Special Needs Girl Befriends Sanitation Worker, One Day He Brings Her a Medallion

Emma Grace Johnson runs straight into the arms of her new and unlikely best friend, the local sanitation worker Elbert Berry who picks her up and embraces her. The tradition that these two have created has made a massive difference in this little girl’s life. 

Since she was born, this 5-year-old who has special needs hasn’t always had an easy time. Emma Grace used to live in an orphanage.

This happened after she was born in Hungary as a “micro-preemie” and spent almost half a year in the NICU. The Johnson family finally took her in at 3 years old.

However, the short-lived reprieve ended when the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic struck along with isolation, as well as grief. During this globally traumatic time, Emma Grace’s grandfather passed away following heart surgery.

The little girl also had to remain inside for months with her vulnerable grandfather, who she considered her best friend before he passed, so they could avoid catching the virus. 

In a strange turn of events, nothing other than a truck began to brighten up the 5-year-old’s life. Quickly, she began to form a beautiful friendship with the truck driver, Elbert Berry, who would arrive every Tuesday and Thursday. Her mother, Laura Johnson, expressed

“Oh she loves him, she loves him, and he loves her too, but he loves all the people on his route.” 

Upon returning to school in person, Emma Grace asked her new friend if she could take a picture with him and bring it to school, to which he obliged. In a heart-touching gesture, she made a birthday card for him with the photo where she wrote that she loved him.

The heartfelt gesture deeply warmed the sanitation worker’s heart, and so he created a medallion with the same picture inside it. Commenting on this, Laura stated

“It made her smile but it made me cry.” 

Even sweeter, “You are the best part of my day” was engraved on the back of the locket. Emma Grace’s mom said that Berry was so excited to present the gift to her daughter.  

Talking about this sanitation worker’s beautiful character, the mom said that individuals such as Berry should be commemorated more often. More than that, the mother exclaimed

“He’s the kind of person that we should all try to be more like.”

Many of us would agree with Laura that although grit and determination are valuable assets, kindness is an underrated yet more powerful force than strength itself.

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