She sat quietly in the busy breakfast service. As she watched people potter about, she noticed a scene unfolding at the counter that made her heart splutter. No other diners were paying attention to what the waitress was doing, but she saw it all.
She had to say something but before she could, she needed proof. Quickly, she whipped out her phone.
Laura The Spectator
Laura Wolf was a regular at The Waffle House, but she had never seen anything like this before.
The waitress looked around in a hurry to make sure nobody was watching. Then she began to poke around on the old man’s plate. Little did the waitress know, someone was watching and that someone saw absolutely everything.
Evoni The Waitress
At 18 years old, Evoni Williams had been a waitress at the La Marque Texas Waffle House for years. She worked long shifts, scrimping and saving every penny to pay for her college tuition. Some days were harder than others.
Evoni never imagined that what she did that day would be recorded for everyone to see.
A Busy Morning
It was a particularly busy morning for Evoni. So many people stopped in The Waffle House for breakfast. Orders were flying in and Evoni was struggling to get meals out on time.
At first, she was working at a good pace. But as the pass filled with plates ready to go, life decided to throw a curveball her way.
Make Way For The Elderly
Laura watched as an eldery man walked towards the breakfast counter and took a seat. He waved at other diners as he looked around for the waitress. It seemed like he was a well-known local man, or else just very friendly. He got the attention of Evoni, the waitress.
Then Laura watched as he leaned over to Evoni and whispered something in her ear.
A Secret Exchange
Evoni bent down to him, her face vacant. She was listening so intently to what the man was saying that she didn’t even hear the chef yell for her.
The tension from the kitchen staff was undeniable, but Evoni and the old man remained still, oblivious to what was going on around them. Furtively, Laura leaned closer to try and catch what the old man was whispering to her.
A Deer In Headlights
Laura began to study the man. How did she not notice the oxygen tank? “He must find it difficult to breathe,” she thought. She continued watching as Evoni leaned closer to catch what he was saying.
The chef was still yelling for her from the kitchen, but she ignored him. Suddenly, her eyes popped and she stood up straight. She looked like a deer caught in headlights.
A Bold Move
Evoni continued to ignore the yelling from the kitchen as well as the other diners that have been trying to flag her down. In a bold move, she suddenly pulled the old man’s plate of ham over to her side of the counter.
Then she did something to the man’s food that sent Laura into a spin as she watched everything from a distance.
Laura was dying to know what the old man had whispered to the waitress, but she could only surmise from Evoni’s reaction. Her eyes were focused, intent on what she was doing. Occasionally her eyes darted around the restaurant to see if anyone was watching her. The expression on her face was fearful but triumphant.
Now, Laura knew she had to act. Quietly, she reached into her handbag and pulled out her phone.
Laura turned off her flash and took multiple photographs. She got all the evidence she needed.
Her view was a little obscured by the man’s back, but she could clearly see the waitresses’ elbows moving up and down furiously. Soon, Laura would make sure that everyone knew exactly what had happened at The Waffle House today.
A Sweet Smile
Laura’s heart raced as she saw the old man press his back into his seat as Evoni finally stopped what she was doing and slid the plate back over to him.
She couldn’t see the old man’s face, but she could see Evoni’s as she said something and then smiled sweetly at him. Then he picked up his fork.
The man said something loudly to Evoni, Laura caught it and tears welled up in her eyes. She swiped through the photos she had just taken and shared the best one on Facebook. Just as she asked her server for the bill and was about to leave, her phone began to beep furiously.
Evoni went viral. Now, there was no going back. Furthermore, Laura wasn’t the only one recording her actions that day.
Evoni had just done what had come naturally to her, she had no idea that she was being watched. Ignoring the kitchen staff and other diners, she knew she had to finish what she’d started.
The restaurant’s security camera and Laura had caught everything. When she was done tampering with Adrian’s food, he had said apologetically, “My hands don’t work too good”.
A Helping Hand
Spectator Laura Wolf had felt heartbroken when the old man said those words to his server, Evoni, who continued to cut up the man’s food before moving on to her other duties.
Laura was filled with such emotion when she saw Evoni’s gesture that she just had to share it on Facebook. But what did people online think?
What Goes Around…
Laura’s post read: “Without hesitation, she took his plate and began cutting up his ham. This may seem small but to him, I’m sure it was huge. I’m thankful to have seen this act of kindness and caring at the start of my day while everything in this world seems so negative.”
Facebook / Laura Wolf
Just a short while later, her post had gone viral with 99,000 likes and 47,000 shares. But the public wasn’t done with the waitress yet.
The post was seen so many times that everyone agreed that what Evoni had done deserved more recognition. By then, the post had caught the attention of Bobby Hocking, the Mayor of La Marque.
The Mayor showed up at The Waffle House to surprise Evoni with an announcement. The humble waitress couldn’t believe it!
Evoni Williams Day!
Evoni’s small but important gesture towards an elderly diner had touched the Mayor’s heart so much that he wanted to honor the young waitress in the best way possible.
Imagine having an entire day named in your honor? Well, that’s just what he did. He declared that March 8th every year is Evoni Williams day! “It is awesome… I feel excited and happy,” Evoni said. But the surprises weren’t over yet.
With the help of social media, news of Evoni’s good deed was shared far and wide.
Soon, Austin A. Lane, the president at Texas Southern University, came across the post. He was so impressed by Evoni and by what she’d done for a man she didn’t even know that he knew he needed to do something for her after seeing her story.
Austin arranged an interview with the press and surprised Evoni while she was working her usual shift at The Waffle House.
After some small talk and a short interview, Austin began walking over to the stunned waitress with the biggest check she’d ever seen. Her facial expression swings from confusion to utter disbelief as she realizes what is happening.
The check was for the unbelievable amount of $16,000 and was from Texas State University — a scholarship for Evoni to attend classes there.
When interviewed, Evoni explained that she had helped Adrian that day because it was the right thing to do. She didn’t expect any reward for it. So when Austin handed her the check, she completely broke down.
For Her Dream
Now, $16,000 may not seem like a lot in terms of a college education these days, but for Evoni, who has been struggling to save up for her tuition while working long shifts, it is more than enough to get her on the right track.
She can now work toward the business management degree she has her heart set on. But her friends had another idea to help her.
Unfortunately today, a college education is extremely expensive. Even after $16,000, There’s still tuition, housing, books, and everything else that Evoni will need for college life.
A friend of Evoni’s knew that the struggling waitress would need a bit more money, so she decided to try and take things further. Evoni’s friend opened a GoFundMe page in hopes of collecting the remaining amount that Evoni will need for her expenses.
People like Evoni are so rare in society. That’s why her GoFundMe account is still going strong, with $3,763 raised so far.
“We all know how expensive a college education is!” the GoFundMe description says. “The Scholarship is a start but we all know it will not cover all tuition, books, and fees. Nini is so deserving… She is a shy but bubbly outgoing young lady!! I am so blessed to know her and her sweet momma! Let’s help this young lady rise to the top, achieve her goals, and become a business owner!”
A Kind Gesture
The Waffle House manager was thrilled for Evoni. He couldn’t be happier that it was one of his star employees who had received so much attention for her good deed.
But Evoni thinks what she did for the old man was a small gesture, hardly worth mentioning. However, the old man didn’t think so as he had been battling health issues and really appreciated her help.
The old man explained to Evoni that the past five weeks had been difficult for him as he had been in and out of the hospital.
“It started with pneumonia,” he told ABC News. “I can hold a fork fine and dandy — but to cut it looks like I’m going to stab somebody,” he said, laughing. With the muscles in his hands growing weak, Evoni knew exactly what to do for him.
Here To Help
“I was just like, ‘Sure! If you need help, that’s what I am here for,’” Evoni said in an interview.
“My cook was calling my name to pick up food I had on the board, but I continued to cut his ham… It’s just something I would do for anybody,” she added. But the old man appreciated her help more than she knew.
Sensitivity And Grace
“It means a lot. I need help and the waitresses issue it to me,” he said tearfully. But it was social media users who couldn’t get enough of the post.
The young waitress had helped an elderly customer with so much sensitivity and grace. But it was Evoni and Laura who were most surprised of all when the Mayor showed an interest in the story.
“Somebody tagged me and it immediately, it just touched my heart… It’s so wonderful that the younger generation cares about the older generation,” the Mayor, Bobby Hocking recalls.
“There is a lot of love in La Marque, Texas, and we intend to perpetuate that,” he said. That’s why he knew he had to give Evoni exactly what she deserved.
A Dream Come True!
“We wanted to reward Evoni’s act of kindness and let her know that good deeds do not go unnoticed,” said Melinda Spaulding, an administrator at Texas Southern University. “She has the character of the type of students we want at Texas Southern University.”
Now, Evoni’s prospects have widened to allow her to study and one day open her dream business — her very own hair salon!
So far, Evoni had plans of starting her degree in the Fall, and we’re sure she will continue to accomplish many great things.
Evoni Williams has proven that she is not just a Waffle House employee. This special young woman has changed another person’s life by doing something that seemed so simple to her. She saw someone struggling, and she helped.