Family Dinner with Board Member Sharetta Butcher

by Livy Conner, Communications Specialist
I recently had the pleasure of visiting the home of Community Warehouse board member Sharetta Butcher to chat about what home means to her. Sharetta is the Community Care Director and Community Health Worker at North by Northeast Community Health Center and joined our board in 2021.

For Sharetta, home means family. Every Sunday, four generations gather for family dinner in the NE Portland home where Sharetta grew up.

This Sunday, Sharetta is cooking enchiladas and has enlisted the help of her teenage granddaughter, Amiyah. The house is buzzing with the football game on in the other room and family members dropping in and out of the kitchen for hugs, laughs, and to sneak a bite of what Sharetta’s working on.

Sharetta and BJ (son)

Sharetta and Nash (grandson)

Sharetta and Amiyah (granddaughter)

Tonight’s Sunday dinner falls on a date that Sharetta is quietly celebrating as the weekly family routine unfolds around her. “Nine years ago today, I was cancer free.”

Sharetta had been diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer at a young age. “That really threw me.”

Amiyah (granddaughter), Odessa (mother), and Sharetta

“My daughter and my son both were away at college in Atlanta when I was diagnosed, and I was watching my granddaughter. I really wanted my daughter to finish school, because I knew her having her degree was going to mean a lot more for her in life than anything.”

“I called my daughter and my son to share with them what was going on, and my daughter says, ‘I’m on my way.’ And I said, ‘No, no- you need to finish school.’ She says, ‘Mom, I’m on my way.’ And, I really thank God for her, because I didn’t realize what all I needed.”

Adore (daughter), Sharetta, and Amiyah (granddaughter) 

Sharetta went through surgery, radiation, and chemo, with her family supporting her every step of the way. Her daughter Adore came home from Atlanta and arranged to take classes locally while she helped care for her mom. “It was a blessing to have her here.”

“I think that really meant something as far as family– really understanding what family meant. We hit some hard roads before, but we hit some really hard roads right there, ’cause that was like life and death for us.”

“But that day, when I got a clean bill of health: you’re cancer free, it was big for me.”

Adore was able to finish college back in Atlanta, and Sharetta proudly attended her graduation. “It meant a lot, you know. There was a lot of tears.”

“So, today isn’t just a day of our regular family. You know, I don’t even think they keep track. They’ll hear me talk about it and they’ll be like, ‘Oh, Mom! Oh, that’s right!’ But, for me, I keep track of that time.”

Sharetta’s family

Top row: Adore (daughter), Danielle (daughter-in-love), Easton (grandson), Bryan “BJ” (son)

Bottom row: Robert (husband), Sharetta, John (father), Odessa (mother), Amiyah (granddaughter), Nash (grandson), Lynn (sister)