When Cameron Nelson entered a Chick-Fil-A in Avon, Indiana, he never expected that a chance encounter would end up changing the lives of so many people.
Nelson says that he entered the Chick-Fil-A “’cause the drive-thru was taking too long.” And that’s when he saw that the cashier working the register was wearing an arm sling and neck brace.
When Nelson talked to the young man, he found out that his name was Jakeem Tyler, and he had been in a car accident about a week earlier. Although his coworkers told him to go home when he showed up at work, the 18-year-old high school student said he needed the money for bills. He’s been part-time working at the Chick-Fil-A for about a year, and said he wanted to make extra money to give to the homeless this holiday season.
“This man Cameron comes in, who I never saw in my life, he asked me why I’m working and I was like, ‘I’m working to feed the homeless and just to pay bills like a young teen does,’” he told WISH-TV.
In a post on Facebook, Nelson said that he would consider giving the man a couple hundred bucks when he got his next paycheck, and he also made a GoFundMe page for Tyler. “I was amazed he’s still working despite his condition,” Nelson wrote. The story quickly went viral, with over 50k likes, 29k shares, and 120 comments.
The GoFundMe page also quickly surpassed its goal of $2,500. In just 10 days, 1,719 people have donated $43,640.
Tyler has been left in awe of the generous donations, and says that he plans on buying clothes and food for the homeless with the funds. He credits his parents with teaching him the value of giving back from a young age, and he considered the chance encounter a blessing.
Now this is what paying it forward is all about.