PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — For one PSTA bus driver, the riders on Route 11 are more than passengers, they're family.
“If you see someone without a smile, you give them yours, because you never know you may change some body’s life,” said Barbara Irizarry.
When Irizarry found out 84-year-old Army veteran Herb Hayden had a clutter problem at his house, she stepped in to help.
“He was shuffling to get through the garbage, it was probably knee deep, so at that point I asked Herb if he’d like some help, and he said 'he’d love help,'” said Irizarry.
When Herb’s bus buddies, Hopeton and Judy, found out what Irizarry was doing, they immediately got on-board.
“When I turn 85-years-old, I could be in the same predicament, so this is something my mom passed on and she instilled in me, to do the right thing,” said Hopeton Johnson.
“This time of year it’s just so wonderful, because it’s in my blood, and it’s in Hopeton’s blood, too. Barbara’s we are that kind of people and there is a lot more out there too and all they have to do is open their mouth and say, ‘hey I’ll help you,’” said Judy Martin.
Hayden said he suffers from a number of medical issues and doesn’t have the strength, money or resources to clean his home on his own.
“Oh, I’m very thankful, believe me. It’s a wonderful thing, it sure saved my butt, I tell you they came to the rescue,” said Hayden.
Now, this group of strangers, brought together because of a public bus, have formed a special bond. Thankful for one another.