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An impoverished teen's chance encounter in grocery store leads to massive fundraising effort

Posted: 6:01 PM, Jun 24, 2016
Updated: 2016-06-25 01:01:03Z

It is a chance encounter that Chauncy Jones Black will never forget. The 16-year-old Memphis teen with few belongings used his bus pass to get to a Kroger grocery store, which led to a meeting that will forever change his life. 

With nothing in his stomach or his pantry, Black set off to the Kroger grocery store hoping someone would buy him some donuts in exchange for helping that person with their groceries.

"I was shopping for produce asking if he could help me carry my grocery bags to my car in exchange for buying him a pack of glazed donuts," Matt White said in a viral Facebook post. "This kid looked like he had been turned down 100 times. He looked ashamed, hungry and broken."

Black is said to be a straight-A student living in an impoverished area of Memphis, who hopes one day to own his own business. But Black and his family were not in a good situation.

"They were sleeping on pads made out of sleeping bags, they had two lamps and nothing in their fridge," White said. "Nothing. His mother was so sweet but very fragile. I couldn't tell what it was, but she had some sort of physical and or mental disability that made her shake and made walking difficult. I thought I was going to cry."

After learning about Black's situation, White sent the teen home with a variety of grocery items. 

White thought that he could help Black with buying a lawnmower so he could use it to make money mowing lawns with a GoFundMe page. The goal was to raise $250. As of Friday evening, he has raised $128,590 for Black's family. 

Black has already been given his lawnmower, and has been completing lawn jobs. 

Black is also in the process of moving into a new home. 

White has setup a YouTube page documenting Black's family journey out of poverty.