Kind-hearted school bus driver buys hats and gloves for his young passengers after seeing a six-year-old boy so cold he was crying

  • John Lunceford, 52, is a school bus driver in Kennewick, Washington
  • Has purchased a stock of hats and gloves for children on his bus who need them
  • Made the purchase last week after seeing a little boy so cold, he was in tears
  • The boy didn't have a hat nor gloves, so Lunceford gave him his own gloves
  • Others have shared stories of how caretakers provided warm clothes or food for children in need while on the job

A caring school bus driver has bought a stock of hats and gloves for his young passengers after seeing a six-year-old boy get on his bus crying from the cold.

John Lunceford, 52, spotted the little boy last week as he boarded the bus with his hands and ears reddened by the bone-chilling weather. 

Lunceford, who is a grandfather, gave him his own gloves and told him everything would be OK.

The Army veteran, who has driven school buses for three years at Kennewick School District in Washington, dropped off his students at school then went to a dollar store and bought 10 hats and 10 pairs of gloves in black and pink.

School bus driver John Lunceford (pictured), 52, has bought a stock of hats and gloves after seeing one of his young passengers crying because he was so cold

He went back to the school and, with an administrator's help, found the little boy to give him a hat and a set of gloves. 

But Lunceford didn't stop there and told all the children in the school's library that if they found themselves on his bus and in need of a hat or gloves, he'd have them covered.

'There was a little girl who said "I don't have a hat," and I said I'll take care of you, sweetie,' Lunceford said.

Winter this year is shaping up to be even colder than usual in the south of Washington state. Temperatures in the region, including Kennewick, have dropped into the twenties.

Previous years saw maximum temperatures in the fifties and forties in the area during this time of the year, with minimums in the thirties or higher twenties. Snow has fallen in Kennewick in the past few days and more is forecast for Tuesday.

Lunceford didn't know why the six-year-old didn't have a hat or gloves. He told Inside Edition the little boy might have forgotten them that day.

The bus driver has become a hero on Kennewick School District's Facebook page, where school officials first shared his story.

The six-year-old boy who ushered Lunceford's act of kindness was a regular on his bus. 

Lunceford wasn't sure why the little boy didn't have a hat or gloves, but he knew he couldn't bear the thought of a child crying in the cold.

'I'm a grandfather, you know. No one wants a kid to suffer like that,' he said.

Temperatures have dropped in the Northwest, including Washington State. Seattle had an average of 40 degrees on Tuesday but temperatures reached into the twenties in Kennewick

The weather was slated to get colder at night time in Washington State, dropping to 27 degrees in Seattle. Kennewick was expecting temperatures to go as low as 14 degrees

It has snowed over the past few days in Kennewick. Police posted this picture Monday warning drivers that the roads were covered in snow and telling them to drive safely

A fellow Washington state bus driver said on Facebook that she had given a hat, two coats and a pair of gloves to her riders so far this year.

Another poster recounted how his father, a crossing guard, also helped children he saw without coats and hats while on the job. 

'When he would ask them where their coats were they usually said they didn't own one,' Julie Manzanares Schwartz wrote.

'My father and mother would go to Walmart and purchase a variety of coats and hats for the little kids. My father passed but the children and their parents haven't forgotten his kindness.'

A woman said her mother did a similar thing as a school nurse. 

'She started taking a whole loaf of bread cheese sandwiches and milk to school to feed the kids that "felt sick" when they were just hungry,' Georgia Ragsdale wrote.

A mother asked if she could donate a brand new coat to one of the district's schools. Schools in Kennewick do accept coat donations.    

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