This teen was going hungry -- until a simple gesture changed his life

Chauncy-black-youtubeYoutube/Chauncy’s ChanceTennessee teen Chauncy Black.

A chance encounter at the grocery store has changed a Memphis teenager’s life, Fox 59 reports

Two weeks ago, Chauncy Black, 16, approached shopper Matt White and if he could carry White’s grocery’s in exchange for food.

“This kid looked like he had been turned down 100 times,” White wrote in a Facebook post that’s since gone viral. “I asked him if he was by himself and he said that he had come all the way out here with the hopes of someone buying him something to eat because he and his mother had nothing at home.”

White bought a cartload of groceries for the teen and drove him home. There, he found that Black and his mother really were living with nothing: They had no food in the refrigerator, no furniture, and both slept on the floor. Black, who is a straight-A student, had been trying to find work to help his mother pay the rent. 

White’s Facebook post describing the encounter was quickly shared more than 7,000 times. The massive response prompted him to launch a GoFundMe campaign called Chauncy’s Chance. At first, he hoped to raise enough money to get Black an ID and a lawnmower so he could apply for jobs and cut grass to earn money. White introduced Black to potential donors with the following video: 

But the campaign far exceeded these early expectations: To date, more than 3,500 donors have raised a staggering $85,000. At the same time, community members have donated clothes, furniture and various household items to the teen and his mother. Black got a lawnmower and has already begun working. Thanks to the outpouring of generosity, they have even begun the transition to a new home. 

“I cannot explain what is happening. It’s beyond words,” White wrote in the latest Chauncy’s Chance update. “I didn’t know this much love could exist in one place, be aimed in one direction, but seen and felt and empowered by so many people.”

Watch video updates on Black and his mother at the Chauncy’s Chance Youtube channel

NOW WATCH: Teens founded a street school for Pakistan’s homeless kids

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.