Most people shop for groceries once per week, and it’s a routine thing for them. That’s what Matt White thought would happen when he visited his local Kroger store one evening. Preferring to shop at night, he was there for his normal stop. However, things changed when he met a boy outside the store.
The teenage boy made a simple offer to help Matt carry his groceries to his vehicle. Listening to his inner voice, Matt realized the potential for this kid and acted upon it. Now, you can read the incredible story about Matt and one scared, hungry teenager!
Matt White was 30 years old when he saw a young man outside the local Kroger grocery store in Memphis, Tennessee. He had earned his degree in music business and was proud to be a college graduate, never expecting his life could change at the drop of a hat.
After he had paid for his groceries and left the Kroger grocery store, he saw a teenage boy slowly walking toward him. It made him a little nervous because of the hour, but this teen looked sad and possibly ashamed. Did he need directions?
Though Matt had several theories running through his mind about the young man’s intentions, everything was revealed when the boy started speaking. This turned into magic that neither one could have ever expected.
The boy who approached Matt that fateful evening was Chauncy Jones Black. At the time, he was just 16 years old and had gotten to the grocery store by bus. He and his friends called it the “rich man’s Kroger.”
What He Needed
Chauncy reached Kroger and hoped to find someone who would allow him to work in exchange for food. He didn’t want to beg for spare change. Instead, he tugged on Matt’s heartstrings because he also had just one hour to catch his bus back home.
It was clear to Matt that Chauncy was underweight. This young teen looked broken and ashamed, and Matt was taken aback when he said he’d do anything for food. Then, to show that, he offered to carry Matt’s groceries in exchange for donuts.
In a later interview, Matt said his heart screamed in pain for Chauncy’s situation, though he remained calm. He gave a little chuckle and said that he could definitely get the boy some donuts. Clearly, he was too thin, and Matt felt sorry for the teen.
The Start of a Life-changing Event
Overall, Matt felt sorry for the boy, wondering about the events that led him to where he was now. He learned that Chauncy and his mother lived together and had little money. All he had was the clothes on his back and his treasured bus pass.
In the Store
As the pair went into the grocery store and moved down the aisles, Matt asked Chauncy questions to learn more about him. They stopped at the donut section first, but Chauncy was in for a surprise because Matt wasn’t done!
Above and Beyond
Matt grabbed the package of donuts for Chauncy, but it wasn’t enough. This teen had asked for help, and sugary treats weren’t suitable for a growing boy. Plus, Matt was astonished that the teen offered to work instead of simply begging for money or food.
The Shopping Spree
After grabbing donuts, the strangers walked through the grocery store. Matt led the way down many aisles, loading their shopping cart with household staples. When he was done, there were the basic essentials, such as toothpaste, snacks, pasta, toothbrushes, and more.
Chauncy was shocked when he realized what Matt was doing and couldn’t say just how thankful he was. Though he said thank you, it didn’t seem like enough because the man was helping a family in their time of need and acting like it wasn’t a huge thing.
More on Chauncy
As the strangers continued the mini shopping spree, Matt asked about Chauncy’s personal life, learning more about his mother and how the boy did in school. Overall, he spent enough time with Chauncy to know he was a special kid.
What He Had Planned
Chauncy told Matt that he got straight A’s in school and worked hard because his mother always told him it was super important. Then, he said he was looking for work to help her pay the rent where they lived.
Throughout the encounter, Chauncy called himself “poor.” Matt realized that the teen had little money, but he thought that “being poor” was part of his identity. Still, that hadn’t brought him down, and he wanted to change his life for the better.
Chauncy told Matt that he wished to be a rich entrepreneur. After he’d made his fortunes, he would give back to the people in his neighborhood and beyond. In fact, he hoped to do what Matt was now doing!
Time to Get Back
Chauncy thanked Matt for the groceries while they were leaving the store. However, that didn’t reflect how grateful he truly was. Now, it was time for Chauncy to catch the bus, believing he’d never see Matt again.
Catching the Bus
Chauncy had to get back home to his mother, or she would worry about him. Matt realized that Chauncy couldn’t take the bus with all of those groceries. It would be too hard to carry. Therefore, he offered to take him to his house.
Chauncy’s Living Conditions
Matt was humbled by his decision to take Chauncy home. Once they arrived at the house, he knew Chauncy hadn’t exaggerated about not having food or the basics at home. What could Matt have possibly seen to upset him?
When they got to Chauncy’s house, Matt saw that the mother and son had two lamps to their name and nothing at all in the refrigerator. However, something else disturbed Matt even more than that!
While at Chauncy’s house, Matt met his mother, Barbara Black. His first impression of the woman was that she was kind and gracious. He could tell that she was so thankful for what he’d done for the pair.
About Barbara Black
After learning more about Barbara, Matt realized that she had a health condition that caused her to shake incessantly. It was so bad that she couldn’t move around on her own very well. Now, he knew he had to do more to help this family!
Before Matt could do anything else, he had to unpack the groceries for Chauncy and Barbara. Matt saw how happy the teen was to be at home and have all that food to eat. This made Matt’s heart swell with happiness.
The boy was now more upbeat than he was initially when he and Matt ran into each other. The Blacks had a refrigerator full of food! Matt finally left Chauncy and his mom after unpacking the groceries, but they would soon meet again!
Matt knew those groceries wouldn’t be enough for the pair, and he felt he should make a real contribution. After leaving their house, he couldn’t get Barbara and Chauncy off his mind. He was completely upset by their situation.
The Disturbing Truth
Barbara couldn’t work because of her health condition, so the only money the family had was from her disability checks. Chauncy was in school, which was more important than work, so he hadn’t received new clothes for a while. Plus, those groceries wouldn’t last long.
What Matt Craved
After learning of their situation, Matt decided to do something that would really change their lives. However, he wasn’t sure how to attain his goals because he was only one person. What did he end up doing?!
Matt knew that his life was pretty comfortable. He had his own home and could buy food and other necessities as needed. However, he didn’t have enough money to make a lasting impact on Barbara and Chauncy. Therefore, he recruited others to help him!
What Matt Did
Matt decided to share the encounter he’d had with Chauncy and Barbara through social media. He went to Facebook and created a post about the family. In doing that, he hoped others would become inspired to help as he had.
The Start of the Plan
Matt’s post gained attention quickly. Since he wanted donations to come in for Chauncy and Barbara, he decided to create a GoFundMe page and put that with his Facebook story. How did other people react when they heard of the pair?
The GoFundMe page Matt created had information about Chauncy and Barbara, including their sizes for clothes and shoes. There was also a video interview that contained the teen’s life story. People were inspired and started sending in financial contributions.
What to Do with the Money
Since the GoFundMe page generated traffic and contributions, the pair realized they needed a plan for all that money. Chauncy was grateful for everything and excited that others were helping him and his mom. What would they decide to do?!
Matt wanted to earn enough for Chauncy to buy a lawnmower. That meant he could cut lawns in the spring and summer, making money to use for basic necessities and to save for school the following fall.
The money rolled in, and Matt’s Facebook page gathered more traffic. Soon, the story went viral, and the GoFundMe account had exceeded their expectations. Strangers were donating job offers, dental care, clothing, and food!
Don’t Stop Now
Matt realized quickly that they didn’t have to settle for a simple lawnmower. They had received so many donations, so it was time to think bigger, such as a new house for the family or a college education!
Though you know the Facebook post went viral, you’re probably wondering how much money they received from the GoFundMe page. Chauncy and his mother got $340,000! That was a life-changing amount that this family desperately needed.
What Barbara Had to Say
Barbara was so happy for the money. She realized that the living conditions for her and her son weren’t good, but there wasn’t much she could do. Though Chauncy helped, they struggled unnecessarily, so she was grateful for this money.
Creating a Movement
Matt hadn’t planned to do so, but he’d created a movement that others dubbed “Chauncy’s Chance.” Major news networks and outlets learned of the situation and did a story, but others asked for interviews from Matt and Chauncy. It was a big deal!
What Chauncy Had to Say
Chauncy enjoyed the attention he received and told People magazine that Matt had changed his entire life. People now recognized him on the street, and he felt the love they showed. He was truly grateful for everything.
The Dark Side of Fame
Though Chauncy and Barbara enjoyed the limelight, they had to be careful. Now that their friends and family knew about the money, they would ask for handouts all the time. They learned how to manage everything and truly enjoyed the life-changing opportunity they got!