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Grand Rapids boy bonds with sanitation worker during pandemic

Posted at 5:06 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 17:06:53-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — While most people list Fridays or Saturdays as the days they most look forward to, a young boy in Grand Rapids is making the case for Tuesdays.

“It’s cute,” said Sam Highfield. “We certainly look forward to it every week.”

Each week, Highfield’s two-year-old son, Ben, drags his parents out of their southeast Grand Rapids home and anxiously waits, only to finally crack a smile once he spots it. It being the garbage truck.

“He’s a little garbage truck lover,” said Highfield.

Highfield says Ben’s love started before he could even walk, but grew around March, when Andre Nelson, the truck’s driver, noticed Ben.

“When they come, the brakes are so loud, so he can hear they’re coming from far away,” said Highfield. “He would run to the window, or start getting really excited before he could walk, and we would come to the window and watch him drive by.”

“He was always looking, waving at me with his bright smile and everything,” said Nelson. “He always likes to hear me hit the horn.”

The two formed a friendship of sorts in the months since then.

“He starts saying beep, beep and gets really excited,” said Highfield. “Starts to jump up and down at the window, Right? You love when the truck comes?”

Ben even dressed up as Nelson for Halloween.

“I was so shocked and blessed and honored,” said Nelson. “He just lights up my day as I guess I light up his day, so I look forward every time.”

“It’s cool that he gets to experience kindness from a stranger, especially right now when everything is so distant and everything is just so, kind of cold,” said Highfield. “Kindness goes a long way. It doesn’t have to be this big extravagant thing you put on - it could be a wave.”

“If I could make your day, you might make somebody else’s day,” said Nelson. “We’ll just keep passing it along, you know, to each other.”