Faith in Humanity Restored | Planet Ryan - Republic-Times | News

Faith in Humanity Restored | Planet Ryan

By on July 6, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Just when I thought humans on this planet were past the point of redemption, a wonderful story came along that totally changed my outlook in less than five minutes.

In case you haven’t heard of a tremendous young man by the name of Chauncy Jones Black, let me do you a favor and give you a quick recap.

A few weeks ago, Chauncy, a 16-year-old African American teen, was on the brink of starving. He was hungry enough to hop on a bus one fateful night so that he could get to what he called the “rich people’s Kroger” with hopes of finding someone who would be kind enough to purchase him a small snack in exchange for some type of labor.

Matt White happened to be in the store that night when Chauncy, full of shame and embarrassment, asked him if he would consider buying him a pack of doughnuts in exchange for carrying his bags.

That’s when Chauncy’s life would change forever – in a massive way.

White was floored. “This kid looked like he had been turned down 100 times,” White wrote in a June 9 post on Facebook. “He looked ashamed, hungry and broken. In my heart I screamed a loud ‘Yes!’ But to him I just chuckled and said, ‘Yeah dude, we’ll get you some doughnuts.’”

White asked him about his situation, and Chauncy explained he and his sick mother had nothing to eat at home. White immediately took him on a shopping spree and filled his bags with food.

White then offered to drive Chauncy home, to get a first-hand look at his situation and it was as bad as Chauncy described.

“He and his mom had nothing. They didn’t even have beds or furniture. They were sleeping on pads made out of sleeping bags, they had two lamps and nothing in their fridge. Nothing,” White said.

“As we unpacked the food into their kitchen, you could see the hope coming back into Chauncy’s eyes,” he continued. “He knew he wasn’t going to be hungry. He looked like a kid again. As I was leaving I gave him a hug and told him how much God loved him and that he was going to grow up to be an incredible man.”

White asked Chauncy what kind of work he wanted to do and Chauncy said he wanted a lawn mower to mow lawns for extra money. Fair enough. The kid wasn’t begging – he wanted to work.

White immediately had the idea of setting up a GoFundMe account with the modest goal of raising $250 to purchase a mower for Chauncy. And that’s when things got interesting.

Chauncy’s story went mega-viral. The publisher I work for reaches millions of people on Facebook, and I’m proud to say we had some part in making that happen. Within a period of 14 days, strangers from around the globe pitched in an astonishing $305,000 to give Chauncy and his mother a new shot at life.

What I like the most is that even with the option to buy a new home, a vehicle and a lifetime of food, Chauncy is looking forward to buying that mower so he can get to work and earn his way.

Needless to say, I’m giving humanity another shot after this.

If you’re interested in learning more, read Chauncy’s story online at

Ryan Ledendecker

Ryan is a biweekly columnist for the Republic-Times newspaper. When he's not working, he enjoys a good movie, bass fishing, and CrossFit.