When Billy Shelby began helping out an elderly woman on his garbage collection route, he had no idea that they would strike up a friendship. He also had no way of knowing that his decision to help out Opal Zucca would be captured on camera, touch the hearts of so many people, and result in him getting a pretty great ‘thank you’ gift.
Opal’s daughter watched her mom’s doorbell camera one day and saw something that immediately warmed her heart.
Opal has dementia, so her daughter, Collette Kingston, installed a doorbell camera to monitor her sometimes. One day, Collette watched the camera and saw something that helped her to feel like her mom was in great hands.
In the recording, she watched as Opal’s neighborhood garbage collector walked Opal up her driveway while pushing her garbage can for her. The whole time, he was telling Opal jokes and giving her compliments.
Opal’s daughter was touched as she watched the scene unfold.
She reached out to his employers, Waste Management, who identified him as Billy Shelby. She tells WREG Memphis about the importance of seeing this interaction:
“I actually got a little teary eyed…I’ve kind of seen him off and on, on different videos but never really paid attention, but he was so gentle with her.”
Even before the doorbell camera caught them, Billy and Opal had struck up a friendship.
Billy’s work route regularly takes him past Opal’s house, so they have become quite familiar with one another. He says that they have become a part of each other’s daily routine:
“It’s kinda got to the point where I expect to see her and she expects to see me.”
Billy became committed to helping Opal out when he saw her fall.
One day on his route he saw her carrying her trash can back to her house. While she was carrying it up her driveway she fell. At that point, Billy knew he had to step in to help her out. He says:
“I made it a point to be sure that it wasn’t going to happen again, so I started taking her cart back to her house.”
At that point, he began carrying her garbage can up for her every chance he got. Now when Billy gets out of his garbage truck to help her up her driveway, they lock arms and he tells her jokes all the way.
Opal’s family, and some people who became touched by his kindness, pitched in to thank Billy.
Former Kansas City Chiefs player Tim Grunhard saw a news story covering Billy and Opal’s friendship, and he loved it so much that he bought Billy tickets to a Kansas City vs. Minnesota Vikings game. Additionally, Opal’s daughter is a season ticket holder for Kansas City and decided to pull out all the stops to help Billy’s experience at the game be one to remember.
Billy took his viral fame as an opportunity to show people that anyone and everyone can work to brighten someone else’s day.
“Here I drive a trash truck. That’s it, right? But even with that, I can still be the best person I can be, and it can help somebody through their day…I just believe in good energy, man. If you give it out, more than likely, that’s what you’re going to get back.”
Billy certainly did get good things in return for his selflessness. He got to go watch the Kansas City Chiefs play, and a video of his kindness went viral, with just about everyone who watches it celebrating him for his actions. There’s all sorts of people out there doing kind gestures for people, and it’s wonderful that Billy was recognized for his.
Watch the video below to hear more about Billy’s act of kindness.
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.