SUMMIT, Wisc. - A bus driver decided to use her hobby of crocheting to go above and beyond for the kids she drives to Summit Elementary School in Wisconsin.
Trudy Serres, who works for Oconomowoc Transport Co., decided before Easter to crochet every child on her bus a stuffed animal. Each child got to pick their own stuffed animal.
"She is really an amazing bus driver. I can't believe how much time and effort she put in for these children to make each one of them their own cushioned stuffed animal; it's pretty amazing," said John Londt, whose kids have had her as a bus driver.
Serres got the idea through her habit of crocheting to kill time while waiting to take her elementary school students home.
"The kids would see me crocheting, and they would always ask to see the finished product," Serres said. "Then one little boy asked for a taco. It all started with a taco. He said 'Do you think you could do a taco?' and I said 'I probably could.'"
The boy dared her that she couldn't, so Serres crocheted the taco — never realizing he would share it with everyone on the bus.
"He showed every student on this bus what Miss Trudy made and gave to him, so I can't do it just for one," Serres said.
The bus driver then asked the students what they would want. Initially, it was mostly fourth-graders on her bus asking. One younger girl said she knew what she wanted when she reached fourth grade.
"I turned around and looked at her and said, 'Who's saying I'm only doing it for fourth grade?" Serres said.
The students then got to pick what they wanted, along with colors and other details. Serres said she made 34 of them, starting before Easter and finishing a short time before school let out for the summer.
Serres created a variety of items, including a chocolate-covered strawberry, dogs, a double-scooped ice cream cone, four Yodas with lightsabers, a clone trooper, Darth Vader, a Pokemon named Mewtwo and Poppy from the movie Trolls. There was even a mustache on a stick and a camouflaged panda bear.
"I get joy out of seeing them smile," Serres said. "So when I would finish it and they'd come around every morning and see how progressed I got on their little creature or whatever they got, and when that was done, I would set it on my dashboard when I got to the stop, and they would see it and be smiling all day with it and they would take it into the school and they'd still have a smile on their face when they came back out."
Parents told Serres that their children have taken them to church or on vacation; some even won't go to sleep unless they have their crocheted toy with them.
"I didn't think it would go this far, but I'm glad you guys actually like them,'" Serres told the parents.
Serres said she is already thinking about what she will make for the kids next year.