Sometimes a smile and a wave is all it takes to improve someone’s day.
Tino Zaragoza apparently has that effect on people. Zaragoza, a former professional boxer as well as a football and baseball player at Southern Methodist University, is a crossing guard at Stonegate Elementary School in Bedford, so both before and after school he is out front of the building helping kids to cross busy Bedford Road.
"I’m always watching them as they approach," Zaragoza said about paying attention to the traffic. "You can always tell when they’re not slowing down, [not] paying attention."
More often than not, Zaragoza said he sees drivers dutifully following the rules of the road and respecting the safety of the students. That is why his is quick to reward those drivers with a friendly smile and a wave.
And his approach has made an impression on at least one passerby.
An NBC 5 viewer wrote about what she sees as she drives past the school:
"Every day of the week I pass by one of the greatest individuals. I don’t know his name but all I know is that he is a crossing guard that makes my day. He waves and motions positively to us drivers as we pass by. The highway is my fastest route to work, but sometimes I take the back roads… and I pass by Stonegate Elementary to experience, be impacted and have my day brightened by this wonderful person. He truly makes my morning with is smile and gentle wave."
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Zaragoza was moved by the kind words by a complete stranger.
"It means an awful lot, because you don’t get that every day from people. Not even from the ones closest to you that you would like to get," Zaragoza said, appearing to choke back tears of gratitude. "Sometimes all you need is a pat on the back, a show of appreciation."