How a bus driver made Christmas special for a Penticton youngster | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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How a bus driver made Christmas special for a Penticton youngster

A Penticton transit driver added some extra Christmas joy to an autistic boy who lives along one of his bus routes.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Kevin Ellis
December 17, 2020 - 7:00 AM

An act of kindness by a Penticton bus driver has helped make this Christmas extra special for a six-year-old boy.

Eric Braun has formed an unlikely friendship with young Joseph Ellis since last spring when he drove by and noticed him having a socially-distanced birthday party in his yard. He stopped to give the youngster a small gift.

He drives a B.C. Transit bus on Moose Jaw Street and from then on, began giving the family a quick honk to say hello to Joseph if he passed them on the street.

Joseph's mother, Teresa Ellis, says it was a surprise when the bus driver dropped by late last week and left a small Christmas gift and a card on the family’s front step for Joseph, who has autism.

Inside was Spider man wrapping paper, a Spider man card and a Spider man Lego set.

"He was so excited to get anything with Spider man on it. It really made his day,” Teresa.

“We couldn’t have a real party for Joseph’s birthday because of COVID-19, but Eric saw us trying to celebrate this spring. He stopped and gave Joseph a little bus magnet. I guess he saw how happy it made my son, and ever since then every time he saw my son outside, he’d give him a little honk,” she says.

B.C. Transit driver Eric Braun says the relationship started with Joseph’s birthday in the spring, when he saw how thrilled Joseph was to get a little gift.

He noticed the family decorating their yard last week.

“I just decided then to pick him up something, and drop it off the next time I drove the route,” Braun says.

He recently spoke to Teresa, who told him how happy her son was to receive the gift.

"It makes me happy when someone does that, especially when it’s someone who doesn’t know us all that well, and particularly because my son has special needs,” she says.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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