Bus drivers in Elkview, WV help students cope with cold - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Bus drivers in Elkview, WV help students cope with cold

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School bus in Elkview, WV School bus in Elkview, WV

A group of bus drivers in Elkview, WV is doing what it can to make certain students stay warm when they head to the bus stop.

Veteran bus driver John Anderson knows the name of each child who rides his bus. He also knows their story. He often sees students who don't have access to enough winter clothing to keep them warm.

On days when the temperatures dip into the negative or single digits he and other drivers worry personally about each student.

"When they come to school with not enough coats on for the weather you can tell," said Nancy Fields.

Drivers have created a rack of items inside the bus terminal where they put items that have been left behind students. They leave the items on the bus sometimes for several weeks to see if anyone will claim them. If no one comes forward for the items they are then given to other students who may be in need.

In some cases drivers are reaching into their own pocket to get the money to buy items for students who may be in need.

"Sometimes school is their only meal, their only source of heat, their only water," said Peggy Whitacre, supervisor at the Elkview Bus Terminal.

"A lot of them have problems and they'll come to me and I'll help them," said Anderson. "They are my kids. I love every single one of them."

The lost and found items that aren't claimed or given to students in need are donated to local charities.