Bus drivers have been getting a lot of press lately for their acts of kindness. They’re scouts on wheels, and as such they have plenty of opportunities to notice when things go amiss and can jump in to help.
Last December, Irena Ivic with the Milwaukee County Transit System spotted an underdressed toddler wandering alone on the sidewalk in the cold. She scooped him up and got him back to safety.
In May, Cecilia Nation-Gardner — also with MCTS — saw a 6-year-old boy who had autism wander into traffic. She sprang into action, saving him from what could have been a very sad fate.
In July, Nation-Gardner was back at it again in a double rescue: Both she and another MCTS driver both rescued young children who had been wandering, alone and lost along their routes.
It makes total sense, then, that when a Secret Santa was looking for a suitable team of “Elves” to hand out Christmas gifts, he settled upon MCTS drivers.
“We’re going to be on the biggest sleigh we’ve ever had,” he said, according to CBS News. “And the magic is going to be like gold dust flying across the city.”
The unnamed Secret Santa is an older gentleman who has made it his tradition to hand out large bills to unsuspecting strangers. The usual amount he surprises people with is $100, but sometimes he doles out up to $300.
He seems to know who could use the cash the most, seeking out many of his recipients at thrift stores.
Likewise, those using public transport might be more in need of a little holiday blessing — and the bus drivers were more than happy to participate in handing out thousands of dollars worth of bills.
These MCTS Bus Drivers are on a very special mission, just in time for the holidays. See them in action tonight on @CBSEveningNews @SteveHartmanCBS @NorahODonnell #OnTheRoad #MCTSExcellence pic.twitter.com/3RA9DyQyKx
— RideMCTS (@RideMCTS) December 6, 2019
“It was a great experience,” said one driver. “It’s going to stick with me the rest of my life.”
Video of the gifting has been circulating, warming hearts with its generosity.
When the bills stamped with “SECRET SANTA” are pressed into the palms of the travelers, they don’t seem to know quite how to react.
“I said what?” one person said. “This is a dream or something.”
Recipients weren’t the only ones getting teary — the drivers got emotional as well. They seemed to get as much joy from their role in the gifting as the passengers did in receiving.
As for Secret Santa, he shared the recipe for promoting Christmas Spirit: “If you ever feel down, if you ever feel a little depressed, and you want to solve your problem, go out and do something kind for somebody — because when you do that, you’re uplifting yourself.”
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.