Laura sat quietly during the busy breakfast service, people-watching. Peering over her cup of coffee, she noticed a scene unfolding at the breakfast counter that made her splutter. Although other diners were paying no mind to what the waitress was doing, she saw it.
But now that she had caught her, she needed proof. She made up her mind in an instant and whipped out her phone.
A Gut Feeling
Laura Wolf was a regular at The Waffle House, but she had never seen anything like this before. The waitress was doing something to an elderly patron’s food, and when Laura realized what it was, she was left dumbstruck.
The waitress looked around quickly to make sure nobody was watching and then began to poke around on the man’s plate. But what she didn’t know was that Laura had seen everything.
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. But some days were hard.
Evoni never imagined that what she did that day would have such far-reaching consequences. And she never knew that someone was watching and recording her every move.
A Busy Morning
This particular morning was exceptionally busy for Evoni. With so many people stopping in for some breakfast, The Waffle House was packed on the morning of the incident. With so many orders, Evoni was struggling to get meals out on time.
She was working at a good pace at first. But as the pass filled with plates ready to go out, life decided to throw a curveball her way.
An Elderly Diner
Adrien Charpentier was seated at the breakfast counter, but Laura didn’t recognize him. She didn’t know that he had quite a reputation among the restaurant staff in town. They had even given him a nickname.
Laura watched quietly as he leaned over to Evoni and whispered something in her ear.
A Secret Exchange
At exactly that moment the cook yelled for Evoni from the kitchen, but she was listening to what the man was whispering to her so intently that she didn’t hear him.
With trouble brewing among the kitchen staff, Evoni and Adrien remained still — oblivious to what was going on around them. Laura furtively leaned closer to try and catch what the old man was whispering to her.
The Decision That Changed Everything
Laura studied the man and noticed that he was struggling to breathe and was hooked up to an oxygen tank. She watched as Evoni leaned closer to catch what he was saying. Then came the moment her life would change forever.
The chef was still yelling for her from the kitchen, but she ignored him. Then, the startled look that came over her face said it all.
Making Her Move
With a strange look on her face, Evoni continued to ignore the yelling from the kitchen and the other diners 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.
She wasn’t used to seeing servers behave this way. She knew exactly what she had to do.
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 down, intent on what she was doing, occasionally darting around — as if to see if anyone was watching her. The expression on her face was slightly fearful, but also triumphant.
Laura wasn’t the type of person to just let something like this go, though. Quietly reaching down into her handbag with one hand, she pulled out her phone.
Laura got all the evidence she needed as she quietly snapped away, making sure that her flash was off. But what she never anticipated was that the photographs would make Evoni and herself famous.
Her view was obscured by the man’s back, but she could clearly see Evoni’s elbows moving up and down furiously. Soon Laura would make sure that everyone would know what had happened at The Waffle House today.
All Eyes On Her
The man also watched Evoni’s actions intently. Laura watched his breathing quicken when Evoni was done and she slid the plate back over to him.
Laura couldn’t see the man’s face, but she could see Evoni’s as she smiled at him slightly. Then, he picked up his fork.
Sharing It With The World
Then, the man said something to Evoni that made tears well up in Laura’s eyes. She swiped through the photos she had just taken and shared the best one on Facebook. Asking her server for the bill and about to leave, she stopped when her phone began to beep furiously.
Evoni was now Facebook-famous — whether she wanted to be or not. There was no going back. But what Evoni didn’t know was that Laura hadn’t been 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…”
Giving Him A Hand
Laura Wolf had felt heartbroken when Adrian said those words to his server. Then, she watched Evoni as she 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 netizens think?
What Goes Around…
Laura Wolf’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.”
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 netizens all agreed that what Evoni had done deserved some recognition. By then, the post had caught the eye of Bobby Hocking, the Mayor of La Marque.
The Mayor showed up at The Waffle House to surprise Evoni with an enormous check. The humble waitress couldn’t believe it! the amount on the check would put her through college — it was just what she had dreamed of!
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 had just been the right thing to do — she hadn’t expected any reward for it. The Mayor handed her the check, and she completely broke down.
A Gesture Of Gratitude
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 Adrian was a small gesture, hardly worth mentioning. But what she did meant the world to Adrian Charpentier, who had been battling health issues recently.
AKA Mr. Karaoke
Adrian is also known as “Mr. Karaoke.” He 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, he struggled with basic tasks such as cutting up his food. Evoni had known exactly what to do for him.
“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. And Adrien appreciated her help more than she knew.
“It means a lot. I need help and the waitresses issue it to me,” Adrien 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.
Even More Exposure
“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. And he knew he had to give Evoni exactly what she deserved.
A Day In Her Honor
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 every year, March 8 is Evoni Williams day! “It is awesome… I feel excited and happy,” Evoni said.
“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.