A school bus driver in Texas bought Christmas gifts for every child on his route by using money that he saved as a way of fulfilling his "mission from God."
Curtis Jenkins surprised students from Lake Highlands Elementary School in Dallas the last day before winter break with a bus filled with Christmas presents. Overwhelmed by what they saw, one student asked if he was Santa Claus.
"I'm not at a job, I'm on a mission from God," Jenkins told NBC's Dallas-Fort Worth affiliate. "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."
Jenkins said his job also gives him an opportunity to show each child that they have value and are loved. The gifts he gave the students included electronics, puzzles, games and even a bike.
"Seeing the faces of those kids was more than anything that I could ever do with the money," Jenkins exclaimed.
"We talked about the things that they would want and I made a mental note of it and wrote it down," he said.
Eleven-year-old Ethan Ingle, one of the 70 children who received a gift from Jenkins, was elated to receive a pair of headphones in red, his favorite color.
“It makes me feel like I belong and I mean something to this community,” said Ethan's mom, Katrina Clift, in response to Jenkins' gift to her child. The generous bus driver also gifted their family a turkey for Thanksgiving.
Lake Highlands Elementary School PTA President Jennifer Wilcox said Jenkins heart to give is rubbing off on others. She said families across the district are now inspired by his Christmas giving. Jenkins' co-worker chipped in to buy the bike and another parent gave $100.
"We are just so thankful for his spirit, and his kindness and his generosity to the kids," Wilcox said. "Thank you for being a wonderful example for all of us."
Jenkins has worked for the school district for seven years and remembered the times as a child when he didn't get much for Christmas.