Unlikely friendship between boy and garbage truck driver captures hearts

A story of an unexpected friendship and a random act of kindness has enthralled a Gilbert community, and the online community too.

Those on social media saw the sweet video when it made its rounds on Facebook. It shows a morning routine that was made even sweeter through the gift of friendship.

"Every Thursday he knows to listen for the trucks and run outside and watch them," Jace Dodson's mother, Sarah Dodson, said.

Trash day is the best day.

She says her five-year-old son is a bit obsessed with garbage trucks.

"He’s just always really, really liked them," she said.

So much so that every Thursday he'd hoist himself up on his front porch and watch in awe, waving to his hero.

The man behind the wheel is Jeff Oberan.

"I almost feel like I am in a parade on a float," he said. "I actually really enjoy my job and really love what I do."

The garbage truck driver is assigned to Jace’s Gilbert neighborhood near Pecos and Higley roads.

"I wake up with purpose and look forward to serving the community," Oberan said.

Every Thursday, he looks for Jace too.

"He's just sitting there waving and waving the whole time at me," Oberan said.

Then one week, he did more than just wave back.

"It was really sweet seeing just the natural kindness," Sarah said. "It just seemed so natural and so organic."

He collected the family's trash and then got out of the truck to give Jace a gift.

"He was thrilled. He couldn’t speak, he was so happy," Sarah said.

‘My little friend’

"It's nothing different from what all my other partners in the solid waste division do. We all do that, we all do the same thing, waving to the kids, waving back. I just happen to be the one caught on video talking trash with my little friend," Oberan said.

They say character matters most when you don’t think anyone is looking, which is probably why this sweet simple Nest Doorbell video has impacted so many.

It's a good reminder that the small things in life are the ones that matter most, and that no moment of kindness should ever go to waste.

"What’s out in the world and society, there’s still a lot of good. If you look for it, you will find it. Just try to make an impact by doing something. It doesn’t have to be dramatically large or exuberant, just something simple and kind. I think we are all touched when we see that," Oberan said.

He says giving gifts like toy trucks and truck coloring books to kids is his favorite part of the gig.

He comes into work every day with a smile, and it doesn’t come off his face the entire shift.