South Memphis teen inspires the nation, but safety concerns grow as GoFundMe soars

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The story of Chauncy Black has gone viral across the country.

>> First on FOX13: How a teen desperate for food ended up with a house

The South Memphis teen entered the public eye when he approached a stranger in a grocery store parking lot less than two weeks ago. The 15-year-old asked a stranger if he could help load groceries into his car in exchange for a pack of donuts, and his life has been an incredible whirlwind ever since.

“Something told me to go there and ask this guy if I can take his groceries to the car,” Chauncy told FOX13 in an exclusive interview Friday.

That stranger was Matthew White, a local musician who decided to take the teen on a shopping spree in Kroger. He drove Chauncy home after they finished shopping and learned the boy lived in a shoddy South Memphis house with his disabled mother, Barbara Martin. Once inside the residence, Matthew saw they had nothing; not even beds to sleep on.

Matt documented the meeting on Facebook.

Chauncy also revealed he was a straight A student who worked odd jobs to help his mom pay for rent.

>> Memphis teen asks to help man with groceries, and his life changes forever

The story broke Mathew’s heart, and he set up a GoFundMe account for Chauncy with an original goal of raising $250 to buy a lawnmower. The idea was the teen could use it to mow yards and make some extra cash.

Chauncy’s story exploded all around the country, and the GoFundMe account has now raised more than $286,000.

In a sit-down interview with FOX13 on Friday, Matthew White told the family they were going to get a nice house that was going to be fully furnished by Ashley Furniture.

“I don’t know what to say, what to do,” Barbara said after the reveal. “Chauncy told me not to cry, but I might break down in tears.”

The incredible story has been shared thousands of times on the FOX13 page.

Hundreds of thousands of people have read the Chauncy's heartwarming story, but it's not all rays of sunshine as the days pass. As the money total has continued to crime, life has gotten very complicated for Chauncy and his mom.

The plan was for them to use part of the money to buy a new home, but the process of moving out had to be expedited for the family’s safety. As people learned about the fortune of money that was being donated, things got less and less comfortable.

For now, they are living in an undisclosed hotel. And from there, Barbara had to send a message to other family members.

“We don’t have no access to the money. All that money is gonna be put in a trust fund,” Barbara said in a video posted on the GoFundMe account page. “We don’t have any money. And I’m just letting my family know that we love them, but we are in danger.”

“Some people don’t have the best intentions for people who look like they’re gonna be well off,” Matthew added in the video. “This looks like a lottery winning, but it’s not.”

The story is certainly a wonderful expression of love and caring from people in Memphis and throughout the country, but the family wanted those following their path to know where things stand now.

Chauncy ended the video with a sincere thank you to those who have helped change his life.

“May God bless y’all though,” Chauncy said while looking into the camera.

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