Garbage collector’s gift to California autistic boy goes viral (with video)

02/14/2014 3:22 PM

02/14/2014 5:05 PM

On this Valentine’s Day, take a moment to see that love given in small packages can have the biggest impact, like when a California trash collector gave a special gift to a 5-year-old with autism this week.

Daniel Mulligan of Ojai, Calif. can’t wait for the garbage truck to rumble down his street every Monday.

“He knows which trash can is going out on which day and notices them when we’re driving and notices if they’re out of line,” his mom, Robin Newberger, told ABC.

“We will literally be waiting outside for hours on trash day because he hears the truck in the neighborhood and can’t focus on anything else.”

On Monday, the recyclables truck arrived with a special surprise. Driver Manuel Sanchez got out of the truck and gave Daniel a new toy garbage truck.

The twist: It was exactly like one Daniel had received for Christmas but broke the same day.

Newberger shot video of the moment on her cell phone and posted it to Facebook, where the video has gone viral.

And Manuel? His employer honored his kindness with a restaurant gift certificate.