The Real Story Behind the Waffle House Waitress Who Got a $16K Scholarship For Helping an Elderly Man

An elderly gentleman needed some assistance cutting up his food in the midst of a particularly busy Waffle House in La Marque, Texas one morning. A waitress, unbeknownst to her at the time, showed the man some kindness in an act that would change her life. Read on for an inside look at what happened.

1. Evoni Williams

Waffle House

Waffle House | SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

Evoni Williams is an 18-year-old Waffle House waitress who recently graduated from Texas City High School. She’s, reportedly, been working at the Waffle House full time in order to save for college–she dreams of one day opening up her own restaurant or hair salon. Her manager says she’s known for always having a smile on her face.

Next: The man who needed help

2. Adrien Charpentier

LaMarque, Texas, water tower

La Marque, Texas, water tower | VarunRajendran/Wikimedia Commons

Adrien Charpentier, the gentleman Williams helped, is known around town as “Mr. Karaoke” because he loves to sing songs at the local senior center. When he and Williams had their encounter, he had been in and out of the hospital for the past five weeks. “It started with pneumonia,” he told ABC.

Next: What Williams did for Charpentier

3. The act of kindness

homemade american round waffles with butter

Waffles | Bonchan/iStock/Getty Images

On that particular day, Waffle House was especially bustling. Williams said the cook was calling her name to pick up food when Charpentier asked for her help. As of late, Charpentier has been experiencing muscle weakness in his hands and, as a result, has trouble cutting his food.

When Charpentier asked Williams for some help, she stopped what she was doing, cut up his ham, and had a nice conversation with him. “It’s just something I would do for anybody,” Williams later told The Houston Chronicle.

Next: The act of kindness didn’t go unnoticed. 

4. The moment went viral

waffle house waitress

Evoni Williams and Adrien Charpentier | Laura Wolf via Facebook

It just so happened that a restaurant patron caught the moment on her phone and posted the picture to Facebook.

“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…” she captioned the photo.

In a week’s time, over 130,000 people had reacted to the post and nearly 7,000 shared it.

Next: The post even reached the mayor. 

5. Evoni Williams day!

Someone tagged La Marque Mayor, Bobby Hocking, alerting him to the post. “It immediately, it just touched my heart,” he told ABC. “It’s so wonderful that the younger generation cares about the older generation.” It touched him so much that he wanted to honor Williams by giving her her own day. From now on, in La Marque, March 8 is Evoni Williams Day.

“It is awesome. … I feel excited and happy,” said Williams about the honor.

Next: Texas Southern University also took notice.

6. The $16K scholarship

Texas Southern University auditorium

Texas Southern University auditorium | Broadmoor/Wikimedia Commons

Not only does she get her own day, but Williams was also awarded a $16,000 scholarship to Texas Southern University. According to NPR, TSU has assigned her a counselor to help her begin her degree. She’s planning on studying business management.

“All roads lead to Texas Southern. Welcome to Tigerland Evoni!” tweeted the school.

Next: What Waffle House has to say about Williams

7. Waffle House is proud of Evoni

waffle house tweet

The Waffle House tweet about Evoni Williams | Waffle House via Twitter

Waffle House is, unsurprisingly, extremely proud of Williams.

“We are so proud of Evoni! We appreciate her dedication to caring for her customers! Thank you for also recognizing her good works. She is an All-Star!” tweeted the restaurant.

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