It took months of planning, some white lies and community support to create a once-in-a-lifetime night for Maryville High School’s custodian.
Expecting to clean up after an event at Fairview Methodist Church in Maryville, Steve Yarborough never thought he would be greeted by nearly 100 friends, students, and community members all waiting to celebrate him.
“It’s wonderful. It shows the closeness of this community and the way that these students, and the teachers, how close. What kind of a bond they have – how they care,” said Yarborough.
Pastor Roger Murphy told Yarborough there was a job, but really, Murphy organized an event with live music, prayers and a dedication video in Yarborough’s honor.
The goal was to remind Yarborough he was loved.
“We just wanted to overwhelm him with love,” said Josh Rouse, a senior at Maryville High School.
Rouse says the event was an “agape attack,” or an attack of God’s love.
Yarborough works two jobs everyday. Students and faculty at Maryville High School say his positive attitude is what inspires them to be better and do better.
“To keep in mind the small people, the people behind the scenes, the people you wouldn’t regularly think of. Praise them with the little things,” said Audra Esterday, a senior at William Blount High School.
The night’s culmination was giving Yarborough financial support to go home with. The group raised $2,000 for him to take as “a reminder of God’s love.”
“It’s great, I guess really and truly, that they make the impact on me,” said Yarborough.