Dave Egleston, a retired bus driver for West Des Moines (Iowa) Community Schools, donated funds...

Dave Egleston, a retired bus driver for West Des Moines (Iowa) Community Schools, donated funds for the new room, noting he wanted the space to feel like a living room and not an institution.

Photo courtesy West Des Moines Community Schools 

West Des Moines (Iowa) Community Schools (WDMCS) recently unveiled a newly remodeled break room for its transportation department after receiving a donation from one of the district’s former, retired school bus drivers.

Dave Egleston, a WDMCS retiree who served 13 years as a bus driver, provided the donation for new paint, flooring, and furniture, according to a news release from the district. Egleston apparently makes a number of donations each year as part of his IRA's annual required minimum distribution.

For 2021, Egleston’s break room contribution was his largest donation, according to the district.

“I wanted it to be comfortable for the people who have to come a ways and can't go home for lunch or during the day,” Egleston said in the news release. “I was sad for years that these people came all this distance and they didn't have any reprieve. And, to stay with what we had was hard. I would have a hard time.”

Robin Pickard, the transportation director for WDMCS, said because of COVID-19 her employees were unable to have group meetings in the break room. Throughout the majority of the pandemic during the 2020-21 school year, the department's break room was empty and workers needed to socially distance themselves from others, according to the district. Once things slowly opened back up, the idea of a refurnished break room came into play.

As a way to say thank you to Egleston, the WDMCS transportation team held an outdoor gathering at the end of this past school year to celebrate and recognize his generosity.

“I'm so tickled that they're happy. That's all I wanted,” Egleston said in the release. “It was easy for me, and why not? I think it'd be criminal in my mind if I didn't do something. I'm just having fun.”

“There's only one Dave,” Pickard added, “and we have a break room full of people who love this job.”