After months of virtual learning, 6-year-old Colton was more than excited to return to the classroom and see his friends again in person.
In November 2020, the boy masked up, grabbed his backpack, and rode the bus to Postma Elementary in Cypress, Texas.
It would be the second year in a row that he rode the bus to and from school, so his mom, Arlene Lightfoot-Franklin, was confident that everything would go just fine.
Colton knew to expect his older brother Gavin to wait for him at the bus stop. The brothers would walk home together from the bus stop around 4:30 p.m., but Colton didn’t show up that day.
Gavin called their mother to say that Colton didn’t get off the bus as planned, sending Arlene into a panic. Where could her little boy be?
Arlene called the elementary school, and the campus assured her that Colton had gotten on the bus. She then talked to the bus driver, who said that her son wasn’t on the bus. The driver then referred her to transportation, but unfortunately, they also didn’t have answers.
Fearing the worst, Arlene and Gavin hopped in the car and drove around to search for Colton.
“Where is he? The school doesn’t know. The transportation doesn’t know,” she told KHOU. “So we were just riding around, looking for him. I didn’t know where I was going. I just knew I would take the route to the school.”
As it turns out, Colton had gotten off the bus in a strange area and didn’t know how to get home. Luckily, a stranger named Kim spotted him “running for his life” down the side of the street as she drove by.
Her kids were in the car with her, and as soon as she saw the boy, she knew something was wrong.
Kim got out of her car and asked Colton what happened.
“He was so very brave and told me he was dropped off at the wrong stop and he didn’t know where he was,” she said.
Kim’s daughter, Madison, noticed that the boy had a green sticker on his shirt with his address on it. She typed in the address on her phone and found that it was .5 miles away from where they were.
Kim and her children convinced Colton to accept a ride home, and as they got closer, he began recognizing his surroundings again. When they reached home, Kim rang their Ring doorbell, triggering a notification for Arlene.
“I don’t know if your mommy’s here. Is she usually here, baby?” Kim can be heard asking Colton in the Ring doorbell video recording. “Do you know mommy’s phone number?”
Arlene raced home upon receiving the notification, and when they arrived, she ran to hug her son and the Good Samaritan.
“There’s nothing that we can do to repay her,” Arlene said. “She took the time and risked her family being exposed to a stranger. That just shows that there are people still out there and compassionate that care about one another.”
The two moms exchanged numbers, and Arlene hoped to treat Kim for lunch.
“That night when I was saying a prayer, I couldn’t say anything but thank you, God,” she said. “It could have ended in such a different way for me and my family.”
On the other hand, Kim is just glad that she was able to help.
“Your post has me in tears,” she wrote on NextDoor. “We talk about your sweet Colton all the time since this occurred. I’m so glad I listened to my heart and I was there to help your son. My heart is so happy. He was so brave.”
Friday that week, Colton was back on the bus. This time, he got off the right bus stop and made it home before 5 p.m.
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Kudos to this mother for going out of her way to help a lost kid! Please share this story with your family and friends.