CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It was late evening on Feb. 15 when Felisha Coyner and her 13-year-old daughter, Morgan, stopped by the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Teays Valley and saw what appeared to be a homeless man standing at the counter.
He was middle-aged and dirty, weighed down with bags and backpacks. A young female employee, Francesca Chambers, was waiting on him. As mother and daughter approached, they could hear bits of the conversation.
"It's OK," Francesca was telling the man. "Keep your money. I'm getting this. What kind of chicken do you like?"
The man was shaking his head no, but the attractive, young KFC employee was insistent.
"It seemed as if they had been talking for a while," Coyner wrote in her email. "She was telling the man that everyone goes through tough times, but he shouldn't give up. He should keep on fighting."
The man was kind of mumbling, his head held low.
"Do you need help getting a roof over your head? Maybe a job?" Francesca asked him. "If you come back tomorrow, I'll help you get in touch with a shelter. And if you need money, I can probably come up with $20."
The man was trying to get her to take his $2, but she put the money back in his hand.
"Look," said the girl. "I'm in school full time, and, trust me, there are times I don't feel like going to class or coming to work, but I make myself do it, and so can you."
The man realized someone was standing behind him, and when he turned to look at the Coyners, there were tears running down his cheeks.
"I don't even know this girl," the man told them. "And yet, she's trying to help someone like me."
The man was trembling hard as he told them how he hadn't known his father had died until he was already buried. He said his dad had been trying for years to get him off the streets.
"Then let's honor your dad by doing it now," Francesca told him. "You come back tomorrow and I'll do what I can to help you get back on your feet."