'You Are The Best Part Of My Day!' Girl With Special Needs Forms Friendship With Sanitation Worker

October 22, 2021

A little girl with special needs in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, can't wait for the garbage truck to pull up to her home.

Inside is one of her favorite people.

garbage man emma grace
Emma Grace and Elbert Berry

On Tuesdays and Fridays, Emma Grace waits anxiously for her best friend, Elbert Berry, to pull up to her house.

"Oh she loves him. She loves him," says Emma Grace's mother Laura. "And he loves her, too."

It all started with her fascination of big trucks -- but quickly became about the person inside.

"The first day that he came through he started waving to her," Laura said. "And she really got excited because for the first time when the garbage truck came through, they saw her back."

 

When school resumed in-person learning, Emma Grace wanted to bring her new friend to school with her. She asked Berry if she could take a picture with him so she could take the photo with her every day.

"The baby made me a birthday card, a handmade birthday card," Elbert said. "It said, 'I love you,' and she stuck the picture inside."

Touched beyond belief, Berry decided to return the favor.

He made Emma Grace a necklace with the same picture. On the back it says, "You are the Best Part of my Day!"

garbage man emma grace
Credit: Laura Johnson

He carried it for weeks until he she was home from school and he could surprise her with it.

"When he gave her the necklace his face just lit up. He was so proud to give it to her and make her smile," Johnson said.

"And it made me think that he was the kind of person who should be celebrated, but probably more important than that, he is the kind of person we should all try to be more like."

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