December 18, 2000
Northshore bus drivers help families at Children's Hospital
The holidays can be a stressful time for many people, and especially for families with loved ones in the hospital. When a child is gravely ill, family members have little time for buying presents for that child or siblings.
Betty Reyburn, a bus driver for Northshore School District, knows this situation far too well. Six years ago her daughter was being treated for cancer at Children's Hospital in Seattle. She remembers her main concern was her daughter's chemotherapy and the time she needed to spend with her. Present buying was not a priority.
What could have been a painful memory has been turned into a heartfelt "giving back" by Reyburn and the entire transportation department at Northshore School District.
"I got so much support from my co-workers. I had to stay home with my daughter. Enough sick time was donated that I never had a day without pay. They would take turns taking my daughter to the hospital when they were not on shift," said Reyburn.
So last year when Reyburn found out that a child who had been a patient with her daughter was again being treated for chemotherapy at Christmas, she asked if she could help. A nurse told Reyburn that a brother had sold the girl's CD Walkman, and the little girl really missed it. Reyburn went back to her job and within an hour had received enough donations to purchase another Walkman. From this gesture came the idea to adopt the family from Children's Hospital for Christmas. And last year the department brought presents for them.
This year they have two families and have raised over $2,500 in cash and gifts.
"It's a way of giving back. It started small, and it just gets bigger every year." said Reyburn.