Brooklyn Andracke is a little girl living in Bloomington, Illinois, USA. When she was aged two, she became fascinated with the garbage worker who was coming every Thursday. At first, she was waving from the window as the garbage truck passed by. Then Brooklyn, her mother Traci and little brother Ty moved outside to wave. And when they missed the truck, Traci Andracke would drive the kids around the neighborhood to find the truck so Brooklyn could wave. And the driver always made a point of waving back with a big smile and honking the truck’s horn.
Traci says: “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.” She adds: “And so we look forward to Thursday mornings, garbage day, all week. Monday morning, she starts asking if it’s garbage day yet.”
When Brooklyn’s third birthday happened to be on Thursday, “garbage day”, she wanted to share part of her big day with him: to give him a birthday cupcake. As his truck came down her street, Brooklyn ran to the corner and her mother waved for the driver to come over. Says Traci:
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.”
“I didn’t know I was her idol,” he said. “I just looked forward to seeing this young lady every Thursday. She topped it off last week with a cupcake.”
Traci Andracke made some photographs of the scene, and shared them on Facebook. She also learned that the man was named Delvar Dopson.
The following Thursday the magic got even better. The local journal Pantagraph was there with a reporter and photographer. Says Traci:
This morning was garbage day again. The Pantagraph sent a reporter and photographer to our house to cover the exciting morning. As Delvar got to our street, he honked to let us know he was coming. Brooklyn grabbed her sign that she made for him and ran to the corner to greet him. The sign said “THANK YOU DELVAR”. Delvar pulled up to our house and greeted Brooklyn with his usual big smile and big hug. He thanked Brooklyn for the cupcake that she gave him last week and said “Happy Belated Birthday”.
THEN………he walked her around to the other side of the truck and pulled out the most amazing, awesome and generous birthday gifts for her. He said he did a little research and knew she liked the movie FROZEN. His wife made this incredible basket full of everything FROZEN, and another full set of FROZEN fun stuff to color, paint and draw with………a little girl’s dream!!!! (and yes, at this point I was crying).
Brooklyn gave Delvar the sign to keep in his truck. He put it in the front window facing out for everyone to see.
The story was shared on Facebook and spread over. Delvar got warm congratulations from colleagues from all over the country and even from abroad, telling him how he made them proud of their job.
Here are some of the Pantagraph photographs. A garbage truck is a little girl’s special toy.
Brooklyn anxiously await’s Delvar’s arrival.
As he comes by, she gets out with her sign for him.
But surprise! Delvar brought a birthday present.
And now big big hugs!
Every little girl needs someone special to love.
- City of Bloomington – City Hall, Facebook, April 8th, 2016 (with 4 photographs).
- City of Bloomington – City Hall, Facebook, April 15th, 2016.
- Going viral: The little girl and the trash guy, Maria Nagle, Pantagraph, April 15th, 2016.
- Photos: Her hero drives a garbage truck, David Proeber, Pantagraph, April 18th, 2016 (with 12 photographs).
- EXCHANGE: 3-year-old Bloomington girl loves trash collector, Maria Nagle, Pantagraph, April 22nd, 2016.
- Little Girl Gives Her Hero Garbage Man A Cupcake, Melts All Our Hearts, Lee Moran, The Huffington Post, April 22nd, 2016.