When you love what you do for a living, it’s only natural to want to spread the joy.
Arletha Sherman’s job as a bus driver means so much more to her than getting kids to school. Every weekday, she looks forward to seeing each of her tiny passengers’ faces. But one little girl holds a special place in her heart, so when she heard her birthday was coming up, she couldn’t pass the opportunity to celebrate.
Anna Hopson is a pre-kindergarten student at Sabal Palm Elementary who’s been using a wheelchair for the past six months. She lives with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a degenerative group of disorders that cause nerve damage and loss of muscle tissue. She also just turned 5 years old.
On her big day, Anna waited for the bus like always. When Arletha arrived at her stop, she surprised the birthday girl with a princess gown and a tiara to match. Anna received some toys and hair clips as well, but there was something even better waiting for her inside.
For Anna’s fifth birthday, Arletha thoughtfully decorated the interior of the bus with a “Happy Birthday” banner and colorful streamers! “[S]he looked around and asked, ‘Is this all for me?’” Anna’s mom, Kathleen, recalled. “Anna was thrilled and surprised.”
Arletha says she did it because the little girl “touched my heart,” adding, “She never complains. She has the most beautiful smile and it inspired me to do something for her.”
The little girl’s family is beyond grateful to the woman who gave their daughter an unforgettable birthday. “Anna felt like a real princess going to school this morning!” they wrote on Facebook, where they shared photos of the surprise. Anna felt even more special when the other kids sang “Happy Birthday” to her on the road. Great job, Arletha, for going above and beyond to make your passengers smile.
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