It was a normal day in La Marque, Texas. A waitress working long shifts at a waffle house got ready to start her first shit of the day. It felt like any regular morning for her, but she didn’t know that it was about to change.
Just a few hours into her shift, something would happen that would change everything for her. She had no idea as she went about doing her duties behind the counter and serving customers breakfast.
The Waffle house had its regulars. They’d come through frequently and order the same meal each time. Laura Wolf was one of these customers and she decided to come in for a coffee to start her day.
Whenever Laura went to the Waffle House it was pretty much the same every time. She’d order her coffee, sip it until it was finished, and then leave. But today she noticed something very different than any other day. It made her get out her phone and start taking photos.
But before Laura had even seen the event that made her want to start recording, the Waffle House was abnormally packed. It felt like everyone in town had decided to come to get breakfast here.
The waiters had to be on their toes today, with so many customers. There was a rush of orders and Laura was had nothing better to do so she kept an eye on them all.
Since Laura frequented the Waffle House so much she knew most of the employees by name. She had gotten used to seeing Evoni Williams there. She was a hard-working waitress that had been loyal to the Waffle House for many years.
Evoni was only 18-years-old and worked at the Waffle House for the sole purpose of saving up enough money for a chance of an education at a college. The long shifts had helped her save, but she had a long way to go still.
Evoni hadn’t ever seen the restaurant so packed before, she was quite happy to see it like this. What was good for the business was good for her. After all, more customers meant more potential tips for her.
Evoni had her work cut out for her though. The rush was on a day where there wasn’t a lot of staff in the establishment. So Evoni would have to deal with most of the service herself. As she hurriedly gave each customer their breakfast and coffee, she caught something out of the corner of her eye.
There was one customer that Evoni noticed out of the corner of her eye. She had already served him his meal, so what could he possibly want? All the same though, he was a regular that frequented the restaurant.
The customer was Adrien, a 78-year-old man that all the staff knew and affectionately called “Mr. Karaoke.” The staff was also aware of the health complications that had led him to have to carry around an oxygen tank with him.
Evoni was incredibly busy but she loved her work. She couldn’t afford to stop for even a second with all the busy customers in the restaurant. And just when she felt like she got a little ahead of things, she noticed Adrien out of the corner of her eye.
Without hesitation, Evoni rushed over to Adrien’s side to see what was wrong. The old man tried saying something but she couldn’t hear, she brought her ear closer to him and he whispered something. At this point, Evoni had no idea that she was being recorded.
Laura was sitting quietly just a booth away and couldn’t make out what the old man was trying to tell Evoni. She leaned in to see if she could catch anything on her camera.
She could tell that whatever it was was a little embarrassing for Adrien. Laura just knew that something amazing was going to happen, she had to record this interaction just in case.
With all of the customers packed into the Waffle House each having their own conversations, it can be hard to hear someone else’s voice amongst the crowd. Now that’s especially true if it’s an elderly man that needs oxygen just to breathe.
As Evoni got even closer to try and understand what Adrien was trying to tell her, a chef behind the counter told her to get back to work. Evoni ignored him and tried to get Adrien to speak a little louder.
Evoni had assumed that there was something wrong with Adrien’s food. Why else would he call her over? It seems like the most common thing a server is called over for is a complaint about the quality of the food.
After Adrien whispered to her, he pushed his plate toward her. Evoni picked up his plate of toast, ham, fries, and eggs and then passed it right back. What just happened?
It may seem like this event was long but it actually only took a few seconds and it was over, Luckily it was recorded. In a small moment, Evoni was only focused on Adrien and no one else. The busy restaurant faded into the background as Evoni tried her best to help a loyal customer.
Laura had captured the entire thing on Camera. But it wasn’t just her, the interaction was being recorded from somewhere else and it caught everything!
In a busy restaurant like Waffle House, security cameras are increasingly important. This particular location did have a CCTV security camera set up. At the same time Laura was watching the interaction take place, the camera, hanging from the ceiling, was also recording everything that happened.
The silent camera, barely noticed by anyone, gave a bird’s eye shot of everything happening between Evoni and Adrien on that fateful day at a Waffle House.
Laura Wolf was speechless after she witnessed the scene that had just played out in front of her. She now had several photos of Evoni and Adrien as the waitress returned his breakfast plate to him.
She struggled with what to do with the photo evidence, and eventually decided to post it to her Facebook account. She shared it, not having a clue how she was about to change Evoni’s life.
The astonishing scene that Laura Wolf had just watched and recorded all started when Adrien flagged down waitress Evoni. The man was experiencing a decline in his health and was not able to perform personal tasks the way he used to be able to.
Laura thought he had seemed embarrassed or self-conscious when he talked to Evoni. It turned out that he needed assistance cutting his breakfast ham. “I can hold a fork fine and dandy,” Adrien told ABC News. “But to cut it looks like I’m going to stab somebody,” he continued. This is what he had asked of Evoni – for help cutting his food.
Later, Evoni talked about the scene at the Waffle House on that fateful morning. “He was like, ‘My hands are not functioning too well,'” she said of Adrien’s request. She had to really lean in order to hear his question.
“He needed me to cut his food for him, so I did,” she told ABC News. Evoni took his food, cut the ham into, bite-sized pieces and pushed it all back over to him. This was pretty routine for a waitress to do with a regular customer, so Evoni went about her regular day and didn’t much of it. For now.
Laura felt strongly that she wanted to get the story out about what she had just witnessed. She figured Facebook would be the best place to share her photos. Here’s what she posted. “I don’t know her name but I heard this elderly man tell her his hands don’t work too good.”
Laura went on, “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.” The post instantly affected everyone who saw it.
Even while she was still at the Waffle House, Laura’s post started to get some major attention. Her phone was lighting up with alerts left and right. People shared positive things about Evoni, and many of them shared Laura’s post on their own accounts. Word rapidly began to spread of this woman’s kind deed.
“If we could all be like this waitress and take time to offer a lending hand…” was how Laura decided to close her Facebook post. Little did she know what would happen as a result.
It didn’t take long for Laura’s post to go viral. In just a few days since she first shared it, the photos racked up 90,000 likes and nearly 50,000 shares. People were truly touched by Evoni’s kind act and wanted to share the heartwarming moment with their own friends and family.
Adrien got attention from the post, too, he told ABC News. “Somebody told me two days later that I was very popular because they saw me on Facebook,” he said, and joked that “They got a fancy picture of my suspenders in the back.” It seems everyone in the town knew about Evoni and Adrien.
La Marque, Texas’s mayor is named Bobby Hocking. When word of Evoni’s good deed reached his office, he instantly wanted to meet her. It was arranged that the meeting would take place at the Waffle House (of course).
The restaurant was filled with cameras for the event, which Evoni had expected. But she had no idea what the mayor had planned for this special event. He wanted to honor her in front of everyone.
Evoni’s big day arrived, and she watched as her place of employment filled with reporters and camera crews. At least this time around, she would be aware that she was being recorded!
The mayor arrived and stood behind the Waffle House bar, right where Evoni had been when she’d helped Adrien with his breakfast that day. And then the mayor announced that he wanted to give a special presentation. He told the gathered crowd and news cameras that he was declaring March 8 as “Evoni ‘Nini’ Williams Day” in La Marque. And things were about to get even better for Evoni, who was already in disbelief.
As Evoni’s story made its rounds on the internet, people wanted to learn more about her. How did this remarkable woman end up working at Waffle House?
People found out that Evoni worked so very hard because she wanted to save enough money to attend college. In a “paying it forward” move, some residents of La Marque set up a GoFundMe account in an effort to raise tuition money so Evoni could go to school. And it turns out that someone very important received news of this fundraising effort.
More and more people began to donate to the GoFundMe page that had been set up to raise money for Evoni and “pay it forward” so she could attend college. People right from her own town and people across the country donated what they could to the kind Waffle House waitress.
At Texas Southern University in Houston, some staff learned about Evoni and her goal of attending college. They decided to help out in a special way. One of the university’s administrators said. “We wanted to reward Evoni’s act of kindness.”
As Evoni learned about the new holiday in her honor that day at Waffle House, she beamed knowing that Adrien and Laura were both there to cheer her on. But there was someone else present that Evoni did not expect in her wildest dreams.
Also there was the president of Texas Southern University! He said that he wanted the chance to meet Evoni and “let her know that good deeds do not go unnoticed, ” as he said in an interview later. he later explained in a television interview.
After the mayor’s presentation of Evoni’s special holiday, it was the president of Texas Southern University’s turn to take his place behind the Waffle House bar. He was about to give the special woman a gift no one could have imagined.
With a jumbo-sized check in hand, the president announced that the school was awarding Evoni a scholarship worth a whopping $16,000! Evoni, and most of the crowd, burst into tears of surprise and joy.
The folks who helped start this whole thing were especially happy for Evoni. Laura Wolf and Adrien could have had no possible idea the role that they would play in one Waffle House waitress’s future.
As she spoke to reporters that day, Laura had this to say. “It was so busy in here, you know? And she actually took the time to stop and hear what he had to say instead of walking past him. It just meant something to me,” she explained. And Adrien said that the act meant a lot to him as well.
Ever humble, Evoni said that she did what anyone else would do if they knew someone was in need. She didn’t let the award, the media attention, or even the scholarship go to her head.
As she told local reporters “I don’t know, it was something I would do any other day.” But anyone who’s ever been helped by the kindness of a stranger might disagree with her. Evoni is a beautiful example of treating people with kindness.