PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — What little boy hasn’t been fascinated by big trucks at one point in his life? Kamden Park is no exception — his fascination has been elevated to a new level since the pandemic started.

With doughnut in hand, little Kamden scampered back to his front-row seat for an almost perfect landing in his little plastic orange chair for a very special birthday gift. With friends all gathered around, 3-year-old Kamden welcomed the star of his own birthday party: a garbage truck.

Every Friday morning around 11:30, the collectors of garbage and yard debris bring around the big trucks that have captured Kamden’s imagination. On Tuesday morning, a parade of six Arrow Sanitary trucks drove by Kamden’s house to help him celebrate his special day. 

The grappling arms that hoist the bins are what originally caught Kamden’s eye. Driver Mark McKenzie of Arrow picked up on that — and started spending a little extra time in front of Kamden’s house, showing him how the equipment worked. Their chance meeting has blossomed into a real friendship.

“Every Friday the kid is out the window waiting for me and I just enjoy being in the neighborhood,” said McKenzie. “It makes me part of the neighborhood — that’s how I take it on all my routes.”

Mark didn’t come empty-handed to his friend’s party either. Arrow rolled up with Kamden’s new personalized mini trash bin, which was loaded with presents. It is a special relationship between a little boy and the man who works the truck.

“He always comes by and he always slows down because he always knows Kamden is going to run down and out front so he waits for him and Kam comes running out,” Kamden’s mom said. “He stops and talks to him and operates the claw and takes the time to connect with him and he loves it.”