Every now and then, we all need a reminder that what we do in life is important and that we are special.
Sometimes these moments come when you least expect it and who it comes from maybe even more unexpected.
When Daniel Mulligan was five years old, he was that unexpected light that made one sanitation worker feel like the most important man on Earth.
Daniel has autism and like many kids on the spectrum, he had one particular focus.
Some kids may be fascinated by escalators while others love watching planes take off and land at the airport.
Daniel’s focus was his local recycling truck.
Every Monday, the highlight of Daniel’s day would be to see the big, blue truck drive down his street toward his house.
“He loves the predictable movement of the hoist and is excited by the entire spectacle,” Daniel’s mother Robin said. “To him, trash pickup is like a symphony.”
Daniel believed that his local garbage man, Manuel Sanchez, was a hero.
He admired everything about Manuel and could hardly contain his excitement whenever he saw him.
For his part, Manuel returned the appreciation to Daniel by always smiling and waving to him. Manuel had become very special to Daniel and his parents for his kindness toward the little boy.
One day, Robin was recording how excited Daniel got when the recycling truck stopped in front of their house when Manuel approached and asked Robin if he could give something to Daniel.
Manuel excited the truck with a giant bag for Daniel, who was very concerned that Manuel was leaving his truck!
But once Daniel opened the bag, there wasn’t a dry eye at Daniel’s house.
Watch This Special Moment:
Since the video was first posted, it has garnered millions of views on Autism Speaks’ YouTube channel and Manuel was even presented with an award for his kindness by his employer.
“That little boy is so special, and he will steal anybody’s heart as soon as you see him,” Sanchez said. “I didn’t know what he has, but there’s something very special about him.”
There’s something pretty special about Manuel, too.