6-year-old and sanitation worker share a special bond

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BALLINGER, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- The pandemic has shown people around the world the importance of staying connected with our loved ones.

“Mommy whenever I grow up, I want to be a trash girl,” said Amaya McDuffee.

The bond between 6-year old Amaya McDuffee from Ballinger, and her favorite sanitation worker is stronger than ever before.

“I know I make her day when I wave and honk the horn,” said sanitation worker Jason Torres.

“She wakes up on her own, and I’ll tell her it’s Wednesday and she says, oh I get to see Jason the trash man,” said Amaya’s mother Jaslyn McDuffee.

For the past three years on trash pick up day, before going to school Amaya has gotten up early to say hello to her favorite garbage man. She runs outside, waves, and even gives him presents.

“It’s juice pouches, it’s cookies that she will help me make for him. If I try to give him a coke instead of a juice pouch, she will not let me put it in his bag because she wants to give him the juice pouch,” said Jaslyn.

On days when Amaya is not up in time to see Jason, or if Jason is not working that day, she sends him a video message saying something like this.

“Hi Jason! I missed you. I’m sorry I didn’t get to see you today, because I was sleeping in my mommy’s bed,” said Amaya.

The pandemic has created some roadblocks along the way. In recent months Amaya and Jason have not been able to see each other as often as the usually would.

“There’s been some instances that I didn’t see Amaya for about two weeks. Maybe I’d see her through the window. Maybe I didn’t, but the little videos that she would do, we still kept in communication,” said Torres.

The friendship these two have built is so strong, Amaya could not celebrate her 6th birthday without inviting her favorite garbage man.

“I always look to see when that door opens, because I can see it from where I turn out,” said Torres.
“In this day and age where there’s so much hate, for her to have a friendship like that with Jason is just, like I said it just warms my heart,” said Jaslyn.

Amaya says she gets sad when she does not get to see Jason, so Jason says he always makes sure to let her know if he will not be riding by that day.

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