A Bloomington, Illinois, girl became an Internet sensation after a story of her sharing a birthday cupcake with her favorite garbage man went viral.
Brooklyn – a 3-year-old who recently celebrated her birthday – always anxiously awaits the arrival of the city garbage truck every Thursday morning so she can say hello to Delvar Dopson, her favorite garbage man.
Her mother, Traci Andracke, wrote a Facebook post to the City of Bloomington on April 8 about a particular Thursday morning that became a special bonding moment for Brooklyn and Dopson:
Thursdays are by far her favorite day... garbage day. For about a year now, she has anxiously awaited the garbage truck's arrival at our house. It started with waving from the window, then we had to try and be outside to wave, and when we missed the truck driving by the house, I'd drive around the neighborhood to find the garbage truck and wave... on our way out the door in the mornings. Every... Thursday, my heart is full when I see the joy that our amazing garbage man brings Brooklyn when he honks and waves at her with a BIG smile.
And today, we finally got to meet him!!! Brooklyn and I wrapped up one of her birthday cupcakes and waited for him. When he came down our street, she ran to the corner. We were waving like usual and I motioned for him to come over by us. He pulled over, got out and gave us his BIG smile. Brooklyn was instantly speechless as she handed him the cupcake. I explained to him that he makes our day every Thursday, and we really appreciate the honking and waving, and how special of a day it is for us.
Then... (melt my heart)... he explained that he looks forward to seeing us every Thursday as well. He said that he has a meeting every Thursday morning and always tries to get out of there in a hurry so that he can make sure to see us every week. He said he doesn't have any kids of his own, but he mentors several children and just loves them. I can't believe that I never got his name, so for now he will continue to be "our favorite awesome smiley garbage man".
After he left, we continued onto daycare. Brooklyn was unusually quiet in the backseat. I asked her if she was okay, and she said "Mommy, Im so happy."
So... to "our favorite awesome smiley garbage man"...
THANK YOU!!! Thank you for the joy that you bring Brooklyn every Thursday morning, for making her birthday special, and for making my heart happy. It may be a little thing that you do, but it means so much to us!
The post, which included photos of Brooklyn waiting for Dopson and then meeting him, went viral, garnering over 22,000 likes and 4,400 shares as of April 25.
“Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought it would have gotten to where [the photos] have been shared a half-million times,” Dopson, 34, told Pantagraph.
Andracke was equally as shocked by the way the story touched readers.
“My husband and I were just blown away,” she said. “A lot of people said it brought them to tears. It was just such a heartwarming story of kindness in the world and the special relationship between our garbage man and my daughter.”