HOUSTON - An HISD employee says it took nearly three decades for her to realize that her job made a difference to kids and all it took was a simple note.

For 26 years, Vivian Ivory has been driving school buses, typically assigned to multiple routes. However, she was recently moved to a new single route for Lanier Middle School.

“This particular route was in trouble,” Ivory explained. “It's route 4150. Because of the hurricane, a lot of the kids were displaced as well as the drivers, so we were short drivers. I was placed on this route because the students were missing school.”

That included 8th grade student Dieuyen Nguyen whose father had to start bringing her to school. Nguyen says the uncertainty left her stressed. So, when Ms. Ivory started rolling up every day, it was a relief and Nguyen was thankful.

“She got on board and she gave me a gift,” Ivory explained. “And I'm like, ‘Wow! I got a gift!’”

The gift had a letter attached on a note card that read:

“First off, I'd like to say thank you. Bus drivers have a very difficult job. I appreciate the fact that you get up really early in the morning and get home super late to drive us. Without you, my education wouldn't be complete. There was a time, in the beginning of the year, that we had no bus driver and I was really stressed out. So, thank you for showing up. Merry Christmas.”

“Saying this to me really lets me know that I am appreciated,” Ivory explained. “It helps me to know that I am here for a purpose. So, I just thank God for this note.”

After 26 years, a simple “thank you” was both a blessing and a lesson they will both hold dear.

“The things I've done, the good deeds I've done… it kind of means a little something,” Nguyen said.

It goes to show that sometimes the littlest things really do matter.