For nearly two decades, she’s been a face of WKU food services. From Garrett Food Court at the top of the hill, to Pit Stop near PFT, thousands of students have come to know and love Charita Moyers out of how she served them.
“She was the lunch lady up at Garrett," WKU student Brittany Gatlin said. "I had just gotten out of the military, so it wasn't a great time in my life, and my first day back at school, I wasn't even sure I was going to go beyond that day. I went in, and she drew a heart with ketchup on my burger.”
More than ketchup, it was a beating heart described by many as gold, that displayed compassion through being a source of light.
“I've seen her pull change out of her pocket for students who don't have enough money to finish out their meal," Gatlin said. "I've seen her give gas money to students who said they weren't sure they were gonna make it home for the holidays.”
Extraordinary actions centered around a simple word: Love.
“If I can just give them a hug," Charita Moyers said, "How's it going today, Honey, just to make people day maybe.... just to give them a good smile. I don't know what else to say but I love what I do, you know.”
But among all that she’s known for, one of the greatest, involves a white board, names, and a happy birthday.
“I wanted students, because I know some move far from home, they're not around mom or daddy on their birthdays, so I wanted some small way to make them feel at home when they come to see me to get them a burger," Moyers said. "Throughout the 14 years I've done it, I'm close to over 5,000 babies on facebook. I put their names on it. If school's not in session, I've got the board at home. I just do it every single day.”
All these years, she’s been what many would call a ray of sunshine, but in the early months of 2017, storm clouds gathered on her horizon, and the rains began to pour.
“March the 24th was a life changing day," Moyers said. "Willie suffered a brain aneurysm, he suffered a stroke, he had congestive heart failure. I would put my phone because Willie was unconscious for a couple of months and I would put my phone on his chest so that he could feel the love and the prayers that everybody was sending to me. He was in intensive care for two months. I never spoke to him, I never..... It was very difficult.”
While many would agree that getting through the ordeal was hard, those who know her say it’s a part of who she is.
“The bible verse comes to mind faith hope and love, the greatest of these is love," Gatlin said. "She embodies faith hope and love and the greatest being love. She never was without faith, she never was without hope."
“Wow...My husband died twice while he was in that hospital," Moyers said, "and they brought him back to me.... I had to have the faith for that. I had to."
Willie’s recovery proved just how strong that faith was. In the midst of her own darkness, she never failed to remain a lighthouse to others.
“My grandma taught me to always treat people the way that I wanted to be treated," Moyers said, "and that's what I've done. I try to be as nice as I possibly can.”
For showing an unconditional love to thousands of students, and continuing to do so while keeping Willie strong, we honor WKU’s Charita Moyers as your Hughes and Coleman hometown hero.