A bus driver’s act of compassion for a young girl who lost her mother has stirred hearts in one Oregon town.
After losing her mom to a rare illness two years ago, 11-year-old Isabella Pieri has had to learn to effectively take care of herself, with her father helping teach her what she needs to know the best he can, KSL-TV reported.
One area that Philip Pieri fell short in, however, was hair styling.
“I originally just gave her a crew cut because I didn’t know how, and it was all tangled and I couldn’t get it out for anything,” the father told KSL-TV.
When her hair grew back, Isabella just brushed it through, sometimes pulling it into a ponytail. But one day, she mustered the courage to ask her bus driver, Tracey Dean, to braid her hair after she saw the woman fix a classmate’s braid.
“You can’t be shy, you’ve got to talk to them. You treat them like your own kids, you know,” Dean told KSL-TV.
Now the school bus driver sends off the girls for their day with a morning hair styling that has a bigger impact that just a tidy fashion display.
“It makes me feel like she’s a mom pretty much to me,” Isabella said. “And it makes me excited for the next day to see what she does.”
That seemingly small act by Dean has given the young girl an added boost of confidence that is visible to those around her.
“I just noticed her head was a little higher that morning,” her teacher, Mrs. Freeze told KSL, “and she had a little more of a step.”
Dean’s kindness has a more personal note, as her own experiences have given her a special perspective of her young passengers.
“Seven years ago, I found out I had breast cancer, and that’s one of the things that went though my head — who is going to take care of my little ones?” she said. “Not that my husband couldn’t do it, but you know, that’s what mom’s do. They do their kids’ hair.”
Pieri is grateful that Dean reached out in such a selfless way to impact his daughter.
“Tracy didn’t have to step up, but she stepped up to help out,” he told KSL. “I was amazed.”
So were scores of Twitter users who applauded the bus driver and the emotional story.
Wow beautiful 🤩🤩🤗🤗
— Sharon Coleman (@SharonC37531097) April 2, 2018
https://t.co/MoqKn1Ct6p After much searching, I’ll bet you won’t find a #standardizedtest to measure the kindness shown by this bus driver. It seems that the kindness of a heart has a stronger impact than does the collection of data. Will the #politicians & #pundits ever learn?
— Joseph Pizzo (@ProfJPizzo) April 1, 2018
I’m 53 and lost my mother when I was very young. I still don’t know how to braid hair. It is a mom thing.
Thank goodness for the bus driver who offered that small kindness.
— Mom Demands Honesty please (@MarthaDebry) April 2, 2018
Amazing! Spreading love and kindness!
— Tricia Saiia Back (@TriciaBack1) March 31, 2018
Awwh- what a sweet story! God bless this bus driver lady for making such a difference in this girl’s life. 💖😊👍👍 https://t.co/TSrlAwYGx2
— Robyn Harms (@rockinrobyn59) April 2, 2018
— Lisa (@ladyface44) March 30, 2018
What an awesome, caring person 👏❤ There should be more like her!!!
Such a small simple act that means so much to these girls. A wonderful story…
That is how all humanity is supposed to act. Take care of the other guy. God Bless her for her caring.. God take care of the Pieri family.
— Jane K. Dick (@flornurse) April 1, 2018
— Roger Perkins (@Abnsojer1970) April 1, 2018