Bloomington, Illinois’ 34-year-old garbage man Delvar Dopson, and 3-year-old Brooklyn Adracke, a Bloomington resident, have a special connection.
According local news outlet The Pantagraph, the story of their friendship has reached over 500,000 people.
It all started when the City of Bloomington Illinois received the heartwarming story. On April 8, the city couldn’t help but share it on their Facebook page.
Traci Andracke, Brooklyn’s mother, sent the city a note detailing their friendship and thanking “their favorite awesome smiley garbage man” for his warmth and kindness.
Every Thursday for the past year, Brooklyn, along with her mother, has “anxiously awaited” for Dopson, to drive by their house.
Brooklyn adored waving at Dopson, who honked and waved back at the little girl with an enormous smile.
During April 2016, Brooklyn turned three—on a Thursday, no less. For her birthday, Brooklyn got to meet Dopson and even give him one of her birthday cupcakes.
“When [Dopson] came down our street, [Brooklyn] 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.”
Traci explained to Dopson that his honking, smiling, and waving makes their Thursdays very special.
Dopson also looked forward to seeing both of them every Thursday, he even tried to leave his weekly Thursday morning meetings early so that he could catch them.
While Dopson is childless, he adores children and mentors several. “This is my job, but my [life’s] work is to inspire the young,” Dopson told The Pantagraph.
“After he left, we continued onto daycare,” wrote Traci, “Brooklyn was unusually quiet in the backseat. I asked her if she was okay, and she said ‘Mommy, I’m so happy.'”
Traci concluded her message to the city of Bloomington with: “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 story, however, gets better.
The Thursday after Brooklyn’s birthday, she presented Dopson with a sign she made herself, thanking him. It was covered in glitter and smiley faces.
Dopson brought his little friend a plethora of belated birthday gifts, all “Frozen” themed, which is one of Brooklyn’s favorite films.
Dopson’s gifts and kindness towards Brooklyn had Traci in tears.
Traci and Dopson are now friends on Facebook and friends “for life.”
Speaking with The Pantagraph, Dopson said “We all have to discover our gift and be effective.”
“I mentor children and that is the passion in my heart,” continued the 34-year-old. “I believe everybody on earth has a gift. Once they discover that gift, that’s when they can make a true difference.
Dopson concluded: “By me recognizing my gift, I think I’m affecting my workplace. I think everybody can do that.”