Students come together to raise funds for widowed bus driver

SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ (WTXF) - Some Phoenix-area high school students came together to raise funds for their recently-widowed bus driver.

FOX's Marc Martinez has cellphone video of the driver's reaction.

"I tell my kids on the bus all the time to go out and make a difference and to be kind to each other but you don't expect them to give it back to you and when they do, it's just great," Ruiz said.

Things have been tough for school bus driver Janet Ruiz, a mother of six, after her husband of 32 years, Frank, died of a massive heart attack in January.   That's where the students at Combs High School come in.

They raised $640 over the past month and a half as part of their Prank it Forward campaign and surprised Janet with the gift, as she stepped onto her bus Monday, the emotional moment caught on camera.  

"It's one of those feelings where you just feel good inside like - for some reason it just brightens your spirit and it makes you feel like you've done something that's really worth it, cause a lot of times you don't get that in life." Cydnee Colpaert, a student said.

"It's cool to know that other schools are looking up to us because of these small acts of kindness," Cydnee Colpaert said.

Janet says she'll use the money to help pay her SRP bill this summer, a huge burden off her shoulders.

"It was such a big blessing. I cannot express the debt of gratitude we feel, and just the generosity of the students, the maturity they had to look outside themselves and see the need of someone else," Ruiz said.

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