Washington State School Bus Driver Buys Hat, Gloves for Little Boy Found Crying in Freezing Temps

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A school bus driver in Kennewick, Washington, is earning praise from his employer -- and the public -- for an act of kindness he did after a little boy boarded his bus, crying, in the bitter cold.

The Kennewick School District shared the story on its Facebook page Sunday.

John Lunceford is shown in a photo posted by the Kennewick School District in its post about him on Dec. 11, 2016.

John Lunceford is shown in a photo posted by the Kennewick School District in its post about him on Dec. 11, 2016.

When John Lunceford, an Army veteran who's been driving for the district for three years, stopped to pick up a student on Dec. 8, he noticed how red the child's exposed hands and ears were.

The boy had waited for the bus in the freezing temperatures that morning.

“I put my gloves on him and told him, 'It’ll be OK, it’ll be OK,'" Lunceford said.

After dropping off the students at school, the district said Lunceford went to the store, bought 10 hats and 10 sets of gloves and went back to the school. 

He didn't know the boy's name, so a school administrator helped hime find the child in the library. Lunceford gave the boy a hat and gloves.

“I’m a grandfather, you know,” Lunceford said, according to the school district. “No one wants a kid to suffer like that.”

At the library, Lunceford told the other children that if they were on his route and didn't have a hat and gloves, he wanted to help.

“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.

Kennewick is in southeastern Washington, where the region saw a high of 24 degrees and a low of 16 degrees on the day of the Lunceford's gift, according to the National Weather Service.

The school district also shared a reminder for parents:  "The onset of winter weather means families need to send their students off each day wearing heavy coats as well as hats and gloves or mittens. Our staff are always willing to help families find any items they need."

KTLA's Melissa Pamer contributed to this article.

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