Community comes together to give back to custodian Sean Smith

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Community comes together to give back to custodian Sean Smith

A photograph of custodian Sean Smith and his wife is displayed on the GoFundMe page started by a student to help support them as they face medical setbacks. Smith wants to be remembered by students for his smile and positivity. “You’ve all been good to us, and I want to be good right back,”  Smith said. “If you need me, I got you, and no matter what you’ll always see me smiling.”

A photograph of custodian Sean Smith and his wife is displayed on the GoFundMe page started by a student to help support them as they face medical setbacks. Smith wants to be remembered by students for his smile and positivity. “You’ve all been good to us, and I want to be good right back,” Smith said. “If you need me, I got you, and no matter what you’ll always see me smiling.”

Courtesy of Sean Smith

A photograph of custodian Sean Smith and his wife is displayed on the GoFundMe page started by a student to help support them as they face medical setbacks. Smith wants to be remembered by students for his smile and positivity. “You’ve all been good to us, and I want to be good right back,” Smith said. “If you need me, I got you, and no matter what you’ll always see me smiling.”

Courtesy of Sean Smith

Courtesy of Sean Smith

A photograph of custodian Sean Smith and his wife is displayed on the GoFundMe page started by a student to help support them as they face medical setbacks. Smith wants to be remembered by students for his smile and positivity. “You’ve all been good to us, and I want to be good right back,” Smith said. “If you need me, I got you, and no matter what you’ll always see me smiling.”

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In the early hours of the morning, one car can be spotted in the vacant lots. Already inside preparing for the school day, custodian Sean Smith greets students and teachers as they arrive with laughs, hugs and words of encouragement, despite personal challenges he may be facing.

Sean is a beacon of bright light. He always has a kind word for everyone, his demeanor is so sweet, he makes you feel special and he’ll do anything for you,” Building Manager Kitty Strong said. “A lot of times you wouldn’t even know he has something wrong in his life because he never comes in without a smile.”

As Smith’s wife continues to fight kidney disease, this being her second kidney following a prior transplant, Smith himself continues to recover from foot surgery.

“I don’t know if I’ll get 100% function back in my feet. I almost had it cut off because of blood clots. We don’t know what’s permanent damage and what’s still healing,” Smith said.

Sean is a beacon of bright light. He always has a kind word for everyone, his demeanor is so sweet. A lot of times you wouldn’t even know he has something wrong in his life because he never comes in without a smile.”

— Kitty Strong

Senior Zoe Cipponeri learned about Smith’s recent struggles while student aiding in the senior office, and saw an opportunity to give back.

“I talked to Sean about his opinion of me starting a GoFundMe for him while he’s recovering,” Cipponeri said. “It’s our West motto: where everyone stands together, so when someone’s down you have to take care of them.”

In its first week, the GoFundMe page received more than $2000 with contributions from alumni, staff members and families. Smith is humbled by the support he has received.

“This is a family atmosphere. Treat others the way you want to be treated because you never know when you may need somebody. I’m always willing to help, and now that my time has come, you guys have showed up and showed out,” Smith said.

While Smith may feel discouraged or have to sit down for a few minutes while he’s working, he strives to not let his situation get in the way of his work and his relationships with students and staff.

“What I’m going through is enough to make anybody mad, but it’s not my job to let you see that,” Smith said. “Let people always remember your smile.”

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