A very kind preschool director worked evenings and weekends for Uber to earn enough money to buy Christmas presents for all of her students – and their siblings. Renee Dixon, the director of Lynhurst Baptist Church Preschool in Indianapolis, told Good Morning America that nearly all of the children enrolled there are poor, and that meeting their basic requirements — let alone receiving Christmas presents — is not a certainty.
Renee, 47, had two part-time jobs this year, first as an Uber driver to supplement her income and then as Santa Claus to give gifts to all 50 pre-school pupils and their siblings.
‘A lot of the parents were telling me they couldn’t afford to buy anything for their children,’ Dixon added. ‘I know how it feels, and I never want a child to believe that things they dream about never, ever come true, or that things they pray about never come true, or that the world isn’t fair because of their living situation.’ ‘I want them to feel that someone did something for them, and I didn’t ask them to do it for me, but they did it anyway,’ she explained. So, in addition to working as a teacher, Dixon began driving for Uber four years ago to augment his income.
‘I usually drive until 1 or 2 a.m.,’ she told the Washington Post, adding that she drives 12 hours on Saturdays and 6 hours on Sundays. Since then, she’s kept the practice and begun driving for Lyft as well — even during this year’s epidemic, when she lost three family members to COV-19. The epidemic has been difficult for her and her students’ families. Local parents have lost their jobs and are unable to pay for the pre-school, therefore enrollment is down. ‘This year, so many of our families don’t have the money to buy Christmas presents.’ Some parents have lost their jobs, while others have had their pay reduced,’ she explained. ‘A lot of kids come from low-income households and are already living in poverty.’
Dixon, on the other hand, did everything she could to make everyone happy, even the 12 school staff members who received $50 presents. She also went to Target with her Uber and Lyft money, where she bought games, toys, and winter apparel for the students. ‘This year, with COV-19 and everything else that has been taken a-way from the kids through no fault of their own, I felt compelled to do something,’ she explained.
‘The school’s location isn’t in the finest area, but we make the best of it.’ ‘A lot of the kids had siblings, and I didn’t want them to feel left out,’ she explained, explaining why she also bought gifts for their siblings.
Uber has commended Renee and promised to match the money she has gathered for presents since the news surfaced. ‘We’re touched by Renee’s generosity, and we’re thrilled to be able to assist her in making her efforts twice as effective for her community,’ a representative told GMA. ‘We wish Renee and her students a safe and happy Christmas season with this gift.’
According to WTHR, her tale has prompted others in the community to reach out and give money to help pay for the gifts.
Dixon, on the other hand, is wary about attracting too much attention for her good deed. ‘I don’t like it when people make a big deal out of it since it’s something that everyone should be doing,’ she explained. ‘Taking care of children and ensuring that people’s and children’s needs are addressed is something that everyone should be doing all year, not just around Christmas.’