The school run is something that plenty of parents all over the world dread. But one American mom and her son found the journey particularly tough. So when a stranger recognized her and her son walking down the street, everything suddenly changed for the better.
The story of Gabe Bellus from Papillion, Nebraska, hit local headlines back in 2015. It all started when he was just a seven-year-old elementary school kid. In those days, his daily routine was a little different compared to what it is now.
You see, Gabe lives just under two miles away from his school, which might at first sound like a convenient situation. But in reality, it is far from easy. That’s because, due to the location of his house, Gabe is not eligible for a lift from the school bus.
In fact, the bus is only permitted to pick up students who live at least four miles from the school. And so Gabe misses out on the luxury of riding with his classmates. Unfortunately for the seven-year-old, too, he didn’t have many other travel options.
His mom, Kim Bellus, was of course more than willing to take her son to school. But because she was at the time a full-time student, she simply didn’t have the cash to splash on a car to drive Gabe to and from school every day.
So the two of them had only one option left: they had to walk to school together every morning. And Kim would walk back to pick him up every afternoon, too. With each journey taking them at least 45 minutes to complete, though, they soon found it hard going.
Indeed, Gabe’s mom estimated that the school run often took about four hours out of each day. But that wasn’t all. Her young son subsequently complained to KMTV News that the round trip left him feeling “really tired” by the time he’d get back from school.
The local news station reported on Gabe’s struggles for the first time back in the summer of 2015. Then, shortly after his story aired on TV, the seven-year-old’s life changed drastically for the better. And all it took was for the right person to watch the news report.
So, the very same day that the report about Gabe and Kim was shown on KMTV, they set off on their usual journey back home from school. But then something odd happened: a car pulled over next to them, and the driver asked them an important question.
That driver was a woman called Becky Novotny. And luckily for Gabe and Kim, Novotny had immediately recognized them from the news report that she’d seen earlier that day. Moreover, she felt compelled to stop and offer her help.
So after the pair confirmed that it was them on the news, Novotny extended a very kind offer. Yes, she volunteered to give them a ride home, to which Gabe and Kim gladly agreed. It was, after all, a kind deed from a Good Samaritan.
And in an amazing turn of events, Novotny’s kindness didn’t stop there. No, she also had a generous idea that would greatly improve Gabe and his mom’s daily routine. Incredibly, Novotny offered to take the seven-year-old to school every single day.
Novotny, who was also a stay-at-home mom, told KMTV that she has three kids of her own – and one of them actually went to the same school as Gabe. So she felt that it made perfect sense for her to pick Gabe up and drop him off each day.
Gabe’s mom was delighted by Novotny’s kind offer. Before this, Kim had found herself in a situation where she didn’t know who to turn to for help. But Novotny fortunately came by at just the right time.
The grateful Kim told KMTV News that she was very happy to receive help from a fellow mom. But to Novotny, it was no big deal. “If I was in this situation, I think I’d want someone to help me,” Novotny told the reporter.
“It’s a small town; you’re there for everybody,” she added. Since then, little Gabe has had a regular ride to school and a new school buddy in the back of the car. And his mom has also had more time to focus on her studies, and she subsequently smashed her mid-term exams.
The new arrangement meant that Gabe came home with a little extra energy each day as well, given that he no longer had to walk all the way to school and back. So he used that extra spring in his step to take up a new interest – scouts. And the best part was that he also had a ride to scouts, too, thanks again to Novotny.
Understandably, then, this heart-warming story of kindness among a local community resonated with people online. Indeed, when the news report was uploaded to YouTube it received more than 145,000 views.
Not everyone was quite so impressed by the story, however. Some cynics even left comments questioning the amount of time that Kim claimed that it took her and Gabe to walk to school. One particularly harsh response read, “Walk faster or get the kid a bike.”
Nonetheless, plenty of viewers were touched by Novotny’s kindness. Whether or not people think that Gabe’s old commute to school was a terrible hardship or not, what cannot be denied is that Novotny’s offer to give him a ride every day is nothing short of admirable. In fact, it’s a true example of neighborly love.