After years of giving back to kids, a Texas school bus driver has finally received a gift in return.
Curtis Jenkins, 47, who drives for the Richardson Independent School District, became an internet sensation last year after going viral for being a Santa Claus for his young passengers when he gifted more than 70 gift-wrapped presents to children on his route last Christmas. Not only did Jenkins fund the presents with his own money, he was very intentional with each item, selecting gifts from the kids’ wish lists.
Back in December, the driver’s generosity went viral when Lake Highland Elementary school uploaded a Facebook photo of the inside of Jenkins’ bus stacked with all of the presents.
Jenkins currently ferries students to and from three schools — the elementary school, Richardson West Junior High and J.J. Pearce High School, as well as handling some special-needs bus duties. He is said to be dedicated to the kids he transports.
In April, PTA president Jennifer Wilcox told the Dallas Morning News that in return for his kind acts, “Mr. Jenkins didn’t want any money. He didn’t really even want the press. He just wanted to show his love for the kids.” All he wanted, she said, is for the kids to look back on the moment, and think “Remember that bus driver — he put a lot into us.”
But the community wanted to give back anyway so an anonymous donor reached out to Richardson Superintendent Jeannie Stone, offering to purchase a brand new SUV for Jenkins. Stone partnered with a local El Dorado Chevrolet dealership to make it happen, the Morning News reported on Tuesday.
“Someone reached out to me that I’ve known for a long, long time that saw that video on my Facebook and said I want to do something for that man and his family. And he asked me a couple of questions, but basically, it was, ‘Just tell me, is he (Jenkins) a good man?’ And I could answer that honestly and immediately.”
The result was a happy moment in which Jenkins was surprised with a new SUV to the cheers of his adoring students.