Lake Wales, Florida - What a difference a week makes in the life of Sentorria Butler. Friday morning she watched her 3 children celebrate the Christmas they didn't think they'd have.
Just one week ago she told 10 News, "I can't buy no shoes, can't buy him no clothes - I can't do nothing." At that time there were no presents under the family's Christmas tree and Butler had no job and no vehicle to even look for work.
But life was much different just a few years ago when the family lived in Abraham Shakespeare's gated plush 4,600 square foot home in Lakeland. Butler says as Shakespeare's girlfriend she didn't have to work. Shakespeare won 30 million dollars when he hit the Lotto.
Jeremiyah is Shakespeare and Butlers' 4 year-old-son but after Shakespeare was murdered by Dee Dee Moore, investigators say Moore swindled the last of Shakespeare's riches which was $1.8 million.
It's likely neither one of Shakespeare's two young sons will see much of that money.
Stephen Martin, a Lakeland attorney, has filed dozens of civil lawsuits in hopes of acquiring Shakespeare's assets that investigators say Moore took. Martin says Moore purchased a $20,000 Rolex watch with Shakespeare's money.
Things are starting to look up for the Butler family, thanks to the people at "B" Street Community Center, the local branch of the NAACP and several others in the community that saw Butler's story on 10 News and just didn't want to see the family do without on Christmas.
Janice Snell is on the Board of Directors at the "B" Street Community Center and says, "We just had a whole lot of concerned citizens that wanted to give. Lake Wales is a community that's really concerned with helping people meet their needs within our community."
The NAACP gave Butler $100 and so did Allen Temple AME Church. The "B" Street Community Center is giving Butler bus passes so she can get around. Snell helped Butler pick out donated new toys and shoes for Jeremiyah and his 6 and 8 year-old sisters. The family also received a food basket for Christmas. Butler says, "We blessed. We have to be thankful for everything."
Butler has been walking to different places to find work as a Certified Nursing Assistant and it appears that her persistence has paid off. She says, "I got a job at a nursing home as a CNA." Butler starts her new job on Monday and plans to save her money up to buy a car.
The mother of three says she hopes to go back to school to earn her Associate's degree in Nursing.
Tammie Fields, 10 News