My parents do something pretty simple, yet powerful.

They show kindness to those who serve them.

Each week, on “garbage pickup day” they fill a small cooler with some ice and drinks and set it out for their sanitation workers.


Here’s my mom putting drinks in a cooler for their sanitation workers.

When my parents first began doing this, they put drinks in a cooler and left it curbside by the garbage cans. Now, on trash day, my parents take their garbage cans to the curb and leave the cooler on their front porch. Their sanitation workers empty the cans and walk the cans right up to the garage doors, then grab a cold beverage. I’m sure they feel very appreciated.

I would imagine they look forward to serving my parents each week. And, I know my parents equate remembering to take out the garbage with remembering to fill the cooler.

This “curbside kindness” has been contagious.

My brother and his family began doing this some time ago…

Giving a cup of water in the name of the Lord…

only, it’s in the form of Gatorade, cans of soda, or bottles of water.


My brother says he shares whatever drinks he has in stock.


The men return the kindness by taking his garbage cans halfway down his driveway.

And now MY family does this.


The first time we did this, we missed getting the cooler out in time, so the dogs and I chased down the garbage truck. LOL. It actually worked out nicely, because I was able to talk with him, inquire of his favorite drink, personally thank him, and tell him there would be a cooler each week, so as not to toss it out with the trash.


He asked to pose with my dog. LOL.

I googled “What is the proper name for garbageman?”  The answers included “garbageman, sanitation worker, sanitation engineer, waste collector, sanitation specialist, trash collector, but they really like to be called…

by their name.”

How about that! Do we know the names of those who serve us?

This curbside kindness spread also to a weekly drink/snack for our postal worker.


The first time we did this we left this note and a pen. If you don’t know their name, ask that too. 🙂

Here was her response:


Pepsi and Oreos. How about that?

Contagious Curbside Kindness.

Simply being kind to those least noticed.

Valuing those who serve us and the role they play in our lives.

Contagious Curbside Kindness.

It started with my parents, then my brother, and then my family.

How about you?

Who serves your family on a regular basis?

Do you greet them by name? Are they treated with respect?

How can you be a blessing to them this week?

Share your curbside kindness ideas.

Rhonda I’dbettergobuysomeOreos ellis


You can LIKE my Facebook page HERE.

  1. Nancy Smith

    You have a gift of seeing simple ways to make someone feel uplifted. I guess now I know that you learned this skill from your Godly parents. I’m sure visiting your house and experiencing feeling appreciated makes the day of the people who provide services for you and your family. This is a sweet and DO ABLE encouragement to others.

    • Nancy, thanks for your comments. You are an encourager! I’m looking forward to hearing ideas from others.

  2. I apologize for the glitch. It seems that on some mobile devices the photos are omitted, sideways, or even in the wrong location.

  3. Jeanne

    I love this. I absolutely love this. We have always tried to do things for our Mail Ladies but I never knew what to do for our Garbage pick up men. Thank you for the idea.

    • Hi Jeanne, I’d love to hear your ideas for your mail ladies. 🙂

  4. Judy

    When I was growing up, my mom always made it a point to remember each of our trashmen at Christmas with a Christmas card and a small tip, maybe $10. It was something I have continued to do for our trashman. In addition, when I have baked cookies to send to the girls, or for the holidays, I keep a few to give him when he is in our neighborhood. It is a small gesture, but if he sees me out walking or riding my bike when he is on his route, he always blows the horn and waves.

    • Thanks for sharing, Judy. I love this!

  5. Kelly

    Great ideas! My mom, too, would leave gifts…gloves and such, at Christmas. My girls would love helping me remember to do this sort of thing!

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