It was a sunny Monday morning and young Daniel was waiting outside. In fact, every Monday morning this little boy would wait with anticipation for a special arrival. When he saw him approach his house, he waved an excited and warm greeting to his friend.
On that day, Daniel hurried towards the end of his yard to see him: the driver of a large recycling garbage truck. Daniel, a 5-year-old boy with autism, helps Manuel by ‘directing’ the truck as its mechanism lifts their bin, flip its the contents into the truck and precisely return it to the same spot on the ground.
Daniel, a 5-year-old boy with autism, helps Manuel by ‘directing’ the truck as its mechanism lifts their bin, flip its the contents into the truck and precisely return it to the same spot on the ground.
Manuel always waves back and gives Daniel and big smile. Seeing this young boy come out to greet him every week really touched him.
“That little boy is so special and he will steal anybody’s heart as soon as you see him,” he’d told his employer.
After the recycling bin had been returned to its proper place, the truck backed up and the driver opened the door. Calling out to Daniel’s parents, he asked them if it would be alright to give their son a gift. When Daniel’s mother replied yes, he got out of the truck carrying something in his hands.
When he stepped out of the truck, Manuel carried with him a big bag. Upon looking inside, Daniel and his parents found that he’d been given a very precious gift.
Out of the kind of his heart, Manuel had brought him a large, toy garbage truck like the one Daniel loved to watch as it went about its business in front of his house every week.
Parents Robin and David were so touched, even overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of this stranger. He took the time each week to acknowledge their son and watched his joy at seeing him and his big truck going through the typical paces of his job.
He didn’t have to show so much care for Daniel – but he did. He chose to go out of his way and act far above and beyond the scope of his job in order to bring a little extra happiness into the life of a little boy who brought joy to his Monday mornings.
What Manuel did not realize was that Daniel had had another toy garbage truck that he loved to play with. However, it had broken.
It was a meaningful gesture that he decided to give him this present. He had no idea that at the same time, he was replacing a favorite toy, one that had held a special place in Daniel’s heart. That made his gift all the more special.
At first, Daniel was more concerned that Manuel should get back into the truck and keep those bins moving up and down. That was one of the things he loves about watching him. But later on that day, he began to play with his new toy. It’s become one of his favorites and he has it out every day.
Daniel’s mother posted on social media her gratitude toward Manuel. She wrote, “One man, one moment, touching the life of an autistic child. Our hearts are overflowing.” – Robin Newberger
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