Sixteen-year-old Chauncy Black had no idea that offering to carry a man’s groceries in exchange for doughnuts would lead to thousands of dollars in donations for his family.
“This kid was really brave,” said Matt White, whom Black approached at a Memphis Kroger store. “The look on his face was kind of broken. He looked hungry. I just thought to myself, if I was his age, I don’t think I could go up to someone and ask them for food. I looked at him like he was my hero.”
“Faith takes care of a lot of stuff,” Black said, describing why he asked White for food. “That’s what I had: faith. And he looked like he would help me out.”
White, 30, went back into the store with the teen and bought him groceries and toiletries. Then he drove Black home so he wouldn’t have to ride the bus. That’s when White met Black’s disabled mother, Barbara Martin, and saw their living conditions.
Black and Martin live in a house with nothing but a couch and a couple of lamps. Burglars wiped them out. They don’t even have beds. Instead, they sleep on pads made out of sleeping bags. And their refrigerator was empty.
As a result, White set up a GoFundMe account called “Chauncy’s Chance.” The initial goal was to raise $250 to buy a lawnmower so the straight-A student could earn money cutting grass. But the fund has since exploded, raising more than $120,000 in 10 days.
Black couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the outpouring of support and said, “I was very happy and proud.”
“I am blown away how God has used the power of their story to provide so much already for them,” White wrote in a Facebook post. “I pray that he will continue to do so and that we will have all the funds and resources we need to secure Chauncy and his mom for the rest of their lives.”
White is now hoping to raise enough money to move Black and his mother into a new home. He’s also looking to buy them new furniture and clothes.
As for Black, he says he would like to eventually start his own lawn service.
“It means a whole lot to us and our family,” the teen said. “We are very thankful to all of those who reached out to get us into a better home and a safe environment.”
Choking back tears, his mother said, “I’m still stunned. I just don’t know what to say. It’s just so wonderful. I just know God is good and he sent a good person into our lives.”
The fateful encounter at the grocery store also marked the beginning of a new friendship. According to White, he has started going to church with Black every Sunday and they enjoy an ice cream treat afterward.