77-year-old janitor hears name over loudspeaker, rushes to cafeteria and faces the whole school

All of us have secrets: some big, some small. Some things we simply want to keep to ourselves for various reasons, just like the secret that school janitor Frances Buzzard kept to herself until recently.

Frances chose to reveal her secret to a staff member that she worked with at West Virginia’s Belle Elementary School. Her colleague then revealed her secret to other staff members, who decided to organize something that would reduce the plucky school custodian to tears.


The 77-year-old has worked at the school for several years and is always there with a smile on her face working hard to keep the school looking nice and clean.

But behind her happy face was a sad secret that she kept to herself for decades.

YouTube/Charleston Gazette-Mail

When staff at the school discovered her secret, they joined together to organize a gathering that made Frances overjoyed.

One day Frances was going about her business like any other day when she heard her name announced over the loudspeaker.

“Rendell and Ms. Frances, could you please report to the cafeteria?” the loudspeaker requested according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

YouTube/Charleston Gazette-Mail

This was not unusual and Frances thought she was on her way to clear up a mess.

As usual she never complained and she walked to the cafeteria with her usual happy face on, ready to help in any way she could.

But what she was about to be greeted with gave her the surprise of her life.

YouTube/Charleston Gazette-Mail

Birthday surprise

Frances entered the cafeteria, where over 200 students were waiting for her, and as soon as she came in, they all shouted, “Surprise!”

It was her birthday, which of course should be celebrated. But for Frances this was the first time she had ever celebrated her birthday. When the staff found out that Frances had never had a birthday party before, they were determined to change this and all worked together to make her big day special.

YouTube/Charleston Gazette-Mail

It took a little digging to find out. Frances never spoke about her birthday to anyone but the cook. But she was loved throughout the school, and so when the truth was discovered, everyone decided this had to change.

Frances got to eat cupcakes, wear a sash and a tiara and watch a video about her life. All eyes were on Frances. Now it was finally her turn to shine and enjoy her special day.

YouTube/Charleston Gazette-Mail

Never had a celebration before

Frances had grown up in poverty. Her father had worked in the timber industry, but due to ill health had struggled to work, so Frances and her family grew up in tough times. Frances revealed that not only had she never had a birthday party, she also hadn’t ever enjoyed a Christmas party.

YouTube/Charleston Gazette-Mail

“I cannot remember a party. they didn’t do things like that. We didn’t have Christmas parties, either. They would get us fruits and nuts when they could afford it,” she told the Charleston Gazette Mail.

But this time, everyone would come to France’s big birthday party at school. Frances’ face when she realizes the whole school is there to celebrate her birthday is so wonderful to see — and I hope she’ill always remember this amazing day.

YouTube/Charleston Gazette-Mail

See Frances enjoy her big surprise — it’s such a heartwarming moment.

What an incredibly beautiful surprise for 77-year-old Frances. Please share if you also think the staff and students’ gesture was beautiful!