These days, it seems like there is a new upsetting and tragic thing happening around the world every day. With so many people on the planet, there are bound to be some bad seeds who cause unfortunate things to occur. On the other hand, there are also good people who go out of their way to do nice things for others and they expect nothing in return.
People complete acts of kindness every day to try and make the world just a little bit of a better place. That being said, these caring actions rarely go viral or give the people the recognition they deserve. In a society so obsessed with social media, it’s easier than ever to share heartwarming stories with the rest of the world. Here is one incredible instance of a girl who did something so simple for someone else, yet when a bystander witnessed and captured it, the story took off and she became a hero.
The woman in question
Here we have Evoni Williams, or Nee Nee, as her friends call her. On the day in question, she was just a regular 18 year old from La Marque, Texas who was working a job trying to raise money for college.
Williams had recently graduated from high school and had hopes of attending college to get a degree in business management. Working at the Waffle House was a good start to get her toward her goal, but when one act of kindness made her a viral sensation, she got a lot closer to reaching it than she ever could have expected.
Just a normal day
For those of you who’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you probably know the days tend to blend together to become one endless blur. You take the orders; you place the orders; you serve the food. It becomes routine to the point where you can probably do it in your sleep.
There are, however, some days that stand out among the rest and Evoni had one of those in March 2018. It was just a regular day for her at the Waffle House, where she had been working for about a month. She went about her job as if nothing out of the ordinary was about to happen. That was until a customer walked in that changed her life forever.
A customer in need
A customer sat down in front of her and it was clear that something was up. He placed his order, and then began to eat, but things weren’t that simple for him. The man was obviously struggling to the point where he could hardly even feed himself.
The customer in question was an elderly gentleman by the name of Adrien Charpentier. It turns out that Charpentier had recently had surgery so he did not have full function of his hands. This made it very difficult for him to cut his food and serve himself. As soon as Evoni saw this, she knew she had to do something. He was a customer in need.
Helping him out
The waitress didn’t just see a customer, though. She saw a man who needed her help and there was no way she was just going to sit there and watch him struggle. Evoni knew she needed to help him, but how could she do that?
Well her first instinct was to take his plate and cut his food for him. So, with no hesitation whatsoever, that’s what she did. Evoni took his fork and knife in her hands and began cutting his ham so that it would be easier for Adrien to feed himself. Little did she know, however, someone was watching her and this simple act of kindness was about to change her life.
The viral photo
It turns out, there was another customer nearby who watched everything unfold. She saw the elderly man come into the restaurant with an oxygen tank. She saw him struggling through his meal. And, she saw Evoni react almost instantaneously to the situation in front of her. This called for a photo.
The nearby customer whipped out her phone and snapped a shot of what was going on. She decided to share the picture on her Facebook to show that there are still kind people out in the world that do small acts of kindness without expecting anything in return. Almost as quickly as it was posted, the photo went viral and caught the attention of many people.
Meeting the mayor
While most towns and cities across the world have their own mayor, many civilians don’t even know their names, let alone get the chance to meet them. That all changed for Evoni after her story went viral.
It caught the attention of the La Marque mayor and he came by to introduce himself to the kind woman he’d hear about. Bobby Hocking made sure to pay a visit to the Waffle House so he could meet her.
Evoni “NeeNee” Williams Day
Meeting Evoni was not the only reason Mayor Hocking decided to stop by the Waffle House. He wanted to do something special to recognize her. He not only met her, but he drafted up a proclamation for a day to be set in her name.
From now, March 8, 2018 will be known as Evoni “NeeNee” Williams Day. She now had a day named after her, all for a simple act of kindness. We wonder if the Waffle House will recognize it with free waffles every year.
So she had met the mayor, had a day named after her, and had a story about something she did go viral. What else could possibly happen to Evoni? Well, this was all just the beginning because there was something much greater in store for her.
After everything, a giant check was placed in her hands. Evoni was given a $16,000 scholarship to Southern Texas University on behalf of the college’s president. She couldn’t believe it; it all seemed like a dream.
Evoni claims that she really didn’t feel like what she did was that big of a deal. She did what she assumed anyone would do when she saw someone struggling: she helped him out.
She was raised to be kind and to help others, so what she did really was just her natural reaction to the situation in front of her. “That’s just me. It just came from the heart.” Evoni says she would do it again any other time.
Evoni was honored by her recognition, but there was one thing that made her break down in tears. When the check was placed in her hands, the teenager started sobbing immediately.
She was so surprised and thankful for the reaction people were having that she just couldn’t control her emotions. Williams covered her eyes with her hand and wept tears of joy as she accepted the generous check. She was now able to kickstart a college education that she may not have been able to otherwise.
Just being Evoni
Those who know Evoni know that what she did is not all that surprising. Everyone in her life knows that she is a kind-hearted and warm person who would do everything she can to help others.
So while the world stands in shock by such an act of kindness, those close to Evoni knew all along how great she was. She was just being herself and they’re all just so proud she has remained as sweet as she is.
Couldn’t believe the kindness
Austin A. Lane is the president at Texas Southern University. He was so impressed by Evoni for what she’d done for a man she didn’t even know, that he knew he needed to go out of his way to do something for her after seeing her story.
$16,000 may not seem like a lot in terms of a college education these days, but we’re sure that to Evoni it is more than enough to get her started. She can now work toward the business management degree she has her heart set on.
In fact, an acquaintance of Evoni’s knew that the young woman would need more money, so she decided to try and take things one step further. Unfortunately in today’s day and age, a college education is extremely expensive – far more than $16,000.
There’s tuition, housing, books, and everything else that goes along with college life. That’s why people have been donating as much as they can to a GoFundMe page to try and help Evoni cover the rest of her inevitable expenses.
Not just a Waffle House employee
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.
People like this are so rare in today’s society. It is those like Evoni who will go on to do big things and make a difference in the world. She had plans of starting her degree in the Fall of 2018, and we’re sure she will continue to accomplish many great things.
More people like Evoni
Unfortunately, even in 2019, this world is filled with so much hatred and negativity. The woman who saw Evoni on this day knew that she’d witnessed something special and wanted to share it with others.
All it takes is for one kind act to ripple into multiple acts of kindness. It all starts with someone lending another person a helping hand, even if that person is a total stranger. It can make all the difference. If only there were more people like Evoni out there.