Everyone in the neighborhood knew the local garbage man, Delvar Dopson. What they didn't know was he had a number one fan, three-year-old Brooklyn Andracke.
So, when Dopson hopped out of his truck one morning to meet the little girl, a neighbor knew she had to get it on camera. Little did she know what was actually happening.
Everyone Knew Devlar Dopson
Delvar Dopson had been the garbage man in Bloomington, Illinois, for years. His Thursday route brought him to the same neighborhood, his face easily recognized by the residents of the community.
While people didn't know Dopson personally, there was one little girl who looked forward to seeing the sanitation worker each week -- Brooklyn Andracke.
Brooklyn Was A Huge Fan
Dopson would ride down the road each Thursday, knowing little three-year-old Brooklyn would be waiting in her home's front window. When he drove past the house, Dopson would then honk the truck's loud horn and wave.
The thing is, no one knew why the garbage man was so infatuated with that particular family.
Each Thursday Was The Same
It turned out that the little girl loved watching Dopson ride his big garbage truck down the street. It was actually her favorite part of each Thursday morning! Brooklyn was Dopson's number one fan.
In fact, she enjoyed watching him so much that Brooklyn wanted to do something special for the garbage man.
It Was The Favorite Part Of Her Week
Waiting and waving to Dopson was Brooklyn's favorite part of the week. According to Brooklyn's mom, Traci, "To Brooklyn, he is our favorite awesome smiley garbage man."
Their little back and forth with one another on Thursday mornings went on for weeks. But there was one thing Brooklyn wanted more than anything -- to meet the garbage man face to face.
Brooklyn Was Infatuated With Dopson
Instead of waiting for Dopson from inside her home, Traci would take Brooklyn outside, a bit closer so she could see her favorite person a little bit better.
According to Traci, "It became all about him after that. It wasn't the 'garbage truck' anymore, but it was the 'garbage man' that she wanted to see."
Fast Friends With Brother Ty As Well
Brooklyn wasn't the only one in the family to love Thursdays...her brother Ty did as well! Traci posted a photo of the friendship they shared as well.
"In this week's edition of....our favorite day of the week with Delvar....it was a dance party. Ty loves to dance, and he taught Delvar his signature move. It’s a drop low, lean to one side and shake fists in the air type of move...name still TBD. They both rocked it!"
Up Next: The Almost Perfect Birthday Party
Fast-forward to Brooklyn's birthday. It was a perfect day, except for one crucial detail: it was a Wednesday, and the garbage man wouldn't be driving down the road.
The little girl and her mom had a plan, though, wanting Dopson to celebrate the big day with them since he meant so much to Brooklyn.
Traci And Brooklyn Wanted Dopson To Be Involved
The next day was Thursday, meaning Dopson would be driving through the neighborhood. Brooklyn could hardly wait. Even though it wasn't her birthday anymore, she stood outside with her mom, ready to give Dopson a little piece of the celebration.
When he drove up to their house, he couldn't contain his smile when Traci motioned for him to walk over.
Brooklyn Was Very Shy
Brooklyn was waiting for him with a cupcake from her party the previous day. She wanted her favorite person to feel like he was included in the celebration!
With a very shy smile, Brooklyn handed over the cupcake. But, meeting her hero, she was at a loss for words. A very out-of-character occurrence, according to Traci!
The Little Girl Was At A Loss For Words
During an interview, Traci said, "As a mom, I can't even describe how happy it made me that she got to finally meet him."
"She was literally starstruck and could not even say a word. I had to do all of the talking for her. And she is never usually short on words."
Even So, It Made Her Day
Even though she couldn't form a word to say to Dopson, Brooklyn was beyond thrilled to have met her favorite person.
According to Traci, "I explained to him that he makes our day every Thursday, and we really appreciate the honking and waving, and how special of a day it is for us."
"Mommy, I'm So Happy"
Even so, Traci couldn't help but wonder what was on Brooklyn's mind. She was being so quiet. "After he left, we continued on to daycare," Traci said during an interview.
"Brooklyn was unusually quiet in the backseat. I asked her if she was okay, and she said, 'Mommy, I'm so happy.'"
Another Suprise Was On The Way
While meeting Dopson in person made Brooklyn's day; the friendship was just beginning. One week later, on Thursday, the little girl's favorite garbage man came through the neighborhood like he always does.
Only, this time, he had a very special surprise for the little girl, something that was going to make her smile.
Dopson Arrived With A Large Box
Seeing Brooklyn and Traci waving from their yard like every week, Dopson pulled over. Traci wasn't sure what was happening. It was then that she saw the very large box he was totting behind him.
With a big smile, Dopson handed the box to Brooklyn. It was a belated birthday present for the little girl!
Brooklyn Couldn't Believe All Of The Frozen Toys
Opening the box, Brooklyn's eyes lit up. The box was filled with toys from her favorite Disney movie, Frozen. Everything had pictures of Elsa and Ana on it; Brooklyn couldn't have been more excited.
The unexpected gesture was so heartfelt, Traci and Brooklyn knew they had to do something to thank Dopson.
"Thank You Devlar"
Brooklyn thought long and hard about what she wanted to do to thank Dopson for the amazing Frozen gift. Finally, she came up with the perfect plan! That Thursday, she ran outside with her mother to Dopson.
There, she handed him a homemade poster with a large "Thank you Delvar" written in various colors.
The Sign Was Put In A Special Place
Not expecting anything in return for the birthday gift, Dopson was speechless. He even got some tears in his eyes as he held the homemade poster up. He knew exactly where he was going to put it, too.
Dopson decided to hang the poster up in his truck so that the entire neighborhood could see it!
A Special Holiday Guest
Naturally, the holidays weren't complete without a very special guest. No, we're not talking about Santa Claus, though, we're sure he made an appearance as well.
Dopson joined the Andrackes for a visit during the 2018 holiday season. We're sure his presence was the greatest gift he could give the kids!
The Cupcake Tradition Lives On
What better way to celebrate the holidays than with the dessert that started it all—cupcakes!
Here, Dopson is "cupcake cheersing" Ty as Traci calls it. The pair truly couldn't look any happier.
A Neighborhood Celebrity
The people in the neighborhood didn't understand the relationship between their local garbage man and the little girl.
That is, not until they stopped and watched their beautiful exchange week after week.
Friends For Life
As it turned out, Dopson was a bit of a celebrity with some of the other kids around the neighborhood, too!
An avid family man, Dopson does what he can to make kids, like Brooklyn, smile. And he did just that, having it caught on camera for the world to see.
They're Still Besties!
Recently Brooklyn celebrated her 9th birthday. To commemorate the very special occasion, Dopson asked his social media followers to give their best wishes.
"Please help me wish the coolest kiddo in the land, 'BROOKLYN' a "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" Wishing you a day filled with HAPPINESS and a year filled with JOY. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIDDO."
Dopson Truly Cared
Even though the video of Dopson and Brooklyn's friendship went viral, social media fame was not the reason why Dopson cared so deeply.
Little did they know, but Dopson had always wanted to help others achieve their potential. Keep reading to see what motivated him!
Dopson Had Goals Himself
In fact, his beautiful relationship with Brooklyn and being a garbage man were just the stepping stone for what Dopson truly wanted to do with his life.
During evenings, Dopson studied endlessly to pass his realtor examination.
From A Garbage Man To A Real Estate Agent
He did, becoming a licensed real estate agent in Nevada. But that isn't where his story ends.
As seen with Brooklyn and the other children in the neighborhood, Dopson had a true zest for life and making other people happy. See how he carries that passion forward through life!
Naturally, They Threw Dopson A Last Day Party
To celebrate Dopson getting his real estate license and moving on from driving a garbage truck, Traci, Brooklyn, Ty and the family threw Dopson a very special last-day party.
The festivities were posted all over social media and it looks like the perfect send-off for the person who made Thursdays so special for them.
Now, Dopson Is A Motivational Speaker
It was that feeling of helping people that led Dopson to become a motivational speaker.
Dopson is a huge part of the Eregon 206 movement, spreading his words of encouragement and inspiring people of many different backgrounds.
Wise Words From Dopson
Never shy about spreading his wisdom and love for helping others, Dopson posted on Facebook a few words that he lives by:
"Discovery of your purpose and potential sets you free from other people's prescription of what they think you should be". His and Brooklyn's friendship is truly inspiring and just shows how a little bit of kindness can change someone's life.
A Friendly Hello Can Go A Long Way
At nine-years-old, Klynn Scales found her first hero; a local police officer who was assigned to make the rounds in her neighborhood every day. She kept track of what time he would be passing by her house and would sit by the window waiting. When he'd pass by, Klynn would excitedly wave to say hello.
The police officer enjoyed the friendly interaction and would wave back. Every day, the pair would exchange hellos, often brightening otherwise hard days. There's a reason Klynn’s neighborhood was patrolled daily. She didn’t exactly have an easy childhood.
Klynn Grew Up In A Dangerous Neighborhood
Klynn Scales grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. During the 1990s, when she was a little girl, she would help her mom take care of her two younger brothers. To anyone on the outside, she seemed like just another young girl living a normal life.
Her life, however, was anything but normal. Klynn's neighborhood was so dangerous, she would look forward to seeing the police officer drive by her house every day. This was the truth of Klynn’s life, and somehow she found a way to embrace it. It was, for this reason, she survived through the most difficult time of her life.
Klynn Had To Raise Her Younger Brothers
The house that Klynn Scales grew up in with her brothers and mother was in a rough neighborhood. It was no place for a child to have to grow up, but it was the reality of Klynn's situation.
Making matters worse, Klynn's mother was rarely home, having to work ruthless hours to keep a roof over her family’s heads. This meant a lot of Klynn’s life growing up was spent raising her brothers. That’s a lot to ask someone who isn’t even a teenager.
Klynn Played The Role Of Mother
As the oldest sibling in a household with an absentee parent, Klynn took responsibility for her brothers. She knew they needed to eat, so she would walk through her dangerous neighborhood to go to 7-Eleven. Without money to pay for the essentials, young Klynn was forced to steal what she needed to survive.
The troubled life of Klynn and her brothers is heartbreaking to think about. No child should grow up without a childhood, and that's essentially what happened. Klynn became a mother to her brothers, and her love drove her to do whatever needed to be done for their well being, even at her own health’s decline.
The Police Noticed Klynn
Because of the way she was forced to live her life, it wasn't long until the police noticed Klynn Scales. They learned everything they could about the down-on-their-luck family. One police officer in particular, found himself especially concerned.
This was the officer who ended up driving by Klynn's house every day, becoming a light in an otherwise dark world. Their daily exchange became expected and highly anticipated. This officer was making a huge difference in Klynn’s life. He had no idea that before he knew it, he’d also be saving it.
The Officer Pledged His Allegiance To Klynn
Not only did the unnamed police officer drive by Klynn's house every day to make sure she was safe, he told her that he was there to protect her. Fully grown today, Klynn said, "Through all the bad situations, I would just picture him saying that he was here for us."
This dedication helped Klynn get through even her darkest times, "those words would come to me during the worst times of my childhood life." It wouldn't be long until this promise would be fulfilled, proving to Klynn that good still existed in the world.
A Daily Greeting Became A Warning Sign
Little Klynn Scales quickly grew attached to her new friend, "He was the one person that I trusted in my life as a kid." She loved greeting him every day, and he loved waving back. When she didn't show up to greet him one day he knew something was wrong.
Their greeting had become routine, and considering the neighborhood Klynn lived in and the responsibilities she had as a "mother," her missing her daily greeting was a troubling warning sign that something wasn't right.
The Officer Approached The House
Cautiously, the police officer approached the Scales household and let his instincts take over. What he found when he opened the door was devastating. Little Klynn was laying on the floor, struggling to take a single breath.
The officer rushed Klynn to the emergency room, where all he could do was wait. We know now that Klynn survived, but imagine being this officer with no idea what was happening. We can't imagine how hard it must have been to helplessly wait outside of the emergency room.
Klynn Was Given A Clean Bill Of Health
Luckily for the police officer, his quick thinking saved Klynn's life. At the hospital, it was determined she had suffered a severe episode of malnutrition. If he hadn’t have found her at the time he did, there’s a good chance Klynn would not be alive too.
Shortly after the incident, Klynn moved with her family to Texas. She was never able to say thank you to the man who had saved her life. Knowing it's never too late, Klynn set out 20-years-later to track down her unnamed hero.
Klynn Turned To The Internet
One of the firsts things Klynn did when she began searching for her hero was to post about her experience online. She didn't know who might see what she was posting, but she stayed optimistic. Her optimism paid off when she saw a comment by Jennifer Jones.
Jones was a Sergeant with the Kansas City Police and saw Klynn's story. She told Klynn she thought she knew the officer being described. Was Klynn about to find out the true identity of her childhood hero? Was her search for the truth uncovered this easily?
The Name Behind The Face Revealed
In 2016, an officer named Jeff Colvin opened an email from Jennifer Jones. The email talked about Klynn and the story she wrote about online. She explained there was a little girl who lived down the street from the station Colvin worked at was grown up and looking for her "guardian angel."
Colvin recognized the story right away. He knew who Klynn was, and knew that the little girl whose life he saved was able to grow up. Years of worry and wondering were flushed away with joy and happiness.
Colvin Was Ecstatic
Just as Klynn Scales had never forgotten about Jeff Colvin, he had never forgotten her either. As he said, "I had actually thought about her and wondered whatever happened with her." Now he didn't have to wonder anymore, he knew the truth.
The truth made him ecstatic. He was overwhelmed with happiness to learn that Klynn was alive. He was also incredibly touched she remembered him and had reached out to find him. The only thing left to do was be reunited with Klynn.
A Reunion With Tears
After 20 years not knowing what had happened to the other, Colvin and Klynn reunited in person. Both were overwhelmed with emotions. Klynn even broke down in tears upon seeing her childhood hero again. She admitted that she thought it would never happen.
Colvin's life was changed by the reunion too. He had spent so long on the force dealing with more failures than successes he was losing his passion for the job. Seeing Klynn reignited a fire inside him.
Colvin Found The Love For His Job Again
When Jeff Colvin saw Klynn for the first time in 20 years, something amazing happened. His passion for the job returned. He said, "most times we go through our career not realizing we truly helped anybody out. I wondered if I was even in the right career path."
Officer Colvin, at that moment, knew without a doubt he had made the right career choice. He then learned that his choices led Klynn to make a unique career choice of her own!
Klynn's Grown Up Job
Inspired by her childhood hero, Klynn Scales revealed to Colvin that she applied to be a police recruit in Houston. His heroics had led her down her own path to become a police officer and work to make a positive impact on the lives of those around her.
The surprises didn't end there. Scales had been dreaming of this reunion for twenty years. Not only was Colvin her childhood hero and career inspiration, he was like a surrogate father to her. With that, she had one more thing to tell him.
Klynn's Tribute To Colvin
As soon as Klynn learned the name of her hero, she had a bracelet made with the words, "Sgt. Jeff Colvin 'A True Hero'" engraved on it. She said she got the bracelet to honor her hero and friend, reiterating she sees him as her “guardian angel.”
The story of Klynn and Colvin proves the positive power that police officers can have on communities and individuals. Klynn isn't the only person who has ever had her life changed by an officer, something she found out when her story went viral.
Klynn's Story Went Viral
Knowing there are few things as powerful for police stations as community outreach, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department shared the story online. Her story went viral instantly, with many people inspired to share their own amazing stories about police officers.
Not surprisingly, several commentators shared their own stories about Sgt. Colvin and the amazing things he had done for them. As it turns out, Klynn's life wasn’t the only one he saved after all his years on the streets. He was a true local Kansas City hero.
The Support Was Incredible
In today's world, police officers aren’t always treated with respect, and the overwhelming support Klynn and Colvin received was incredible. One comment read, "I have great respect for all police, though some deserve it more than others."
In this case, no one deserves more respect than Jeff Colvin for the time and care he took in protecting Klynn during her time of need. And Klynn has now made it her life's mission to pay it forward.
Klynn's Future Is A Reflection Of Her Past
Talking about her plans for the future, Klynn chooses to focus her attention on the past, "I hope one day I can become someone's hero, or make a positive impact like you [Colvin] did mine." With two kids of her own, Scales plans to start with them.
Then, with her new career, she plans to become an even bigger hero. Colvin's heroics showed her there was light in the dark. Now she sees it as her job to "pay it forward" and show a new generation of lost souls that there is hope.
The Story Comes Full Circle
The story of Sgt. Jeff Colvin and Klynn Scales is one of sadness turned into happiness. It stands as proof that there's good in the world, and there are people committed to being good. This is important to remember, especially during tough times.
After graduating from the police academy, as of June 2018, Klynn is officially a police officer. Can you guess who was in the audience cheering her on? Jeff Colvin and his wife, along with Jennifer Jones all showed up to congratulate Klynn on her accomplishment.