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McMaster University student's viral act of kindness rewarded

An act of compassion on a Hamilton bus that went viral on social media is being rewarded.

Transit Union to present student with $2,000 for compassionate moment

Godfrey Coutto and Robert, whose exchange on a bus amassed 60,000 likes and 14,000 shares on Facebook. (Only in Hamilton/Facebook)

An act of compassion on a Hamilton bus that went viral on social media is being rewarded.

Hamilton's Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 107, which represents the city's bus drivers and transit employees, will be presenting two cheques on Wednesday to McMaster student Godfrey Coutto who was photographed comforting a man with special needs on a bus.

Robert, a deaf, middle-aged man with cerebral palsy, approached Coutto on the 10 B-Line Express bus, shook the Mac student's hand and didn't let go. Robert's family says he prefers to communicate through touch, a press release said. Coutto held Robert's hand and put his arms around him for the duration of the 30-minute bus ride.

"Sometimes you just have to be selfless and put someone else's needs above yours," Coutto told the Huffington Post.

A passenger across from Robert and Coutto captured the moment and posted it onto Facebook, where it quickly amassed 60,000 likes and 14,000 shares.

Here's the original post:

 And now Coutto will be the recipient of two $1,000 cheques – one from ATU Local 107 and the other from ATU Canada – for the act.

"You're constantly hearing negatives about the students with frosh," said ATU Local 107 President Eric Tuck. "I think this was an incredible act by an incredible young man."

And the 107's president, Tuck, said the group is rewarding Coutto's act to strengthen the ATU's relationship with Hamilton's students, who frequently get "a bum rap," he said.

 Local 107 represents 700 men and women who work for the Hamilton Street Railway with 450 of those being bus drivers. 

Coutto will be presented with the cheques Wednesday at 9 a.m. at McMaster University's Kenneth Taylor Hall building.