MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For more than 10 years, Bob Snyder has been driving Chanhassan elementary students to and from school.

You can tell “Mr. Bob” apart from all the other bus drivers in Chanhassen by his signature cowboy hat.

Wednesday is National Bus Driver Appreciation Day, and Mr. Bob is touched by the kind words and art work he received from “his kids.”

“I get a feeling of warmth that they appreciate what I’m doing to get them to school in a safe manner,” Snyder said.

But he is brought to tears when he thinks about what his community is doing for him. Leisl AuVante’s three children have all been students on Mr. Bob’s bus.

“It’s a blessing when you know you have someone you can truly trust,” AuVante said.

She says she and other parents count on Mr. Bob, just like family.

Bob “The Bus Driver” Synder (credit: CBS)

“He is the steward of seeing our kids get off to school as well as the sentinel that I know will protect them come heck or high water,” AuVante said.

So when AuVante heard his story, she knew she had to help. Mr. Bob’s brother, Gregory Owen Snyder, served in the United States Air Force for 46 years before his death. He will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery next week.

“If I had to sum Bob up in two words it would be ‘kids’ and ‘community,'” AuVante said.

Snyder spoke with AuVante about his financial hardships, and she decided to ask the community to help.

She set up a GoFundMe to help send Mr. Bob and his family to Washington D.C. for his brother’s appointment at Arlington.

“It will be that we’ll be able to say our goodbyes to him,” Snyder said.

Mr. Bob says all this is overwhelming.

“It’s nice to know that while you’re alive that you’ve helped people,” Snyder said.

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