When icy roads caused an elementary school to open two hours late and left a bus full of hungry students without breakfast, bus driver Wayne Price decided to personally buy breakfast sandwiches for every child on his bus.
Wayne has been driving his school bus in Montevallo, Alabama, for more than five years, and he genuinely loves the children he gets to see each day. The week before winter break, Wayne received a message that his school would be having a delayed opening due to icy roads and heavy fog.
Wayne not only understands how to safely transport his students to and from school each day, but he’s also highly attuned to their living situations. As roughly 75% of the school’s children participate in the National School Lunch Program, which ensures that children from low-income families are able to eat breakfast and lunch each day, Wayne knew that this delay would mean that 50 of his beloved students would be hungry for their first four hours of the day.
“For a lot of students that means that they won’t get to eat,” Allison Campbell, Principal of Montevello Elementary, said. “It speaks volumes to [Wayne’s] character that he was attune to that.”
After receiving the message, Wayne left his house a bit early and headed to a local McDonalds, where he personally bought 50 breakfast sandwiches to offer to the students who would board his bus.
“When I got to McDonald’s, I asked the manager, ‘Can you turn around 50 biscuits in 15 minutes and can you give me as good of a deal as possible?’ He gave me a dollar deal and we just turned it around,” Wayne said. “They really hustled with other customers in the store and I walked out with a box load of biscuits for my kids.”
The children were really appreciative and happy that Mr. Price had thought of them and bought them breakfast.
“One of the kids said, ‘Oh, Mr. Price, you must be rich,’ ” Wayne recalled. “I am not rich. I am in full-time ministry … but you sit there and think about it, you take your family out to dinner, and you can drop $50 going out to dinner, and it was nothing more than taking my family out to dinner. When it came down to the financial side, it was just second nature. I really did not think about it. I thought, hey this would be neat. I bet they will like this.”
“When the kids got on I said, ‘So, what do ya want? Sausage? McMuffin?’ …” Wayne explained while laughing. “I got some sweet kids and I get really attached to them … They were really appreciative. I dunno. I just love my kids. I got lots of fist bumps, lots of high-fives, lots of ‘Love you Mr. Price,’ lots of ‘Thank you Mr. Price.’”
Wayne didn’t expect that buying his kids breakfast would be a big deal, but Montevallo Elementary School shared a post on Facebook thanking him and praising his kind service for the students. The post reads:
“Mr. Price, one of our bus drivers, truly demonstrates the spirit of Christmas! On Tuesday, when school was delayed due to icy roads and we weren’t able to serve breakfast, he purchased biscuits from McDonald’s for his entire bus of students! What a kind act that our students will forever remember! Thank you, Mr. Price, for making a lasting impact in the lives of our students!”
Several news outlets reached out to interview Wayne, and he left the following reply in the comments on his photo on the Montevallo Elementary School’s Facebook page:
“I’m not sure really how to reply to so many people, I’m shocked how people know. I was just taking care of my kids.
I appreciate and thank you for all the kind words. I enjoy flying under the radar, instead of on the radar, so it’s kind of awkward for me to see all these posts. I do have a genuine love for the kids on my bus. I see each one of them as a valuable, unique individual who needs a kind word and encouragement. I have this love because of the love of Christ. To understand this love I encourage you to read Philippians 2:1-11. There is a phrase that carries a lot of truth: “people don’t care what you know until they know you care.” I am also blessed to be surrounded by a team of great bus drivers, teachers, administrators and school transportation department. I’m just a small cog in the wheel.
I believe we get so caught up in materialism at Christmas that way too many of us forget we are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. I can love the kids and give them a biscuit yet if that’s all I do, they will be hungry again tomorrow. But if I can live out and reflect the love of Christ in front of them, that will affect them for a lifetime. If people only knew that a loving heavenly Father loved us so much that he sent His only Son into the world, which He knew would reject Him. He did this for our sake. And His son, Jesus Christ, humbled Himself to come in the form of a baby, and that all who place their faith in Him will have an eternal assurance of salvation in which we can rest and rejoice. This Christmas please take a moment to read Philippians 2:1-11, John 3:16 and Romans 5:8 and rejoice in this great gift.”
A fifth grader, Elizabeth Lopez, was surprised that he bought their entire bus breakfast, and she is always thankful for the kindness Wayne regularly shows her each day.
“I did not think he was going to do it. I am really thankful for having him as a bus driver, and he feels like a dad to me,” she said after reflecting on the many years she’s known Mr. Price.
One resident of Montevallo explained that showing kindness is a regular practice for Wayne.
“Anyone who knows Wayne Price would know that this isn’t a random moment,” wrote Derek W. “In the almost 20 years of knowing him, I’ve seen this man give so much of himself to his community. I’ve experienced first hand the hope and guidance he brings to people who may not find it anywhere else. I’m glad he’s getting the acknowledgment he deserves.”
Wayne’s loving gesture opened many hearts:
“We need more Mr. Prices in this world!” wrote Dale S.
“He used to be my kids bus driver. They absolutely loved him,” commented Terri O.
“Caring people like mr. Price is the reason we have good schools. Thanks mr. Price,” wrote Jimmy B.
Wayne’s kind heart surely taught his children more about love and kindness that day than they learned in class.
You are Loved.
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