This holiday season, several school bus drivers spread tidings of comfort and joy by donning Santa outfits or handing out presents.
For the past four Christmas seasons, Utah school bus driver Don Fitch has decorated the interior of his bus, played Christmas music and dressed up in a Santa outfit to bring a smile to the faces of the kindergarten and special education students he transports.
“I just like having fun with it,” Fitch shared. “I’m the first face they see in the morning and the last face they see at night. I can either make or break it for them.”
The Friday before Christmas, some Indiana families were visited by a bus from Northwest Allen County Schools. Inside were bus drivers dressed as elves, each of whom had personally bought gifts for a needy family on their route.
“We thought what better way to embody the holiday and do a little giving to our community,” driver Natalie Zehr said.
Save Our Streets, a community group in New York, gathered together bags of toys, books and presents which they then loaded into a bus provided by contractor Brown Transportation of Amsterdam. The bus rolled down the streets of Schenectady neighborhoods on Christmas Eve as volunteers handed out presents randomly to passersby. Police cars cleared traffic along the route and a Dominos car also handed out pizza.
"This is a wonderful way to spend Christmas Eve and it's wonderful to see people doing things," declared state Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara.
Steve Jenkins, a school bus driver for Bullock Creek Schools in Michigan, handed out gift bags with cash, gift cards and a handwritten note to all the students that rode his bus. This is his third year doing so, and the gesture only emphasizes his kind, caring nature.
"On this particular route, I haven't had any complaints or issues or write ups like I have had in the past," Transportation Director Bill Rogers said. "This man and his aide have made a night and day difference, a 100 percent turnaround on this route. That's what makes me so proud of Steve's capability to connect with these kids."