Saul Scruggs once spent more than 45 minutes helping a woman go through her trash to find her lost wedding ring.
Two garbage collectors Saul Scruggs, 47, and Keon Richardson, 24, were concerned after their supervisor called them, telling them that he had received a complaint about them missing a stop in the North Bay Road community. Their supervisor asked them to report to the location immediately. What they didn't expect to see was their families, and the whole neighborhood, applauding and cheering them, waving signs and balloons. The Miami Beach neighborhood had organized a thank-you party for the pair, with their supervisors and the Mayor present. “I told him that I needed him to meet me at a stop because a customer said that he missed her garbage,” said Williams, their supervisor, according to Miami Herald. “He’s already hyped up and mad thinking that he left the lady’s garbage, not knowing he has a big surprise coming.”
The residents wanted to appreciate essential workers for making their lives better, especially during the times of the pandemic. Jennifer Elegant, a resident of the North Bay Road community, had nothing but good words to say about them and said they went above and beyond their job description to help spread joy in the neighborhood. “Truly, the world needs more of Saul and Keon,” she Elegant, reported WSVN. “Their happiness is infectious, and everyone looks forward to seeing them twice a week.”
Residents had woken up early morning and stood outside their homes waiting to greet the pair, who visit on Tuesdays and Fridays. They held up signs thanking the pair for the service to the community and attached balloons to their garbage bins. One of the signs read: "We love you." Their supervisors and the Miami Beach mayor, Dan Gelber, were also at hand to witness the gesture from the neighborhood. Gelber along with Miami-Dade Commissioner Eileen Higgins gave the pair a gift bag from the city and a certificate of appreciation from the county. The residents also gave them cards and presents to honor their service.
“Their truck number is 303004,” said Elegant, pointing out the connection the residents shared with the garbage collectors. Jennifer Elegant said the neighbor wanted to show Scruggs and Keon Richardson how much they appreciated them. “It is not in your job description to go out of your way and help people and expect nothing in return,” said Elegant, a Miami Dade College psychology professor. “It is not in your description to be kind, so thank you for being kind.” Alan Weisberg, another resident, also had kind words to say about them, “They have such positive attitude, work ethic, and every time I go by them, they make my day better.”
Saul Scruggs was overwhelmed with emotion on seeing the residents standing out to thank them. “My job is to make sure they’re happy. When I wake up every day to come here, I’m blessed to get out here and take care of the people that are out here and make them happy,” said Saul Scruggs. He has worked this city route for more than two decades now. Richardson was started more recently, said he was happy to learn from Scruggs, whom he considers his mentor. “I learned from the best. I appreciate him, everything he taught me, I learned,” he said. "I just want to be like him, another Saul.”
Keeping in mind the health crisis, Jennifer Elegant, who planned the event, ensured everyone maintained social distance as they lined up outside their homes to celebrate the workers whom she described as extraordinary. Elegant lauded their efforts during the pandemic. “They continue to maintain their upbeat demeanor even during this stressful Coronavirus pandemic, sacrificing their own safety to keep our city clean and beautiful,” said Elegant, according to Good News Network. She added that they make it a point to greet every resident they meet while they go about their work. One of the residents recalled the time Saul Scruggs spent more than 45 minutes to help a neighbor find a wedding ring that she suspected had been lost in her trash. On another occasion, he waited over an hour with an unwell neighbor who was having heart issues as they waited for the ambulance.