Bus driver buys hat, gloves for cold student in need

KENNEWICK, Wash. — A Washington bus driver went above and beyond to help a cold, crying student who got on his bus.

John Lunceford was driving his normal route on Thursday when he noticed a student crying when he picked him up at his bus stop. The boy, who waited in freezing temperatures, had red hands and ears.

Lunceford, a U.S. Army veteran and grandfather, went to a nearby store and bought 10 hats and 10 pairs of gloves for the student. He then went back to the school and gave him the items.

“I’m a grandfather, you know,” he said. “No one wants a kid to suffer like that.”

The Kennewick School District posted about Lunceford on Sunday, praising him for his “big heart.”

“The little boy won’t be the last student Lunceford helps out,” the post said. “He told all the students in the school’s library that if they were on his route and didn’t have hats or gloves, he’d take care of them.”

The post has 11,000 likes, 2,494 shares and 857 comments.

The entire post reads:

Our staff members have big hearts and on Thursday one bus driver acted on his when he saw a student in need.

The student was crying when he boarded John Lunceford’s bus. Lunceford noticed how red the student’s exposed hands and ears were after he’d waited for the bus in the freezing temperatures that morning.

“I put my gloves on him and told him it’ll be OK, it’ll be OK,” says Lunceford, a U.S. Army veteran in his third year driving buses for Kennewick School District.

Right after dropping his bus full of students at school, Lunceford headed to a dollar store. He bought ten stocking hats and ten sets of gloves, in black or pink, and headed back to the school.

He didn’t know the student’s name so had an administrator help track him down. They found the boy in the library with his class and Lunceford handed a hat and pair of gloves to him.

“I’m a grandfather, you know,” Lunceford says. “No one wants a kid to suffer like that.”

The onset of winter weather means families need to send their students off each day wearing heavy coats as well as hats and gloves or mittens. Our staff are always willing to help families find any items they need.

The little boy won’t be the last student Lunceford helps out. He told all the students in the school’s library that if they were on his route and didn’t have hats or gloves, he’d take care of them.

“There was a little girl who said ‘I don’t have a hat,’ and I said I’ll take care of you, sweetie,” Lunceford says. #iamksd