I remember when I was a kid, my mom pulled over to the side of the road on our way to school on a frigid morning and asked a little boy from my class if he was okay out there in the cold. He looked pretty bundled up, but the blustery wind and below-zero temperatures seemed like they’d be able to cut through any jacket and hat.
He said he was okay, but as he put his head down to avoid a gust of wind to the face, my mom noticed something odd about his ears. As it turns out, his little ears were in the beginning stages of frostbite and he’d only been outside for five minutes. She made a call to his mom who was at work and asked if it’d be okay if we took him to school and she said of course, so he hopped in and then ended up in urgent care halfway through the day because his ears hurt so badly.
The fact of the matter is that frigid temperatures can be disastrous for kids who have to wait for the bus. And if it was that bad for my young friend back then who had a ton of layers on, imagine how it’d be without gloves and a hat.
Some parents just can’t afford all of that expensive winter gear, which is why you see so many coat drives during the winter months. Such was the case for one little boy’s family who was struggling to get by. He headed out to wait for the school bus without gloves on. When he climbed aboard, the sweet relief of the heat made the pain in his fingers too much to bear.
Bus driver John Luceford looked in the rearview and noticed the tiny passenger quietly crying. When he asked him what was wrong at another stop, he showed him his frozen hands. The driver immediately took his own gloves off and put them on the little guy saying, “It’ll be okay. It’ll be okay.”
After dropping the kiddos off at school, he took the bus to an unusual stop at the dollar store. While there, the Army veteran stocked up on hats and gloves for his passengers, vowing to ensure that they’d never have to freeze in the bitter cold again.
“I’m a grandfather, you know. No one wants a kid to suffer like that,” he said.
But he didn’t stop there. He popped into the school’s library during the day and said that if any other kids needed hats or gloves, he’d be happy to help them too. In John’s words, “There was a little girl who said ‘I don’t have a hat,’ and I said I’ll take care of you, sweetie.”
We need more kindness like this in the world, especially for people who are less fortunate than us. Thank you for your good work, John!