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Custodian welcomed back as a hero

April 16, 2013

JOPLIN, MO — Upon her return to Stapleton Elementary School on Monday, Lourdes Hasty was welcomed back as a hero, according to KODE-TV.

Monday marked the first day Hasty was back on the job after suffering from a double stroke earlier this year, the article stated.

"I was expecting them to say, she's back, that's it. I wasn't expecting this big extravagant thing. It's a blowout," said Hasty, a custodian/building engineer.

According to the article, Students lined the halls to greet Hasty as she was directed to a surprise assembly presenting her with two checks, totaling more than $4,000.

"When they found out that Lourdis was ill, they really wanted to help. So, we decided to do two different things, we had a loose change drive where the students brought loose change in and with that they raised over $1,000," said Wes Brownfield, a Stapleton 5th grade teacher.

"They came up with a lot of different ideas for ways that they could raise money, and we decided to do an art auction. Every student in the building participated and had art up on the bulletin boards that the parents could buy," Brownfield added.

Even more important than the financial help, however, is the priceless feeling Hasty says this welcome has given, the article noted.

"It's just tears of joy, knowing how powerful those kids' minds can be, just to come up and be creative. You know a few kids and a lot of kids, but you don't know that all of the kids know you and how much they care for you and you can see the difference that you make on those kids," said Hasty.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.