When an Indiana Chick-fil-A customer walked into the fast food chain to grab a quick bite, the last thing he was expecting was to see something life-changing.
According to a Dec. 8, 2016, Facebook post, Cameron Nelson ordered food at the popular chicken restaurant when he saw 18-year-old Jakeem Tyler taking orders in a neck brace and arm sling. Tyler told him that he had been in a car accident, and he returned to work as soon as his doctor cleared him.
"We sneeze too hard & decide to call in, but he's workin like nothing's wrong," Nelson wrote of the encounter.
Tyler told the customer that he was looking save up a little extra money for the holidays so that he afford to feed the homeless with his family.
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"Maybe I was supposed to go in there," Nelson wrote. "I think I may kick down a hundred or two on payday to help him out… he's definitely doin it for a great cause & I was amazed he's still workin despite his condition."
Since Nelson posted his experience on Facebook, nearly 30,000 people have shared it, and 64,000 have liked or reacted to it. He also set up a GoFundMe page, which has earned nearly $45,000, far exceeding its $2,500 goal.
"I was amazed and I was so grateful," Tyler told the Daily Mail of the whole experience. "I didn't look to get any attention or receive any donations from anyone. I'm just glad that so many people get to see my testimony and see that not all teens are bad and that there are good people in this world."
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Tyler said that he had to learn to work with only one arm while taking the first steps toward his dream of opening a foundation for the homeless in Indiana. He and his family are using the money to coordinate local charity events for the homeless.
Nelson returned to the restaurant in late December and ran into his new friend, with whom he had a long chat about everything that had been going on and their goals for the future.
"This has been THE most rewarding experience I've ever been [a part] of, and one I'll never forget," Nelson wrote on Dec. 28. "The power of social media can be good or bad...it just depends on which platform you want to use it for."