Broke College Student Gifted Almost $2,000 From Strangers After Mistaken Text Goes Viral

December 5, 2020 Updated: December 20, 2020

A cash-strapped college student from Knoxville, Tennessee, had his funds boosted by almost $2,000 after a text message from a stranger ended up in his inbox by mistake.

Charles Jarreau, an engineering major at a community college, received a text from a woman named Leslie Fisher, who wanted to know the whereabouts of her turkey order ahead of Thanksgiving.

“Ummm sir this is Leslie Fisher.. I needs [sic] my turkey,” the brief message read.

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Charles Jarreau, a college student from Knoxville, Tenn. (Courtesy of Charles Jarreau via Leslie Fisher)

Instead of ignoring the message, Jarreau decided to send a friendly reply. “Hi Leslie, unfortunately I believe you have the wrong number,” he wrote. “I’m a broke college kid in Knoxville, not a turkey dealer.”

Fisher, mortified, immediately apologized, to which Jarreau responded, “It’s okay, I hope you find your turkey and have a lovely Thanksgiving!”

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Leslie Fisher (Courtesy of Leslie Fisher)

As it turns out, Fisher has a son in college. She empathized with Jarreau’s financial situation and offered to buy him lunch by sending money through Cash App. Jarreau was touched by the kind gesture.

Fisher later posted a screenshot of their conversation on Facebook, wanting to share the humorous mishap.

“She posted the exchange on Facebook, and since then I’ve received dozens of donations,” Jarreau told WTVF in an interview on Nov. 20. “Right now, people have sent me close to $2,000.”

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(Courtesy of Leslie Fisher)

Both Fisher’s friends and complete strangers who came across the post began circulating it and sent money to Jarreau from the kindness of their hearts. “Y’all have made my month much easier on me!” Jarreau exclaimed.

However, the student, who was completely bowled, has decided not to keep the entire amount for himself but to pay it forward, claiming he “felt a little bit guilty.”

According to a comment from Jarreau on the Facebook post, he explained that after keeping some money for his student debt, he would donate the rest to a local charity, called Second Harvest, an East Tennessee food bank that is part of a nationwide franchise.

Absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity of these kind strangers, Jarreau also advised people to stop sending him more money and suggested instead to send it to a “charity of your choice, or to Leslie herself for her and her sons.”

An emotional Fisher was delighted that Jarreau chose to pay the kindness forward. The intent behind her gift, she said, was simply to show Jarreau who she is as a parent and as a person, according to WTVF.

“I want to thank the community and Leslie again,” Jarreau said. “You’ve given me something to be grateful for. …”

United by a mutual act of kindness, Jarreau and Fisher have undoubtedly made a friend for life.

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