We never really know what other people are going through, which is why it’s always a good idea to be kind to everyone. Sometimes people just need others to be gracious to them, and it can make a big difference in their lives.
Well, a bus driver named Kathy Neves may not have realized how much her kindness meant to one little girl, but 30 years later and this woman’s actions are something Amanda Joseph will forever remember.
The Rough Childhood One Little Girl Had Gone Through
As a school bus driver in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Neves came across many children. But she knew there was more going on at home than four-year-old Joseph was letting on. So she would pick the little girl up early and give her some extra attention before grabbing the other kids.
“I’ve remembered Kathy my whole life since I was like four or five,” Joseph told WHDH News. “She would come and bring me breakfast, she would brush and braid my hair in the morning, and she would often have clothes for me to wear.”
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Behind the scenes, Joseph had no father, and her single mother was dealing with substance abuse problems. She and her younger siblings were often alone, but Neves had no way of knowing that. Until one day, she saw Joseph standing in a broken window, waving down at her. She knew it was time to call for some help.
“She recognized that it was an unsafe situation and gave us a second chance with a new family and a new hope,” Joseph added.
Child protective services got involved and placed Joseph and her two sisters into foster care. They stayed there for a few years until their mother finally agreed to adoption, but only if all three siblings were allowed to stay together. They were, and they went on to have a beautiful life with their adoptive family.
How a Facebook Post Gave One Woman a Chance to Say Thanks
For the next 30 years, Joseph often thought about the kind bus driver who made such a big difference in her life. Finally, with the support of her friends and family, she posted the story on Facebook to see if she could track Neves down.
“I felt like I wanted to say thank you, and I wondered often if I would ever get the chance,” Joseph explained. She added that she, too, now works with children and tries to give them the same attention Neves once gave her.
“I work at a school, and oftentimes, I have students who come from troubled situations, and I try to understand them,” she continued. “And I think of Kathy and how she did that for me.”
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Shortly after the Facebook post went up, people in the area shared their own stories about Neves and her kindness. By the next morning, Joseph had tracked her down. They agreed to meet up for breakfast, and Joseph brought her one-year-old son.
“I told her thank you for helping and inspiring me to be kind to others. Even though she doesn’t think that what she did was extraordinary, it meant a lot to me,” Joseph added to Fun107, revealing the pair plans to now keep in touch.
“Throughout the years, for whatever reason, some kids just stand out. You see someone who needs something, you go get it for them,” Neves added.
How One Bus Driver Proved the Importance of Leading With Kindness
Neves and her quick thinking certainly set up Joseph and her sisters for a better life, but what’s touching about this story is that so many others were quick to respond with their own stories of Neves’ kindness. It’s a reminder that, even though a small act may seem minuscule to you, it can have huge consequences for someone else.
That’s why acts of kindness are always the best types of acts. Remember that you don’t know what someone else is going through or why they are acting in a certain way.
Help where you can and extend kindness and grace, and try not to take someone else’s bad mood or the way they’re acting out personally. Odds are they’re going through something, and their external actions are their way of processing what’s happening.
And if you do see a situation where something seems off (such as a little girl standing at a broken window), don’t be afraid to call for help. Sometimes those who can’t advocate for themselves need someone to look out for them and help them get on a better path.
Plus, if this story is any indication, it could be the thing they remember you for all these years later.