If you’re looking to celebrate, here are five heartwarming stories about the unsung heroes right here:

1. Sanitation worker saves child from being crushed

Earlier this year, Hillsborough County sanitation worker Waldo Fidele was hailed a hero for jumping into action to save 7-year-old Elias Quezada, who had climbed into a garbage can while playing hide and seek. He was still in the can when it was picked up and had its contents – including the little boy – dumped into a garbage truck.

Luckily, Fidele was watching the surveillance camera and saw the little boy. He quickly shut off the blade on the truck, saving the little boy.javascript:false

“I thought I was going to be a mashed potato,” the 7-year-old later said.

2. Hero sanitation worker honored

Several months after Fidele saved the 7-year-old, the sanitation worker was honored by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Chad Chronister presented Fidele with Citizen Lifesaving Award.

“There’s no doubt in my mind, no doubt that Mr. Fidele saved him by seeing him in his truck,” Chronister said.javascript:false

The 7-year-old boy’s grandmother was also in attendance at the ceremony to express her gratitude to the man she says saved her grandson’s life.

3. 4-year-old girl gets surprise garbage truck parade

A little girl in Clearwater asked her family for garbage, not presents, for her 4th birthday last year. Addie Fazio spent two years waiting and watching in her driveway every week for the sanitation workers to collect trash on her street in Clearwater.javascript:false

Family members called Waste Pro and asked if they would come by to help celebrate her birthday. So on the morning of Addie’s birthday, a parade of garbage trucks and sanitation workers showed up on her street and surprised her with the gift of a garbage truck toy.

4. Garbage truck driver reunites lost child with parents

Late last year, garbage truck driver Robert Riley noticed a young child wandering by himself in the Lazydays RV Resort in Seffner. He kept a close eye on the toddler and, after not seeing a parent with him, took the 2-year-old’s hand and called 911.

A deputy eventually arrived and worked with security to safely reunite the child with his parents.

5. 7-year-old gets garbage truck ride for Christmas

Two crash collectors in Odessa gave a 7-year-old boy the “best Christmas gift” in 2019 when they let him ride in their garbage truck.

Logan Heer had been obsessed with garbage trucks since he was little. His family became friends with the two sanitation workers in their area when they moved to Florida. Logan would out to meet them every Friday, even bringing them water and snacks sometimes.javascript:false

So for Christmas, his parents decided to surprise him by getting his waste worker friends to give the 7-year-old a ride in their garbage truck. The two workers even gifted their young friend with a Republic Service garbage truck toy.