When A Little Boy Got Onto The School Bus Crying, This Driver Knew The Kid Needed His Help

Image: Facebook/Kennewick School District / Taken
On a cold morning in Washington, a child stepped, crying, onto the school bus – and the reason for his tears was a heartbreaking one. Thankfully, though, the caring bus driver knew just what to do to help the boy. What’s more, the man’s response led him to assist others in need, too.
Image: Facebook/Debi Lunceford
That driver was 52-year-old John Lunceford, a U.S. Army veteran who, at the time that he encountered the crying boy, had been transporting children to school in Washington for three years. He is married to Debi, and the pair are grandparents.
Image: Kat Smith
And on a bitterly cold Thursday in December 2016, John was chauffeuring students around the Kennewick School District as usual. It was on that morning, however, that he picked up a regular young rider – and the driver may have been alarmed to see that the child was crying.
Image: stoneyridgefarmky
The reason for the six-year-old’s tears was simple, though: he felt very cold. And that may not have been helped by the fact that the boy’s hands and ears were uncovered; they were noticeably red as a result. So, John felt within himself that he had to do something to help the child feel better.
Image: Facebook/Debi Lunceford
Indeed, John apparently couldn’t bear to see the boy suffering; he just wanted to make him feel warm to ease away the pain. “I’m a grandfather, you know,” John said, according to a 2016 report from Washington newspaper the Tri-City Herald. “No one wants a kid to suffer like that.”
Image: Facebook/Debi Lunceford
Selflessly, John therefore took his own gloves off and gave them to the boy. He also told the six-year-old, “It’ll be okay.” And while the vet then continued to drive his morning route to the school, that wouldn’t be the end to his kindness.
Image: Ser Amantio di Nicolao
After taking the kids to school, in fact, John made his way to a dollar store. There, he would buy things to help the kids on those snowy days in Kennewick. And, to that end, he purchased ten hats and the same number of pairs of gloves in pink and black.
He then headed back to the school, where an administrator led him to the boy in the library. That’s when John gave away the first set of the hat and gloves. He subsequently invited all the young riders from his bus journey to help themselves to what they needed.
Image: Demeter Attila 
Then, a little girl approached him and revealed that she didn’t have a hat, to which John replied, “I’ll take care of you, sweetie.” He duly gave her the item of clothing, after which other children then followed to get whatever they didn’t already have.
Image: Magda Ehlers
When John was asked by Inside Edition as why he thought that the boy had gone without warm clothes on such a cold day, however, the driver said that he was not 100 percent sure. He suspected, though, that his gloves or hat had merely been left at home by accident.
Image: Facebook/Kennewick School District
Regardless of the reason as to the child’s lack of headgear, though, John had done a very good deed. And Kennewick School District seemingly wanted the world to know how much the driver cared, as it shared his heartwarming story on its Facebook page along with a photo of John himself. Subsequently, the post went viral and has since received more than 15,000 likes and 3,000 shares.
Image: Fancycrave 
The Facebook post said, “Our staff members have big hearts, and on Thursday one bus driver acted 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.”
Image: Mojpe
The post went on to explain the events of the day. After that, however, the school district followed it with an update that said, “Thank you for the overwhelming and positive response to this story. If you are interested in helping more Kennewick children in need with items such as hats, gloves, coats, and shoes, please donate to InvestED.”
Image: Pixabay 
InvestED is running a program to help Kennewick students in need and is accepting donations of a minimum of $5 to go directly to the chosen schools in the area. The money raised will then be used to make a difference in children’s lives, particularly those who are going without basic items and opportunities.
Image: Pixabay 
Kennewick School District’s post, meanwhile, has since garnered over 1,000 comments – several of which praised John for his kindness. One commenter wrote, for example, “Mr. Lunceford, thank you for being such a kind man. What you did for that little boy and what you will do for the rest of the children to come will never be forgotten by them. The act of love you showed them shows you are the true hero.”
Image: Facebook/Debi Lunceford
And one comment in the thread also came from John’s wife Debi. She wrote, “Little did we know how this story would spread. My husband has always been a giving person and does so without want of any recognition.”
Image: Pixabay 
However, a few Facebook users were additionally concerned about the reasons behind the boy’s tears. It was even speculated that child neglect may have been at play, since the six-year-old had apparently gone out to school without appropriate clothing for the weather.
Image: Facebook/Debi Lunceford
It seemed that Debi was eager to clear up any potential misconceptions, though. She replied, “The little boy in the story is six years old and had either lost his items or had left them at home that day. Kids do that. His parents were not being neglectful, nor was that indicated anywhere in the story.”
Image: Facebook/Debi Lunceford
Debi added on Facebook, “What mattered that day is that [the child] was cold, and [that] my husband could do something about it.” And John’s wife didn’t neglect to address the outpouring of appreciation for his actions, either, writing, “On behalf of my husband, please accept our deepest appreciation for your kind posts.”
Image: Pixabay 
Certainly, not many would deny that John deserved the praise sent his way. Indeed, his act of charity sets an example that others would do well to follow, as thanks to his warm heart, at least one child received the physical warmth they so badly needed.

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