A Dallas bus driver opened his heart and wallet to 70 children who ride his school bus home from Lake Highlands Elementary School. On the last day before winter break, Curtis Jenkins asked the students what they wanted for Christmas.
Jenkins told NBC5 News in Dallas-Fort Worth that he committed some of the answers to memory and he jotted down the other requests.
Jenkins initially planned to host a gift exchange for the students on his bus. But his wife, Sheneqia, told him some of the kids' parents might not be able to afford to buy gifts for other children.
"No hesitation," Sheneqia told NBC5 News. "He's always wanting to do something for the kids, he's been talking about it for months."
The Jenkins purchased presents with their own money. Co-workers pitched in to buy a bike and donate cash. Jenkins set aside a little money from each paycheck to buy more puzzles, games and small electronics every week.
"Seeing the faces of those kids was more than anything that I could ever do with the money," said Jenkins.
One parent broke down and cried when she saw the gift her son received. "He is the most amazing bus driver," said Katrina Clift, mom of bus rider Ethan. "He's always good to him and all the kids on the bus."
Clift said Jenkins also bought her family a Thanksgiving turkey this year.
"It literally made me cry. I hung up the phone with him, I went over to my husband and I put my head on his chest and I just cried," Clift told NBC5. "It makes me feel like I belong and I mean something to this community, especially to the people who love my children."
Jenkins said God and an auntie inspired him to do something kind for others during the holidays.
"I had an auntie that would buy a pack of socks and she would give us all one pack of socks and wrap it," Jenkins said. "When you're going to school and you have a hole in your socks, that new pair of socks meant something to you."
He added: "I'm not at a job, I'm on a mission from God. 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."