Last week, bus driver John Lunceford picked up a kid who was waiting for the bus without gloves or a hat in the bitterly cold Washington morning.
“His ears were red and his hands were pink,” Lunceford, 52, of Kennewick, told Inside Edition Monday. “I took my work gloves off and put them on his hands and he cried all the way to school.”
“Kids can’t fend for themselves. It’s up to adults to take care of them,” said Lunceford, a grandfather and a self-described “old softie.”
Lunceford’s enjoying his newfound — if baffling, for him — celebrity this week after becoming the unwitting savior to several of the children on his route.
His next stop was a local store, where he purchased 10 sets of hats and gloves to distribute to the other kids in need on his bus.
The story made its way to the Kennewick School District’s Facebook page, and turned Lunceford, who’s been driving since 2007, into a local hero. He’s not wild about the attention and insists it doesn’t make him an outlier.
“I wasn’t doing it for popularity. I did it because it was the right thing to do. That’s the way I was raised. There are bus drivers who buy shoes for kids that need them,” he added. “We all really like the kids.