Newsome High School’s student body came together to support their head custodian ahead of the holidays after hearing about the challenges she was going through outside of work.
Wanda Butler has worked at Newsome for 22 years. Earlier this year, her husband was diagnosed with stage-four metastatic lung and brain cancer and the Butlers heard that the home they had been renting was being sold and so they had to move out by the first of the new year.
Bearing the full weight of these challenges, Wanda confided in friend and coworker Corynn Cusson.
“When I found out about her husband, I just felt like she was such a big support to me that I needed to be supportive of her as well because that’s what good friends do,” said Cusson.
Moved to help her friend of three years, Cusson started a GoFundMe page and shared a little of Wanda’s story on Facebook. The link was shared with the faculty and staff at Newsome High School and eventually reached the Student Government Association (SGA) sponsor.
When the student government students found out, they wanted to help their head custodian in any way possible. During the final week of November, students collected donations from parents and students in the Newsome car line.
“I didn’t realize there were so many people that cared that would do this for me and my husband,” said Butler.
Other students were going home to their families, asking their parents to help them make a donation to support the Butlers as well.
“Wanda means so much to this school. She’s been here for 20 years and she’s always providing dedication and love,” said SGA President Yasmine Ofiara.
The money will be given to Wanda as her husband undergoes cancer treatments and they search for a new home. Wanda said one of their priorities is to buy a house so they no longer have to deal with the challenges of renting.
“Don’t bottle it up. Talk to somebody,” advised Wanda to others who are dealing with challenges in their personal lives. “Because if you express what situation you are in to at least one person, that one person will pay it forward to the next person.”
To read Wanda’s story or donate to the fundraiser, visit www.gofundme.com/f/rally-for-the-butlers.