Curtis Jenkins of Dallas didn’t need a sleigh to deliver Christmas cheer to kids this year.
The Lake Highlands Elementary School bus driver asked all the students he drives what they wanted for the holidays, kept a list like Santa Claus and used his own money — plus some assistance from local community members who got word of Jenkins’ generous plan — to make their Christmas wishes come true.
Jenkins then filled up his bus with the gifts, a total of 70 presents.
“There was even a bike on that bus!!!” the elementary school posted on its Facebook page on Dec. 22, along with photos of the packed bus. “This reminds us how much good there is in the world and how we should all strive to be a little more like Curtis.”
According to Dallas-Fort Worth’s NBC 5, Curtis and his wife Shaneqia decided not to get each other Christmas presents this year so that he could play Santa for his students.
“That little time they have with me, it means so much,” Jenkins told NBC 5. “I’m the first face they see before they get to school in the morning. I call my bus a community. We love each and everybody in the community.”
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Even though Jenkins never asked for donations, multiple GoFundMe campaigns have been launched to help Jenkins with his mission. “So many accounts has been set up on GoFundMe in my name, with my picture,” Jenkins told NBC 5. “I never set up anything.”
A rep for GoFundMe told NBC 5 in a statement, “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.”
Over the last seven years that he’s worked as a bus driver for the district, Jenkins has regularly surprised kids with school supplies and rewarded them for helping on the bus — where they hold positions like safety captain and chairperson — by giving students “Bus Bucks” they could use for the supplies he provides. Last Thanksgiving, Jenkins even bought turkeys for families in need, NBC 5 reported.
Since his Christmas act of kindness has gained national recognition, Jenkins has started the process of launching a nonprofit called Magnify, Caring and Change to continue his charity work. The news station reported that Jenkins plans to file 501(c)(3) paperwork and will deposit all donations into a Chase bank account in his nonprofit’s name.
“It’s all about the kids,” he said in a Dec. 29 Instagram video. “It’s all about Magnify, Caring and Change Foundation and you guys. I’m not going to stop what I’m doing I’m just going to do it at a bigger level with the help of you guys. I thank god for getting me in this position.”
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