Gone Where was Brooklyn? Traci felt a stab of anxiety. She had looked all over the apartment, in all the places the little girl liked to h...

Little Girl And Garbage Man’s Friendship Goes Viral Little Girl And Garbage Man’s Friendship Goes Viral

Little Girl And Garbage Man’s Friendship Goes Viral

Little Girl And Garbage Man’s Friendship Goes Viral



Where was Brooklyn? Traci felt a stab of anxiety. She had looked all over the apartment, in all the places the little girl liked to hide. She had looked under the beds, in the cupboards, and even in the laundry hamper.


They were going to be late for daycare. Her rising panic intensified when she saw that the front door was standing wide open, and Brooklyn’s backpack lay in a corner of the hallway, discarded.


Little Brooklyn was just three years old, and she still had the wide-eyed wonder that little girls display at that age. Her view of the world was still innocent, and she had not yet been jaded by it. 

Facebook/Eric Andracke

She was always greeting strangers. Her mother, Traci Raymond Andrake, was concerned at first, but then she put the worry out of her mind. “It won’t happen,” she thought, “not to us”.

A Stranger

“Brooklyn?” Traci called. She took three panicked steps to the front window, and that was when she saw her through the cloudy pane of glass. Brooklyn’s unmistakable little figure, in her red dress that she had chosen for herself the night before.

Facebook/Eric Andracke

She was outside on the curb, walking towards a truck, and someone just out of Traci’s view was beckoning to her.


Traci dashed outside in terror. She had to get to Brooklyn, but she was already halfway down the road. Even though Traci was running at full speed now, she felt like she was moving through water, with heavy limbs.

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In reality, it all took place in a matter of minutes, but time seemed to slow against Traci, and she knew that no matter how fast she moved, it would never be fast enough.

Delvar Dopson

She saw little Brooklyn totter to the truck ahead of her. Her tiny little red outline was dwarfed by the massive vehicle.

Facebook/Traci Raymond Andracke

She reached her just as she had made it to the driver’s side of the truck, and she was peering in, talking to someone. She looked up at the huge man sitting in the drivers’ seat. He beamed down at Traci and Brooklyn with a wide smile.

Garbage Man

Delvar Dopson cut a striking figure as he sat above them. He was tall and muscular, with a pair of sunglasses shielding his eyes. 

Facebook/Delvar Dopson

He was wearing a neon green reflective vest, and he had been doing his rounds that morning in his garbage truck. Brooklyn seemed to know him and was giggling at something he had said to her.

Ran Out The Door

Traci was applying her makeup in the next room when Brooklyn had heard the truck approaching from a distance. She had excitedly toddled down the stairs, opened the door, and gone outside as fast as her little legs would carry her.

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She was oblivious to all the danger on the street around her. She waited for him every Thursday, and it was the highlight of her week. This time, she wanted to see him face to face.

A Warning

Traci was horrified that she didn’t notice Brooklyn slipping out. How could she have been so careless?

Facebook/Traci Raymond Andracke

And how many other times had her daughter gone out and spoken to random strangers on the street without her knowing? She didn’t want to frighten little Brooklyn, but at the same time, she needed to speak to her about the danger. Next time she might not be so lucky.


She waited by the window. She realized that her hands were shaking. It was already seven-thirty. She began to pace nervously. 


She had waited for him before. She’d first hear the clinking sound of breaking bottles in the distance, and then she’d hear the grinding sound of the tires on the asphalt. Then she heard the unmistakable sound she was waiting for.


It was a Thursday, and it was also Brooklyn’s birthday. Traci had made her favorite cupcakes to celebrate the occasion.

Facebook/Eric Andracke

She stood back and admired her delicate frosting, in an assortment of Brooklyn’s favorite colors. Brooklyn was excited. She was waiting for Delvar, her favorite garbage man to do his rounds. She had something she wanted to give him. Traci had her camera ready.

An Offering

When Brooklyn heard the garbage truck approaching she could barely contain herself. She took one of her cupcakes and dashed out the front door. 

Facebook/Delvar Dopson

Traci followed behind, keeping a close eye on her. When Delvar stopped his truck outside the Andrake residence, he was greeted by an unexpected sight. A tiny blonde girl stood on the curb in her best birthday dress. Traci beckoned to him, and Brooklyn shyly presented him with the precious birthday cupcake

A Plan

Delvar was at a loss for words. This little girl had thought of him, The “Garbage Man”, on her birthday. He was deeply touched by the gesture and vowed that he would do something for her in return.

Facebook/Delvar Dopson

Every Thursday, Brooklyn and her brother would wait excitedly to see him as he did his rounds. But he would have to wait six whole months before he could execute his plan.


Finally, the day had arrived. It was October, and it was Delvar’s own birthday. He pulled up to the Andrake residence as usual, but he had a big surprise for Brooklyn. He strode to the house, with the carefully chosen gifts in his hand.

Facebook/Traci Raymond Andracke

He had learned that Brooklyn was an avid fan of the movie “Frozen” and had gotten his wife to make her a massive basket of Frozen-themed goodies. He also presented her with an Elsa doll, to her great delight.

Greener Pastures

The tradition of Delvar and Brooklyn’s gift-giving continued for two whole years, and the story has gone viral all around the world.

Facebook/Delvar Dopson

Delvar has received letters from as far as Japan commending him for his kindness. Since working as a sanitation specialist in Bloomington, Delvar has moved on to greener pastures, but he misses Brooklyn every day.

Making A Difference

When asked about the heartwarming story, Delvar said “It doesn’t matter if I’m a garbage man or if I’m a CFO at State Farm."

Facebook/Delvar Dopson

We all have to discover our gift and be effective…I mentor children and that is the passion in my heart.” “By me recognizing my gift, I think I’m affecting my workplace,” he added. “I think everybody can do that.”

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