David Long and Darian Butler have gone in somewhat different directions since graduating from Willowridge High School in 1994.
However, their paths recently crossed again as the pair collaborated to provide some relief to the medical staff at a Sugar Land hospital as it combats the COVID-19 pandemic.
An executive for BP Oil’s Houston office, Butler also runs Missouri City-based bakery DB Delectables, while Long is a data systems manager for the Harris Center for Mental Health. They said they took a break from their jobs April 7 and teamed up to deliver 700 cookies and treats to the staff at CHI St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital, where Long’s sister, Dawn, works as a nurse.
“It’s just doing the right thing to thank them for what they’ve been doing. I love giving. It makes me feel good,” Butler said. “I’ve always thought that it’s just like my momma told me – always be blessed to be a blessing to others. That was it right there.”
Long said he first brainstormed the idea for a collaboration with his old high school friend in mid-March while he was in the midst of forming an organization called Local Love that aims to do community outreach for first responders in Fort Bend County.
“It all kind of happened at the same time. Like most people, we’re kind of sitting at home feeling like you want to do something, but your hands are tied from not being able to do anything because of the limitations,” he said. “I wanted to do this initially to help the first responders, then it popped into my head that we could help a small local business as well. … Darian works hard, and he’s a great guy.”
At his sister’s suggestion of sweet treats, Long knew to call his old high school pal Darian with the dessert business. Sometime in late March, Long used his personal Facebook page to launch a fundraiser for Local Love to buy the cookies.
Within 24 hours, he said it raised $500 – enough to buy about 600 cookies from DB Delectables. Butler said he threw in 100 extra cookies as a “thank you.”
“I look at it like this – (first responders) put their lives on the line to save our lives – I’ll never have a problem doing this at all,” Butler said. “Here’s a gesture to just say thank you for what you’re doing. It’s not about the business – I do it to be kind.”
Butler and Long dropped off the treats at the hospital and said the staff there was appreciative.
“To be able to do this for a small business and a friend of mine as well as the fine people of the hospital was a phenomenal experience,” Long said. “I think everyone was elated about it.”