Louisville Bus Driver Saves Day for First Grader Who Needed Pajamas for School Spirit Day


February 21, 2024

Levi’s day was already off to a bad start when the first grader boarded his school bus one morning. His bus driver, 35-year-old Larry Farrish Jr., noticed right away something was wrong.

“Normally when I pull up, he’s standing there waiting for me with a big smile, but on this day, he was sitting on the ground with a jacket over his head,” Farrish Jr. told TODAY.com.

After asking Levi what was up, Farish Jr. learned that it was school spirit week at Engelhard Elementary School in Louisville, Kentucky and the students were allowed to wear pajamas all day. Only one problem: Levi didn’t have any pajamas to wear.


“I thought, ‘I gotta fix this,” Farrish Jr. said.

After dropping the children off at Engelhard, Farrish Jr. made a stop at a nearby Family Dollar to pick out some new pajamas just for Levi. He took the pajamas back to the school where he explained to an office assistant what had happened on the bus. Levi was called to the office and given the gift that turned his entire day around.

“He was just glowing, he was so happy,” Farrish Jr. told The Washington Post about the moment he handed Levi the brand new pajamas. “He gave me a hug, then he walked back to class, hugging those pajamas. I was in tears.”


“Mr. Larry is a great person and bus driver who truly cares about the students he drives and intentionally builds relationships with them,” school principal Ryan McCoy said to The Washington Post. “The smile on Levi’s face when Mr. Larry showed up at school with the pajamas says it all.”

“I can tell Mr. Larry is nice and his heart is filled with joy,” Levi said in a news release from Jefferson County Public Schools. “When he got me the pajamas, I did a happy cry.”

Jefferson County Public Schools shared a post about the heartwarming moment between student and bus driver on their Facebook page and the supportive comments and praise started pouring in, causing the story of Levi’s unexpected pajama day to go viral, and garnering the attention of the Southend Street Angels. The Louisville nonprofit raised almost $600 in donations from the public for Levi and his five siblings. 


“I asked [Levi’s mom] if Levi had forgotten his pajamas that day, and she just said it was hard to keep everyone’s clothes clean,” Farrish said. “The reason doesn’t matter to me, because I was happy to help.” Farrish said he is planning to accompany Levi’s mother and her family on a shopping spree for new clothing this weekend, courtesy of The Southend Street Angels.

Farrish Jr. is known for going above and beyond for the students on his bus route, even perfecting personalized handshakes with them as they board his bus (with Levi, Farrish Jr. does the Spider-Man web slinging gesture). He was a truck driver before taking on the bus driver gig, and he never expected to love the change of pace so much.

“I don’t have kids, so I enjoy interacting with Levi and the other kids on the bus and hearing about what’s going on in their day,” he said. “My job is to get them to school safe, but I also hope I have a small impact on their lives.”


Alt Text: Louisville Bus Driver Saves Day For First Grader Who Needed Pajamas For School Spirit Day / Photo Credit: Jefferson County Public Schools

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