Amid the hustle and bustle of the breakfast service, Laura was sitting quietly watching it all unfold. While she was people-watching over her cup of coffee, she noticed something happening at the breakfast counter and almost choked.
She had caught the waitress in her act, but what to do with this information. With her mind made up, she whipped out her phone.
Laura Wolf, a regular, had a hunch about the young waitress working at the Waffle House.
But one morning, what she saw her doing to an elderly patron’s food left her completely dumbstruck. The waitress looked around furtively before continuing to poke around on the man’s plate – but she had no idea that Laura was watching everything.
18-year-old Evoni Williams had been a waitress at the Waffle House in La Marque, Texas, for years. She worked hard, saving what she could to put herself through college.
But some days were harder than others. She could never have known that one moment caught on camera would have such far-reaching repercussions for everyone involved.
The morning of the incident was a particularly busy one for Evoni. The Waffle House was packed to the rafters with diners stopping in for some breakfast.
The pass was full as she struggled to get the orders out on time. Although she was keeping up a good pace at first, Evoni started to flag as more orders flew in. Then, the fickle hand of fate threw a curveball her way.
Looking around, Laura’s attention was caught by an elderly gentleman sitting at the breakfast counter, but she didn’t recognize him. She didn’t know that he was Adrien Charpentier – and he had quite a reputation among the servers all over town.
They even had a nickname for him. She watched as he a quietly said something to his waitress.
Just then, the cook behind the pass shouted for Evoni, but she was so intent on what the old man was saying to her that she flat-out ignored him.
Trouble was brewing in the kitchen, but Evoni and Adrien remained engaged in their private exchange. Laura leaned forward surreptitiously to catch what they were whispering to one another.
Laura then noticed that the elderly man was hooked up to an oxygen tank and was having trouble breathing. Evoni leaned closer as he said the words that would change her life forever.
The chef was still shouting her name, but she seemed oblivious. Then, a look washed over her face that said it all.
With a look of determination, Evoni ignored the other diners trying to get her attention and, in a bold move, pulled the old man’s plate of ham towards her. Then she began to do something to his food that almost made Laura fall out of her chair.
She had never seen a server treat anyone this way. She knew what she had to do.
What had the old man whispered to the waitress. Laura could only guess by the server’s reaction.
Her face turned down intently as she worked, then her eyes darted around her quickly — as if to see if anyone was watching. She looked triumphant and slightly fearful. Laura wasn’t one to let something like this go, so she quietly pulled out her phone.
Laura, making sure that her cameraphone’s flash was off, snapped the evidence she needed – the photos that would make both she and Evoni Facebook famous.
Although her view was partially obscured, she saw the waitress’ elbows moving up and down hurriedly. Soon, everyone would know what the server at the Waffle House had done.
The elderly man sat still as he looked on helplessly — he too had his eyes on Evoni in anticipation. His breathing quickened slightly as she pushed the plate towards him again.
She was done. Although Laura couldn’t see his face, she saw Evoni crack a smile as he picked up his fork.
Then, Laura heard the man say something to Evoni that made tears well behind her eyes. She picked the clearest photo on her phone and wrote the post. Then, she hit ‘share.’ She had only just asked her server for the bill when her phone began to ping furiously.
Whether she liked it or not, Evoni was now famous. There was no undoing it. But Laura hadn’t been the only one recording that day….
Evoni had no idea that she was being watched, she just did what had come naturally. Even with the kitchen staff shouting about food being left on the pass, she had to finish what she had started.
The CCTV captured everything. When she was done, Adrian apologetically said: “My hands don’t work too good…”.
Laura Wolf had heard the elderly man say those heartbreaking words to Evoni, then she watched as Evonni cut up the man’s food before helping anyone else.
Witnessing this kind gesture filled her with so much emotion that she had to take pictures and post them online. But what would netizens think?
Laura Wolf wrote on her post: “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.” A few days later, the post had received 99,000 likes and 47,000 shares. But netizens weren’t done with Evoni yet.
With so much exposure, the post was seen by some people who agreed that what Evoni did was so wonderful that she deserved some recognition for it. When Evoni was working one day, the Mayor of La Marque, Bobby Hocking, showed up to see her.
And he had a huge check in his hand. Evoni couldn’t believe it – it was exactly what she had been working for. Where was this check from?
The check was for a staggering $16,000 from Texas State University – it was a scholarship for Evoni to attend classes. She said she had helped the man that day because it was the right thing to do.
She didn’t expect any recognition for it. When Evoni was handed the check, she broke down in tears.
Naturally, her manager was thrilled for her. He was really happy that one of his employees was getting exposure for being such a caring person and such a great waitress.
What Evoni did was a small gesture, but it meant the world to her elderly customer Adrien Charpentier. Adrien had been struggling recently, and his health had deteriorated.
Adrien, or “Mr. Karaoke,” as he is known around town, told Evoni that he had been in and out of the hospital over the past five weeks. “It started with pneumonia,” he told ABC.
“I can hold a fork fine and dandy — but to cut it looks like I’m going to stab somebody,” he said with a laugh. The muscle weakness in his hands had left him struggling to cut up his food. And Evoni knew just what to do.
“I was just like, ‘Sure. If you need help, that’s what I am here for,’” Evoni explained.
“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,” Evoni said later in an interview. And Adrien was especially grateful.
“It means a lot. I need help and the waitresses issue it to me,” Adrien explained later.
But social media users couldn’t get enough of the story of a young waitress helping an elderly customer. But Evoni and Laura Wolf were both especially surprised when the post caught the attention of La Marque Mayor, Bobby Hocking.
“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 of La Marque recalled. “There is a lot of love in La Marque, Texas, and we intend to perpetuate that,” He added. But, how else could he give the young server the recognition she deserves?
Evoni’s kind gesture toward her fellow men touched the Mayor so much that he decided to honor the server in the most breathtaking way.
He declared that in La Marque, March 8 is Evoni Williams Day — Imagine having an entire day dedicated to your one good deed. “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,” she added. Hopefully, she can now pursue her dreams of studying and opening her own restaurant and hair salon.