Christian author and Instagram influencer Carlos Whittaker inspired his large following to bless a 66-year old pianist in Atlanta with more than $55,000.
Tonee, an older African-American man, has been playing the piano outside of a Chik-Fil-A for a long time. Tonee's playing caught the attention of Whittaker, who went out of his way to praise the man's playing and ask how he might give Tonee a "Good tip." The two men began talking, and Tonee started to go into detail about his ongoing medical issues. The pianist suffers from kidney disease and must undergo dialysis "Every night for nine hours" to stay alive. So playing the piano is often a source of joy for him.
As a gesture of good faith, Whittaker encouraged his followers to donate to Tonee. The collective community donated 300 dollars in the first 45 minutes of the post. However, those numbers would continue to climb over the day, from $300 to around $10,000 in total. When Whittaker informed Tonee (on camera) that he would be given a $10,000 tip, he was overcome with emotion.
"In 35 minutes, because you're a great human being and you're changing people's lives when you do this, and you're so sincere, and people love you," Whittaker stated in the video, adding, "I got your [phone] number, and we're gonna deposit $2,500 in your CashApp right now and the rest of that we're gonna get you in the next week." After nine hours, Whittaker reported that his followers had donated $55,000 to Tony through Venmo and CashApp.
Alright, friends," Whittaker told his followers in follow-up posts. "We changed that man's life [in] 30 minutes in the airport. Don't you tell me we can't come together."
Carlos Whittaker is a popular Evangelical author, former worship leader, and viral media star. He is the author of three books, including Moment Maker: You Can Live Your Life Or It Will Live You.