Matt White is like most people. He works hard, and he likes food. He makes trips to the grocery store once every week, looking for the best deals so he can save money wherever possible. But one night when he was at the grocery store near his home in Memphis, Tennessee, he had a chance encounter that goes on to change his outlook on life forever.
After White paid for his groceries, a teenage boy approached him with an offer that he could not refuse. Matt White, 30, a graduate of music business, was more or less lost in his life. He didn’t know what he was doing and saw the approach of this teen boy through the lens of a spiritual sign. It was as if God was acting through this boy, who needed his help.
The child was 16-year-old Chauncy Jones Black. And he had trekked miles across Memphis to go to the “rich people’s Kroger,” so he could find people who would be willing to pay him in food in exchange for his work.
Black was not a beggar. He wanted to barter his service for food. But he was hungry and desperate, which really touched Matt White’s heart. Although he was empty-handed and had only an hour before he needed to catch the bus back home, Black wanted White to help him if he could. Black’s mother, hungry, alone, and destitute, was waiting for her son back at home.
White offered to help.
“He looked ashamed, hungry, and broken,” White said of Black.
The teen told White that he just wanted to work for him. He’d do anything for a few bites to eat and for some food for his mother.
Black made an offer. He’d carry White’s groceries to his car in exchange for a box of donuts.
“In my heart, I screamed a loud ‘yes!’ But to him, I just chuckled and said, ‘yeah dude, we’ll get you some doughnuts.'”
God had opened up a path to greatness for White, and he was going to walk along with it and see where it led him.
After White got Black a pack of doughnuts, he knew he could do more. He learned that Black and his mother had very little besides a bus pass and the clothes on their backs. Doughnuts were not going to lift them out of poverty.
Suddenly, an inspired idea came to White. He would treat this boy to a shopping spree. Without even alerting the teen to his plan, White started grabbing things off the shelves and putting them in Black’s cart. The pair got cereal, fruits, and peanut butter. White wanted Black’s fridge stocked with healthy things as well as staples. He wanted to do a little something to help this teen lead a better life, to get a leg up.
As he was using his privilege to help the boy, White asked Black about school and his personal life. He quickly learned that Black was a superstar.
“He makes straight A’s in school and is trying to get a job to help his mom pay rent. This kid was amazing.”
Despite the system that was in place to oppress him and his family, Chauncy Jones Black was intent on doing everything he could to lift himself and his mother out of poverty.
Every time you share an AWM story, you help build a home for a disabled veteran.