A Tennessee teenager, working at a Hardee’s fast-food restaurant, has gained a good deal of attention on the Internet and a little extra cash in his pocket as the result of a simple act of kindness.
That act occurred on July 11 as 17-year-old Kailen Young was outside a Knoxville Hardee’s washing windows. He reportedly stopped what he was doing to help an elderly woman get to her car, WBIR reported.
Another customer, David Yardley, saw the touching moment and snapped a picture. In it Young can be seen holding the woman’s hand, leading her off the sidewalk, while holding towels and window cleaner in his other hand.
Yardley posted the picture to Hardee’s Facebook page where it has since been shared over 4,000 times and “liked” over 17,000 times.
News of Young’s simple, gentle act has spread as far as Boston where WFXT News ran a brief story about him.
Facebook users from all over were quick to praise and acknowledge Young’s kindness as well.
“This picture embraces the kindness of the human spirit. It makes my heart happy. Thank you young man for being a wonderful person,” wrote Tammy Guess Mcintyre in a comment under Yardley’s photo.
“Shared all the way in Australia!,” wrote another named Yerri Guy. “Tell this young man he is a hero! In this world of so much negativity it is uplifting to see that we havnt lost touch with humanity! Here's hoping that someone in Hardee's head office sees this pic and this young man is rewarded for his amazing representation of this company!”
And it appears someone in Hardee’s management did take notice.
On July 18 the company gave Young a $1,000 check to show their appreciation, according to WBIR.
Young, who is planning to attend college and major in engineering, said he is still overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.
“Some people say they view it as rare, and I was surprised by that, because it's just a normal thing for me,” he told WBIR. “Going through reading the comments, it's been very humbling, very heartwarming.”
The woman in the photo is named Bobbi Clare, and she also had a chance to speak with WBIR.
"I felt a little touch of heaven, that kindness and goodness in the world,” she said of her encounter with Young. “We need that so much, don't we?”
Photo Credit: Facebook