Texas bus driver gifts toys to children on his route for Christmas

Texas bus driver gifts toys to children on his route for Christmas

Curtis Jenkins, a bus driver at Richardson Independent School District in Dallas, gifted students Christmas presents he bought with his own money. Photo: Austin Pacheco/Unsplash

DALLAS — Students at Lake Highlands Elementary who ride bus 1693 in Dallas, Texas, were surprised with something special on their last day of school before winter break.

KXAS reported that bus driver Curtis Jenkins packed his bus with wrapped presents for each child.

"He asked the kids what they wanted for Christmas and kept a list," Jennifer Wilcox, Lake Highlands' PTA president, told ABC News. "I believe his motivation was to bless the kids and to put smiles on their faces."

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Jenkins told KXAS he originally wanted to do a gift exchange, but his wife, Sheniqua, said everyone may not be able to bring something, so she suggested the two buy presents with their own money.

Jenkins set aside money from his paychecks to get everyone a gift -- 70 total.

“Seeing the faces of those kids was more than anything that I could ever do with the money,” Jenkins said.

Among the gifts were puzzles, electronics and games, KXAD reported.

“That little time they have with me, it means so much. I’m the first face they see before they get to school in the morning,” Jenkins said. “I call my bus a community. We love each and everybody in the community.”

In a Saturday Facebook post, Lake Highlands acknowledged Jenkins' good deed, which included some items parents pitched in for upon hearing about the bus driver's efforts.

This is Curtis Jenkins, a bus driver for our school. He asked every kid on the bus what they wanted for Christmas and...

Posted by Lake Highlands Elementary on Saturday, December 22, 2018

With over 9,000 shares, some wanted to give back to Jenkins and did so by setting up multiple GoFundMe pages for him.

"So many accounts has been set up on GoFundMe in my name, with my picture," Jenkins, who didn't ask for donations, told KXAS. "I never set up anything."

The crowdfunding platform issued the following statement to KXAS:

“It’s not uncommon for someone to create a GoFundMe after they see a news story because they simply want to help. When a campaign is created to raise money for another individual they don’t personally know, we place the funds on hold and work with them to transfer the funds directly to the beneficiary. In this case, we are working with all campaign organizers and we guarantee all funds raised will go directly to Mr. Jenkins. He can choose to receive the funds or refund donors.”

Jenkins may be able to use the funds to support his nonprofit foundation. According to KXAS, he is starting to fill out 501(c)(3) paperwork for a foundation he's called Magnify, Caring and Change.

Jenkins said any donations should go to Chase Bank in the name of his foundation.