When Cameron Nelson stopped off at an Indiana Chick-fil-A to grab a bite last week, he was surprised by the person he found behind the counter: a teenager working hard with one arm in a sling and a neck brace on. That teen was Jakeem Tyler, and his dedication to his job led Nelson to grab a photo and write about it on Facebook, per CBS News. "We sneeze too hard & decide to call in, but he's workin like nothing's wrong," Nelson wrote in his Dec. 8 post. Further conversation with Jakeem revealed that he had recently been in a car accident, but he told Nelson he needed to work for the money—not just for himself and to buy Christmas presents, but also to put toward his goal of feeding the homeless this holiday season, an idea he's been working on for months, his parents tell WXIN.
The group Jakeem is supporting: the Homeless Hoosiers, which works with Indiana shelters to help the state's vulnerable. Nelson was so moved by Jakeem's work ethic that he created a GoFundMe page for the teen; it's so far raised more than $12,000 to help Jakeem's mission along. Jakeem at first had no idea that his picture had gone viral, telling WISH that the day Nelson met him was just "a day to work and share the gospel and ... spread love around." He adds about his newfound fame: "I ... don't know what to really say right now because I'm just in awe still." As for how corporate feels about him, Chick-fil-A gave a statement to WTTV: "Jakeem is a phenomenal young man and an outstanding team member. … We are beyond proud." (This hungry teen asked for doughnuts, received $270K.)