Life Video

By Federico Cornetto and Randal Coombs


A young girl who loves sanitation workers received the best birthday surprise when a line of garbage trucks paraded in front of her house.

Lena Riley, three, from Henderson, Nevada, has been obsessed with garbage trucks ever since she moved into her new room in March 2019, from which she can see them driving through the street every week.

According to mum Leslie Riley, 45, Lena came up with the habit of ‘feeding the trucks’, by giving the drivers baked cookies, scones and other treats.

On April 17, 2020, on Lena’s birthday, the drivers thanked the adorable girl back with a huge surprise parade, during which eight trucks drove in front of the family’s house, honking their horns and carrying a banner that read ‘happy birthday, Lena!’.

Leslie said: “About two months after we moved into our new home last year, my mum was in Lena’s room playing with her, and she pointed out the blue garbage truck that drove by and could be seen from the room’s window.

“Every week after that, Lena got really excited when she would see or hear the blue truck, she can hear them when are still three neighbourhoods away!

“One day, she said ‘let’s feed the blue truck!’, and so we began baking cookies, scones and other treats a few weekends per month to do just that.

“I’d done so many posts about her love of the blue truck that when my mum asked a group of my friends to do a birthday parade for Lena’s third birthday, my friend Nicole went above and beyond and organised the blue truck parade as an extra surprise.”

Leslie says she has been ‘blown away’ by the number of people who shared the story after she posted it on social media.

Leslie said: “A lot of people have commented or sent me messages saying, ‘thank you, I needed this today’.

“Lockdown isn’t easy and so many of the things we love to celebrate have been taken away.

“But this parade probably would never have happened without lockdown, and that blows my mind.

“I am so grateful for the creative and generous people that created a massive silver lining and a moment we’ll never forget.”