the video below.
[Photo via Shutterstock]