Viral Pic Earns Eatery Worker Praise—and $16K Scholarship

Texas Waffle House employee rewarded for act of kindness toward elderly customer
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2018 10:52 AM CST
She Cut His Meat for Him. Next She Got a $16K Scholarship
Diners eat at a Waffle House restaurant decorated for Valentine's Day in Atlanta on Feb. 14, 2018.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Last Saturday, Laura Wolf stopped off at a Waffle House in her neck of the woods in Texas for a meal, and what she witnessed there—and what she did afterward—ended up changing the life of a teen Waffle House employee. Per KHOU, Wolf happened upon the La Marque restaurant on a morning when 18-year-old Evoni Williams, a recent high school graduate, was working one of her shifts, trying to scrape together funds to pay for college. As Wolf explains in a Facebook post, accompanied by a photo of the incident, she overheard an elderly customer sitting at the counter and tethered to an oxygen tank tell Williams that "his hands don't work too good." It was then, "without hesitation," that Williams took the plate from the struggling customer, IDed as 78-year-old Adrien Charpentier, and started to cut his meat. That's when Wolf snapped the photo, which has since gone viral on social media.

"This may seem small but to him, I'm sure it was huge," Wolf wrote of Charpentier, who Williams tells KTRK is a regular but hadn't been in until that day after a recent hospital stay. Since Wolf posted her photo, it's been shared more than 46,000 times and received more than 55,000 votes on Reddit, per the Houston Chronicle. And when Texas Southern University got wind of it, the college had a surprise for Williams: a $16,000 scholarship, which she plans to put toward a business management degree. Per KTRK, La Marque's mayor honored Williams on Thursday, with the guest of honor noting she was thrown by all the attention. "It just came from the heart," she says. As for Charpentier, he's enjoying the publicity as well, joking with KHOU that "they got a fancy picture of my suspenders in the back." (Something similar happened at a Chicago McDonald's a few years back.)

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