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Turning trash into treasure: Worker celebrated for act of kindness

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Posted at 10:44 PM, Feb 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-20 23:45:51-05

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — What comes around, goes around.

A Waste Management worker whose act of kindness went viral is now on the receiving end.

Video of Billy Shelby helping Opal Zucca back to her house safely went viral in 2019, after the Zucca's daughter, Colette Kingston, posted the footage to Facebook.

Waste management worker's act of kindness caught on camera

Kingston wrote in the post that her mother fell at her Independence, Missouri, home while trying to roll her trash can back up the driveway. Shelby was there when it happened and helped Zucca get up and back to her house safely.

Ever since that day, Shelby walks Zucca and her garbage bin back up the driveway.

"I come get her trash every week and she still come give me a hug and says 'God bless you' every week," Shelby said.

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In the video, the pair strikes up a conversation as they walk back up the drive, holding hands.

“You’re looking good! Like that hair, you got it down! I gotta work on mine. See you later, darlin’!” the worker can be heard saying.

Shelby's act of kindness did not go unnoticed.

Thursday, the mayor of Independence, Missouri, along with Zucca and her daughter, surprised Shelby with a special coin for an exemplary act.

The coin reads, "Actions are the seed of fate, deeds grow into destiny." It's a quote by President Truman.

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Shelby said the coin was a surprise and appreciated.

"I think it's just people showing their appreciation and bringing awareness that one small act can go a long way," Shelby told 41 Action News. "It's a great honor."