An elementary school bus driver in Texas won the hearts of families across his Lake Highlands district when he bought a Christmas present for each child on his bus route.
Curtis Jenkins, the bus driver from the Richardson Independent School District, had spent the year saving money from each paycheck in order to fulfill his Christmas surprise. He called it his “mission from God,” and delivered 70 gifts to his riders.
“I’m not at a job, I’m on a mission from God,” Jenkins said to the Dallas-Fort Worth NBC network. “I don’t say anything about religion to the kids. I just let them know whatever they love is fine with me, just love somebody on the way.”
When Jenkins showed up, like he always did, on the last day before break, his students were amazed to see the bus filled with presents; one child even asked him if he was Santa!
The question wasn’t too ridiculous to ask, as Jenkins personalized the gifts for each and every child. He had listened to what the kids had said they had wanted and had clearly listened very carefully to their requests. Some of the gifts included electronics, puzzles, games and even a bike for one child.
“We talked about the things that they would want and I made a mental note of it and wrote it down,” he said.
Jenkins added that the giveaway was his “mission from God” to show each and every individual that they were loved and had innate value.
“Seeing the faces of those kids was more than anything that I could ever do with the money,” he stated.
One of the kids who received a Christmas present from Jenkins was Ethan Inlge, an eleven-year-old who wanted headphones for Christmas.
Jenkins bought him a pair of red headphones, which he was absolutely delighted to receive.
“It makes me feel like I belong and I mean something to this community,” said Katrina Clift, Ethan’s mother.
This wasn’t the first time Jenkins did something for their family, as he had previously purchased a turkey for the entire family at Thanksgiving.
Jennifer Wilcox, the president of the Lake Highlands Elementary School PTA, said that Jenkins’ generous spirit and giving heart has had a huge impact on many others.
One of Jenkin’s co-workers gave him money to help buy the bike, and a parent also donated $100 to the gifting fund.
“We are just so thankful for his spirit, and his kindness and his generosity to the kids,” Wilcox said. “Thank you for being a wonderful example for all of us.”
Jenkins, who has worked for the Richardson Independent School District for seven years, said that part of his motivation to buy the presents was in response to seeing children go without gifts during previous holiday seasons.
Jenkins wife, Shaneqia Jenkins, wholeheartedly supported her husband’s endeavors along the way.
“There was no hesitation,” Shaneqia said. “He’s always wanting to do something for the kids, he’s been talking about it for months.”