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Utah County Family Surprised To Get School Bus For Christmas

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah –  You’ve seen the commercials: This time of year our televisions are full of surprised spouses who get a new car for Christmas.

Shamrock Auto in Pleasant Grove is full of vehicles ready for a big red bow to be parked in a driveway.

Monday, though, Robb Taylor, the owner of the dealership, needed an even bigger bow.

“This is probably the first school bus we’ve sold,” said Taylor with a laugh.

Yes. A school bus.

“We feel pretty fortunate to get this bus,” he said. “We got a great buy on it. It came from Texas.”

Texas to Utah County isn’t as far as Santa will travel Monday night to deliver gifts.

However, for the customers getting this school bus, it’s the actual traveling that will become easier.

“I think this is one of the most exciting things,” said Taylor.

Mark and Sharon Honey have three boys with muscular dystrophy requiring motorized wheelchairs to get around.

Family trips to and from their American Fork home were never easy.

When the family arrived at Shamrock Auto Monday afternoon, all five of them were smiling.

“Are you ready?” asked Mark Honey to one of his sons as he helped roll his wheelchair onto the loading ramp attached to the bus.

After loading all of his sons into the bus, there was still plenty of room inside. They will now be able to comfortably go wherever they want.

The bus also means the family will save time.

Normally, it would take them about 30 minutes to load the boys into their truck, strap them in, and put the wheelchairs on their trailer. Now, with this bus, they can do all of that in about five minutes

“This, I mean, this means so much freedom to us,” said Mark Honey.

Seeing them overjoyed for that freedom is one thing. However, the true Christmas spirit came from their neighbors.

Friends and neighbors raised more than $30,000 to buy the bus.

“I observed and watched them over the years of kind of the things they have had to deal with and just wanted to be able to lighten their burden somewhat,” said Penny Chinchay, who helped organize different fundraisers for the Honey family.

The small yellow bus even has the family name on it, as well as Andrew, Joshua, and Anthony in black letters on the wide.

Those are the names of the three boys smiling inside.

“This is their bus,” Mark Honey said. “We’ll put all kinds of graffiti inside for them. Little dinosaurs. Whatever they want. Their grin is ear to ear. They’re excited. They don’t even want to get out.”

No, the bus didn’t come with a red bow, and it certainly didn’t come down the chimney. But as far as Christmas goes, this just might be the best one ever for the Honey family.

“The amount of support and the turnout has just been incredible. We can feel it,” said Mark Honey. “This is going to go down, yeah, this is just etched in our minds forever. Yeah.”

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