Lots of kids fall in love with a local worker. For some, it’s a firefighter. For others, it’s a police officer. But, for Brooklyn of Bloomington, Illinois, it was Delvar Deshawn Dopson, a garbage collector. Every day, she would sit by the window waiting for him to pass by with his truck and take the trash.
Dopson used to make his rounds every Thursday. Each time he saw Brooklyn, she would wave and greet him. He always responded with a wave back and a smile on his face. The little girl was a bright spot in his day, and on her birthday, he was even more surprised when she decided to offer him a gift.
Brooklyn’s mother, Traci Andracke, knew how much Dopson meant to her daughter and would sometimes take her around the block if they missed his stop by their home. Speaking about Dopson, Andracke told The Huffington Post, “To Brooklyn, he is our favorite awesome smiley garbage man.”
So on Brooklyn’s 3rd birthday, her only wish was to give the garbage collector one of her special cupcakes to thank him for all his hard work. The little girl decided that she wanted to surprise Dopson with a special fairy cupcake.
Brooklyn’s mom shared the touching moment on Facebook. She described how Dopson came down the street, waving as usual, when she called him over. He got out of his truck with a big smile, and Brooklyn suddenly fell shy as she handed over the cupcake she’d been holding for him.
This ultimately sparked a new tradition between the family and their garbage man, and they have been creating wonderful moments together ever since.
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Andracke took the time to explain to Dopson how excited his weekly trips make her daughter, and he was deeply touched, revealing that he also looks forward to seeing them every Thursday.
On Apr. 7, 2016, Brooklyn was over the moon when she was able to give Dopson a cupcake, celebrating her birthday. “As a mom, I can’t even describe how happy it made me that she got to finally meet him,” Andracke said. “She was literally starstruck and could not even say a word. I had to do all of the talking for her. And she is never usually short on words.”
However, after Dopson left, Brooklyn turned to her mother and said, “Mommy, I’m so happy.” The experience was short, but the encounter had lasting impacts.
Six months later, Dopson decided to return the favor by surprising Brooklyn and her brother, Ty, with cupcakes and presents on his own birthday. Now, the tradition has continued, and there are no plans for Dopson and Brooklyn’s family to stop. The family is grateful for the new friend they’ve made thanks to their daughter’s loving gesture.
Andracke explained how “blown away” she was by the amount of attention Brooklyn and Dopson’s sweet exchange received. She said:
“I’d love for people to remember that a small gesture – a honk, wave, smile – doesn’t take much effort. Just do it. Spend an extra second helping someone or flashing a smile. You never know who is on the receiving end of that smile and how it can really brighten their day.”
What do you think of this heartwarming story? What is a small act of kindness that touched your heart recently? Let us know, and be sure to pass this along to your loved ones.