California Pizza Kitchen Employee Raises Money for Elderly Couple Facing Eviction

Chris Haynes plans to dedicate the earnings from his Saturday shift to a Thousand Oaks couple that are losing their house.

When a Thousand Oaks pizza restaurant employee saw a newscast about an elderly couple facing eviction from the house they've lived in for 56 years, he was sickened.

So he decided to do something. He's donating about $200, a shift's worth of earnings so the couple can find some solace as they find a new living arrangement.

"That is just horrible," said Chris Haynes, a 29-year-old trainer at California Pizza Kitchen. "I know what it's like to, out of nowhere, kind of get blindsided."

Haynes' act of kindness is the latest that Hank and Helen Kawecki have received since their story went public earlier this summer.

They say their grandson stole the deed to their house after promising to financially support them, and lost it to foreclosure in a case the Ventura County Sheriff's Department is investigating.

Friends and strangers have contributed more than $115,000 to their cause as of Thursday evening. They are hoping to buy a mobile home. They also have legal fees as they battle their grandson in court.

Haynes sympathizes with the couple whom he has never met.

He has been through a rough patch, but got back on his feet with the help of a friend. Since then, he has gained a reputation for performing random acts of kindness at work.

One time, he bought Lego gift cards for kids whose mom said she was taking them out to lunch to celebrate their good grades. When a girl lost her tooth at the restaurant, he played tooth fairy.

Haynes reached out to Doug Emerson, the Kaweckis' neighbor who has helped contact police, find them a lawyer and set up a GoFundMe account.

Emerson welcomed the support.

They're frail and have lost weight during the ordeal of losing their home, he said. Dozens of people recently wished Helen a happy 88th birthday.

"She's kind of turned back into a fighter," said Emerson of Helen. "They're doing much better than what we expect from people their age."

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