Matt White went to the supermarket one day. At the time, he was 30-years-old. He had a degree in the music business and owned his own company. It started out as a regular trip to his local Kroger grocery store. The supermarket was located in an upper-class area of Memphis, Tennessee. Matt went into the store, got everything on his list, cashed out, and headed out the door. For him, it was just like every other trip to the supermarket. He had no idea that his day was about to take a strange turn. He looked up and saw a teenage boy walking toward him, who looked embarrassed and uncomfortable. He couldn’t figure out what was going on.
The teen walking toward Matt was Chauncy Jones Black. He had taken a bus from his neighborhood to get to what he called “the rich people’s Kroger.” The 16-year-old was going there in hopes of getting food in exchange for work. He had been there most of the day and had just one hour left to catch the last bus. He knew that his mother would be waiting, so he had to be sure the catch the bus. He hoped that Matt would be able to help him, so he walked over to him.
Chauncy went over to Matt and asked him if he could carry load his groceries in his truck in exchange for a pack of glazed donuts. The teen was hungry, and he wanted to have something to bring home to his mother. Matt felt sorry for Chauncy, so he agreed. While the teen was loading Matt’s groceries in the car, he asked him a bit about his life. Chauncy told him that his mother struggled to support the family. They didn’t have a phone, and barely any money for food. The teen told Matt that all he had in the world were the clothes on his back and his bus pass. Matt was moved by Chauncy’s story, and the two went into the store to get Chauncy the payment for his work.
When the two went into the store, they got the donuts that Matt promise. He didn’t want to send the teen home with just a box of donuts, so they started shopping. He filled the cart with essentials like cereal, pasta, fruit, peanut butter, milk, and soap. Chauncy couldn’t believe how kind Matt was being. While shopping, the two continued talking. Chauncy told Matt about his life, school, and his mother. He told Matt that he got straight A’s in school, and hoped to get a job soon so that he could help his mother pay the rent. Matt was amazed by the teen. Despite his difficult home life, he still managed to excel in school, and he took the time to work to bring home food for his family. Matt wanted to do more.
Chauncy told Matt several times that his family was poor. He said that he wanted to do well in school so that he could own his own business one day so that he could afford to help the people in his town. Matt was becoming more and more impressed by the teen by the second. When they cashed out, Matt watched as Chauncy headed to the bus stop. He didn’t want him riding the bus with all of the grocery bags, so he offered to give him a ride home.
When they got to Chauncy’s home, Matt realized that he wasn’t exaggerating about his home life. There was no furniture in the house. Matt and his mother lived in a home in South Memphis, and they didn’t even have beds. They slept on pads made from sleeping bags. They had nothing in the house, but two lamps and the refrigerator was completely bare. When Matt met the teen’s mother, Barbara, he understood why the family was struggling. She was very frail, and she suffered from a condition that made it painful for her to get around. Matt decided that he needed to do more for this family.
Matt helped Chauncy fill the refrigerator and the cupboards, and he left. The thought of the struggling family haunted Matt, so he did some research on the family. He learned that they had been living in poverty for years, trying to survive on Barbara’s disability checks. Although Matt lived a comfortable life, he didn’t have the money to support a family, so he decided to find help elsewhere.
Matt when home and created a GoFundMe page for the family. He asked for donations and included Chauncy’s clothing size. He told the teen’s story and how he was working hard to support his mother. Matt was hoping to get some clothes for the teen, and maybe buy him a lawnmower so he could cut grass for money to help his family. Matt ever expected it to become so much more.
People started making cash donations; they sent food, clothing, and even offered dental care. Matt was shocked when he saw that the story brought in over $340,000. A lawyer helped the family manage the money, and they moved into a new home in a better area. They were able to get furniture, and Chauncy would have a fully paid college education. There was also enough money for the family to stay afloat. Chauncy and Barbara say that they owe Matt everything. This teen offers to carry man’s groceries for food, had no idea who he was approaching. He was approaching someone who was about to change his life.