KANSAS CITY, Mo (KTVU, WDAF) - Sometimes all it takes is one person to come up with a thought and one simple act to set out to help a stranger. And it can catch like wildfire.
For Don Carter it all started when he went through a Popeye's Fried Chicken drive-through on his way home from work on Friday. He struck up a conversation with the young lady at the window.
She started sharing with him how she was working to go back to school to become a nurse.
Carter said he noticed a spark in the woman and saw potential. He also said she appeared "really exhausted."
As he drove home, Carter said he couldn't stop thinking about the young woman and couldn't ignore this feeling that he wanted to help her.
And then it hit him. "Literally crunching on the chicken and this thought dawns on me. What if you pay for her to go to school?" Carter said.
So he decided that with a little help from some of his friends, he would do just that.
After doing some research, he discovered that it costs $1,500 to get a certified nursing assistants (CNA) license.
Carter promptly created a GoFundMe page.
Then in a post on Facebook, he shared the page along with his encounter with the woman and asked: What if 300 of my friends donated 5 dollars each?
"... we could do it no problem... Just a random act of kindness from a few hundred strangers. Anybody down?" Carter asked. And he added, "Yes, I'm serious."
He went to bed and woke up the next morning completely floored.
"It was pretty incredible."
The response was beyond anything he imagined.
Carter's post was shared dozens of times. His message reached people from all over the country, who in turn responded with their own random act of kindness.
Within just 24 hours, Carter surpassed his goal, raising more than $1,700 dollars for this stranger he had just met.
The woman had no idea about the fundraising campaign Carter had started.
On Sunday, he returned to the Popeyes to surprise her and present her with the news.
Carter posted the update on his GoFundMe page, and said "I just wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to the person you all have lavished with your kindness. Thank you. Thank you."
Carter described the woman as "so cool" and "solid."
It took one thoughtful act to lead to a potentially life-altering opportunity.
Carter was the one who took that first the step, but he shared the credit and said it was through "the kindness of all of you" that made it possible.