July- 2021- An airport pianist was given the surprise of a lifetime when a stranger waiting for a flight ended up raising thousands of dollars in tips for him.
Tonee "Valentine" Carter was performing his usual routine at a piano bar in Concourse A of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport when he crossed paths with Carlos Whittaker on July 21, according to Good Morning America.
After striking up a conversation with Carter, Whittaker decided to call on his 220,000+ Instagram followers to support the hardworking pianist, GMA reported.
Within hours, Whittaker's efforts had raised over $60,000 in tips for Carter, leaving the airport musician speechless and feeling nothing but gratitude.
"He asked me if I had any hope in humanity, and I said no, [but] I do now," Carter, 66, told Fox affiliate WAGA. "When people do things like that, total strangers and they hear my story and they want to give me a gift like that. Thankful is inadequate. I want to give back and help people like he's doing."
A person standing in front of a box: "I just wanted to let him know that I was listening to him and that somebody sees him," Carlos Whittaker said of pianist Tonee "Valentine" Carter© FOX 5 Atlanta "I just wanted to let him know that I was listening to him and that somebody sees him," Carlos Whittaker said of pianist Tonee "Valentine" Carter
"I'm going to be helping people for years to come," he added to GMA. "God made me a steward of that money and I ain't letting him down."