The Waffle House in La Marque, Texas is a community outpost. It was also the scene of an act of kindness that went viral on Saturday, March 3. Waitress Evoni "Nini" Williams, 18, was working the Waffle House counter when an elderly customer with an oxygen tank took a seat and ordered. When his food arrived, she watched as he struggled to cut his food and without missing a beat, she stepped up and began to cut his ham.
The act of kindness went viral after bystander Laura Wolf took a photo of 18-year-old Evoni's good deed and wrote about the experience with the Waffle House employee in a Facebook post. It immediately went viral on social media, from Facebook to Reddit.
Here's the story, in Laura's words.
I don't know her name but I heard this elderly man tell her his hands don't work too good. He was also on oxygen and struggling to breathe. ?" 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. If we could all be like this waitress & take time to offer a helping hand....
The Houston Chronicle learned that Williams, a Galveston native, graduated from Texas City High School in May. She started her job at the Waffle House just a month later. Texas Southern University awarded Williams a $16,000 college scholarship.
Per KPRC, the Houston school told her, "Your act of kindness is exactly the kind of student we want at Texas Southern University." The scholarship was awarded during a special ceremony hosted by city spokeswoman Colleen Merritt, and can be used in $4,000 increments per semester.
Adrien Charpentier, the man in the photo, had just gotten out of the hospital and was still experiencing difficulty in his hands. He also attended the scholarship ceremony at Waffle House. As for Williams' thoughts on the outpouring of support and response of this small gesture during her busy shift, she told KPRC that,
"All I know is we were busy. And all he asked was, 'I don't have functioning in my hands, can you cut [my ham] for me? It would be easier for me.' I was like, sure, I stopped. I had food on the board to pick up. They were calling my name. I stepped away, came back and finished."
What was just another day for Williams brought hope to over 97,000 people on Facebook, judging by their reactions. What we should consider, though, is how each of us can be like Williams in our daily lives when doing the right thing is second nature. Chances are, you pass by people who could use a helping hand every day. Are you keeping your eyes open for opportunities to go the extra mile?