The McDonald’s in Bicknell, Indiana was filling up around dinner time when patrons noticed a 7-year-old boy cleaning tables before, during, and after people ate. Since he was too young to be employed there but wiping down surfaces anyway, a customer asked him why he was doing this and the child’s answer made her heart sink.
Knowing how busy this particular McDonald’s location is, Trenton Gardner came into the restaurant earlier in the week and asked if he could have a job. General Manager Rhonda Butler sadly informed him that he was too young to work there which sent little Trenton into tears. He sobbed that he could cook, clean, and was happy to do anything — he just needed to make some money and wanted to work for it.
Despite being told that he was too young to work, Trenton returned to the restaurant to try to convince the manager otherwise. Butler was taken aback by his determination and came up with a plan that would appease the boy and the labor laws. She handed him an apron, McDonald’s hat, and a badge with his name on it and said he could work as an honorary employee. The boy took the position seriously, coming to his first day of work wearing a white shirt, tie, black pants, and the uniform items the restaurant gave him.
With a huge smile on his face and friendly demeanor, he wiped down every table he could, in exchange for a single dollar bill by customers who appreciated his service. Trenton put his “tips” in his pocket and didn’t stop cleaning and also kept coming back when diners noticed who else was there. The money wasn’t for him or his proud mother supervising him — Trenton was working solely to earn money to buy toys for kids in his community who wouldn’t have a Christmas without him.
“If he’s willing to do this so hard at 7, I can only imagine what he’s going to be like when he gets older,” Trenton’s mother, Lindsey Gardner told WPXI. She added that her son came up with this idea on his own when he decided he wanted to buy toys other kids, but it was important to him that he earned the money himself to do it — not take a handout.
The hard working 7-year-old accomplished his goal, filling his parent’s car with gifts to donate to Toys for Tots, all earned and paid for by him. His mother and father did something right with their little boy, teaching him life skills that have been lost in society and replaced by laziness and entitlement. He knows more about work ethic, compassion, and goodwill than people three and four times his age who could learn something from him.