This article appeared online at on Thursday, March 9, 2023:  

After learning about the struggles his favorite waiter at a local Waffle House restaurant in Little Rock, Arkansas, was having, Kayzen Hunter, age eight, asked his mother to set up a GoFundMe appeal for him.

They thought $500 would help out. The waiter, Devonte Gardner, had to move out of low-income housing when it became infested with mold and rats, and had put his wife and two daughters into a motel.

When Kayzen learned that Devonte had to walk to work every day because he didn’t have a car, he and his mother Victoria decided to raise the request to $5,000. The account was posted on February 18 and the first donation was for $100.

Since then, Kayzen’s story has gone viral. Nearly 3,000 people have donated to get Devonte a car. At this writing, his account is approaching $110,000, more than enough for a used minivan and a year’s rent on their new apartment. Plus plenty left over to help with Devonte’s girls’ education.

With assistance from his mother, here is Kayzen’s request:

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 is as BIG as mine and you will help me spread kindness in the world. Any amount helps!!

Hunter’s mother told Today how they got to know each other:

It was about a year ago when they met. My dad started going and Kayzen would go with him. When he came home, he talked about Devonte and how much he liked him.

The feeling was mutual. Said Devonte:

Every time he comes in, I always give him a high five because that’s what he expects….


He’s a wonderful kid. He tells me jokes every time he comes in, like, “Hey, Devonte, I got a joke for you,” and the next thing you know, we’re laughing….


He’s a positive young kid. He has a very huge heart, and I’m thankful he came into my life.

Kayzen’s father, Korey, said the to his son’s GoFundMe page was “crazy”:

That’s the crazy part to us. I get it, but the goal was $5,000, and people don’t care what the goal was: they keep giving and giving.

No, Korey, it’s not crazy. In a world filled with bad news — catastrophes, killings, examples of “man’s inhumanity to man” — Kayzen is a light in a dark world. The young man spoke the wisdom of the ages: “It just feels good to help someone else.”

Kayzen’s full name is Kayzen Love Hunter.

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