Boy, 8, Raises More Than $44K for Waffle House Waiter Currently Living in a Motel with His Wife and Two Kids

The Arkansas child befriended the server over a year ago, developing a close bond

Eight-year-old boy helps raise money for Waffle House worker Can we tout this pic
Photo: gofundme

An 8-year-old boy in Arkansas has raised more than $44,000 for his favorite waiter.

Kayzen Hunter describes Devonte Gardner, whom he befriended during his family's weekly breakfast trips to their local Waffle House, as "one of the most joyous and positive people you've ever met."

"He always greets us with the biggest smile," he added in a GoFundMe campaign created with the help of his mom, Vittoria Hunter.

The family created the fundraiser after they learned that the server was walking to work every day, and that his wife and their two daughters were living in a motel room with no reliable source of transportation.

Their previous home had become infested with rats and black mold contamination, causing their kids to become sick.

"Devonte said he wondered if anyone might know where he could buy a cheap car — he'd been having a hard time saving for one," Kayzen explained to The Washington Post.

After having to move to the motel to escape the mold, Gardner explained to KTHV that expenses began to become too much to handle.

"All my tips and everything that I get to go straight to my kids," he said. "I pay for the room, daily pay $60 a day, and it's just eating my pocket alive."

With an initial goal of $5,000 to get Gardner a reliable vehicle, the campaign has now accumulated close to $45,000 at time of posting.

"It just be a blessing," Gardner expressed to KTHV. "You know, I'm always counting my blessings, always."

He added that the generosity shown to him and his family "made me almost cry."

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Kayzen, along with his parents, is also feeling gratitude. "It just feels good to help someone else," he told the outlet.

His dad, Korey Hunter, added: "Kayzen does not want anything in return. Just wants other people to pay it forward."

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