Life is the ultimate source of many inspiring stories which can help us restore our faith in humanity. A simple act of kindness by a sanitation worker from Independence, Missouri. showed how the smallest details can change someone’s life for the better.
A sanitation worker helps an elderly woman with dementia
Opal Zucca, an 88-year-old woman with dementia was walking up the driveway of her home on East 8th Street South when unexpected help arrived. Back in January, Zucca had an accident when she fell and hit her head trying to retrieve her trashcan.
According to Zucca’s daughter, Colette Kingston, the man caught helping her mother on the video was there when Zucca got injured. He has remained by her side since the accident in January.
“A little walking ain’t never hurt nobody,” Shelby said. The video Kingston posted on Facebook gathered more than five thousand likes.
The man who was later identified as Billy Shelby was caught on video helping Zucca carry her trashcan up the driveway and the two walked arm in arm. Kingston had installed a camera outside the house to track her mother’s movements after the accident.
One day, Kingston saw Shelby and her mother walking together up the driveway of her home and said that she got a little teary-eyed.
“You are looking good. I like that hair,” Shelby told Zucca, smiling. “You got it down. I got to work on mine.”
Kingston told the media Shelby was extremely kind with her mother and was always prepared to chat with her. “I’ve kind of seen him off and on, on different videos but never really paid attention, but he was so gentle with her,” Kingston said.
An unexpected friendship
What looked like a brief chat between Zucca and Shelby soon turned out to be lasting friendship between the two. Zucca’s family wanted to do something to show their gratitude to Shelby who is a Waste Management employee.
“Maybe if he has something fun he would like to do, like a Chiefs game or a Sporting game, something like to make sure he got tickets,” Kingston said. “Most of the time you don’t even know their face, let alone a name with them,” she added.
Sanitation workers are often invisible, Kingston pointed out, but Shelby’s act shows that we should treat them with more respect. Opal was grateful for his help and stated she prays for him. “He’s just a very wonderful person, and I really appreciate,” she said.
“It’s just so sweet that somebody that doesn’t have any gain in this would be just extra nice to her,” Kingston said. “It just reminds you that there are still a whole lot of good people out there.”
In today’s hectic world we often tend to overlook the importance of human interaction. We should take a break from our busy lives to do the things that really matter. Simple acts of kindness can make all the difference and sometimes it’s those small gestures that can mean the world for someone else or even make their day.
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