Belfast bus driver did sweetest thing I've ever seen with act of kindness for homeless man
The search is on for a bus driver in west Belfast who has been praised for a selfless act of kindness to a homeless man.
Student AnnaMarie McDaniel (19) boarded the 10H bus last night on her journey home - but before it ended, she had seen the driver do "the sweetest thing I've ever seen anybody do".
When she got home, St Mary's College student AnnaMarie took to Facebook to share her excitement at what she had seen.
"I get the same bus every Tuesday and there is always a homeless man that we pass. Today he was standing in the pouring rain, drenched to the skin in just a short sleeved t-shirt. My heart went out to him," she said.
"The bus man driving the 10H that I was on stopped the bus beside the man, and called him over.
"He then handed him a big red plastic bag, and told him that he was hoping to see him today - as he'd bought him a winter coat.
"The man refused to take the bag, but the driver was adamant that the man take it as he had gone out and bought it for him.
"I have never seen a smile like the one on the homeless man's face.
"I couldn't believe how kind the bus driver was, such a thoughtful act. A little bit of kindness really can go a long way."
When she reached her stop, AnnaMarie decided she would let the driver - known only as Paul - know how she felt after witnessing his generosity.
"I wanted to let the driver know that I thought what he did was the sweetest thing I've ever seen anybody do," she said.
"So I spoke to him before I got off the bus."
She said: "I wanted him to know how much the wonderful thing he had done had meant to me."
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night, AnnaMarie said she had been overwhelmed by the avalanche of positive reaction and comments to her Facebook post about the driver's kindness.
"My phone has gone into meltdown. And there have been so many positive comments on my Facebook page. And I've had over 90 friends requests," she said.
Reaction to AnnaMarie's post and driver Paul's kindness as he drove the 10H service poured onto Translink social media last night.
Among the hundreds of heartwarming comments, Allison Madden said: "Translink should be very proud of this driver and his huge heart. Their drivers are well placed to see this need."
Stephanie Dyer said: "How lovely and very thoughtful. We really don't realise how lucky most of us are coming home to a warm meal and family."
Commenter Angela McCann added: "So, so kind. If there were more people like this bus driver in the world it would be a better place. I take my hat off to him, you are a true gentleman - you will get paid back ten-fold."
In all, more than 40,000 people had given the thumbs up to Anna Marie's story of human warmth and kindness on a rainy Belfast night.