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Great Greta: SLO High students lend support to beloved lunch lady 

For the last five years, Greta Schultz has been much more than just a “lunch lady” at San Luis Obispo High School. Schultz is beloved by the school’s students, who say that everyone who passes through her lunch line gets a compliment, a hug, or hears one of her many wild stories.

Schultz, who has worked for the district 26 years, is also known to emerge from the cafeteria during down times, and wander over to visit the Associated Student Body (ASB) classroom, popping her head in to give the school’s budding leaders support and entertainment.

click to enlarge WILD AND FREE:  Greta Schultz, lunch lady at San Luis Obispo High School, is currently recovering from two brain aneurisms and a neuromuscular disease that left her with enormous medical bills; the SLO High community is gathering support to help her financially. - PHOTO COURTESY OF GRETA SCHULTZ
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF GRETA SCHULTZ
  • WILD AND FREE: Greta Schultz, lunch lady at San Luis Obispo High School, is currently recovering from two brain aneurisms and a neuromuscular disease that left her with enormous medical bills; the SLO High community is gathering support to help her financially.

That all suddenly stopped in June after Schultz fell at work, and, after getting checked out by a doctor, was discovered to have a brain aneurysm. In September, Schultz was transported by ambulance to the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center to undergo surgery. There, doctors found a second brain aneurysm, and eventually diagnosed her with the neuromuscular disease Myasthenia gravis, which has severely hampered her ability to eat, speak, and walk.

As Schultz recovers, students at SLO High have stepped up to return the support and encouragement that she’s provided them. The ASB Leadership Class has launched several fundraising efforts to cover the bills that Schultz’s insurance won’t.

“ASB decided that they wanted to help,” said Jim Johnson, director of the school’s ASB program. Johnson said it was a miracle that the aneurisms were detected early enough to address, but now Schultz has to recover from the effects, which he says are a lot like a stroke.

The students came up with three major contributions. On Oct. 30, several classrooms participated in a miracle minute fundraiser, where students—many of which wore tie-die to school to honor Schultz’s signature colorful style—gathered as much money as they could during a designated minute. They raised $2,300.

In addition, all the proceeds from the annual Powder Puff football game went to Schultz—which brought in more than $3,000. Traditionally those funds go to the Hearst Cancer Resource Center at French Hospital.

“It’s kind of the Gretabowl this year,” Johnson said. “The students [decided to] help someone who works 50 feet from us.”

Now, the ASB Leadership Class is continuing to raise money using the online crowd sourcing website GoFundMe. The goal is to raise $25,000—so far, as of press time, they’ve raised $6,681 from 164 donations.

The GoFundMe website characterizes Greta as a bearer of warmth, love, and “thrill” in the cafeteria, stating that her “impact on the students of SLOHS is immeasurable.”

People who have donated money thus far have left comments highlighting that immense impact, underscoring how crucial that kind of support is for students at that age.

Online donors have left notes like “you are truly the sweetest, kindest person I’ve ever met;” “stay strong, we are here for you;” and “keep that up Greta, these kids need all the goodness they can get.”

Donations can be made at gofundme.com. Go to www.gofundme.com/9n6t88qg or search for Greta Schultz.

Fast Fact

The California Department of Parks and Recreation has expanded the three most popular tours at Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Visitors may now experience 20 extra minutes on the Grand Rooms, Upstairs Suites, and Kitchens tours at no extra cost


Intern and proud SLO High graduate Rebecca Lucas wrote this week’s Strokes and Plugs. Send your business and nonprofit news to strokes@newtimesslo.com.

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