Everyone in Boiling Springs, South Carolina, knows Brenda Hurst. After all, she has been the head custodian at Boiling Springs High School for 20 years.
“When people come to our football games at Boiling Springs, they hear her laugh. They know Ms. Brenda,” Alexis Ork, student body president at Boiling Springs High, told ABC News.
So when the home that Hurst shared with her brother burned down last June, there wasn’t too much debate about how to help.
“The first thing I said was, ‘I need to give her a home,’” Ork told ABC News.
The house had been in the Hurst family since the 1900s and the only thing that survived the fire was the family bible, reported ABC.
Initially, school principal Chuck Gordon and Ork, along with the student body, started to reach out to area businesses to raise money for a mobile home. But when Mike Raven, executive director of United Carpenters for Christ, heard the story, he offered to build a brand new home.
With the help of donations and business sponsors, the fully furnished new home was unveiled to Hurst and her brother this week, after they spent a year living with relatives.
“So many people were there to support me, and all I could do was cry. I boo-hoo-hoo-ed like a baby,” Hurst told ABC. “They said, ‘How do you like the house?’ I said, ‘It’s like I’m in Beverly Hills, but I know it’s not California.’”
Complete with a washer, dryer, and air conditioner, Hurst’s new home is decorated in black, white, silver, and red – Boiling Spring High’s school colours.
To thank all those who helped her and her brother in the past year, Hurst told ABC she plans on using her new kitchen to make everyone her famous banana pudding.
“It’s a lot, but I love them like they love me. And I don’t mind.”