Darts initiated the conversation with Chris, who sells newspapers for Nashville-based non-profit The Contributor. For $2, a customer can purchase the newspaper, which provides income to people experiencing homelessness. The Contributor sells newspapers for 50 cents each to homeless people who work for themselves. They train the vendors to sell those papers for $2 each on the street. The vendor keeps the money they earn, and buys more when they need to replace their stock. The organization was founded in 2007 and in three years, became the largest selling street paper per-capita. Today, 70% of their vendors who have been with them for six months or longer have found housing.
Chris was sitting on a turned over metal shopping cart at an intersection when Darts approached him, asking if he was a fan of country music, Rascal Flatts in particular. Chris replied enthusiastically, “Absolutely… oh yeah!”
A very special moment @Gary LeVox @Jimmy Darts ❤️
Darts, who has 8.3 million followers and 214.9 million likes on TikTok, then asked Chris if he could have one of the papers and without hesitation, Chris handed him one. Then, Darts delivered the surprise.
“I got a gift for you,” revealed Darts. “I got $500 for you.”
Chris’ jaw dropped and he stared at the handful of cash in disbelief. But the surprise wasn’t over. Darts then introduced Gary LeVox, lead singer of Rascal Flatts. Chris was stunned, saying “Oh my God” as he stood up to shake LeVox’s hand.
LeVox sang a snippet of “Bless the Broken Road” before hugging Chris, who was smiling from ear to ear. The Contributor vendor wiped tears from his eyes before LeVox dropped another generous bombshell – $1,000 in cash and an invitation to go backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. Chris stared up at Darts in shock.
Darts and LeVox shared a video of the experience, showing Chris and LeVox standing in the hallowed circle on stage at the Opry, Chris standing on the side of the stage as LeVox walked on to perform, and sitting in the audience with Darts, cheering on LeVox.
Chris summed up his experience by saying, “Oh my gosh, I love you guys.”
LeVox has recently launched a solo career, following the abrupt end of Rascal Flatts, whose 20th anniversary farewell tour was canceled in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He released his debut Christian EP, One on One, in May 2021 and his most recent single, “Working on Sunday” in September 2021. LeVox is currently on his first solo tour, with dates in Indiana and Ohio through May 7.