UNION COUNTY, N.C. — For Joshua Peninger, being kind to strangers is just something that comes naturally to him.
The Union County garbage truck driver never knew a random act of kindness would bring so much joy to so many people.
Let's back up for a second.
Kristen Pinion said her 2-year-old son, Charlie, has always had a great fascination for things with wheels.
"Charlie is all about things with wheels," Pinion said. "Helicopters too."
So when Charlie and his mom spotted the giant garbage truck driving down their street, Charlie was, of course, interested.
"We sit out every Monday and wait for the truck," Pinion said. "It was special that day because he got a little show out of it."
Peninger, a garbage truck driver for Waste Connections, was assigned to the Pinion's route on Monday, April 8. While collecting their trash, Peninger spotted Charlie sitting on his front steps, waving to him.
Peninger honked his horn and Charlie just lit up.
"The horn alone was more than enough to make his day, but before I knew it he was waving us down to the truck," Pinion said about the interaction.
Charlie quickly scurried to the nice man in the giant truck with so much joy, his mom told NBC Charlotte.
Peninger then rolled down his window and handed the young boy a little toy garbage can on wheels.
"He played with it all afternoon," Pinion said about the toy garbage can. "My husband came home and it was the first thing he showed him."
Pinion said the interaction between Charlie and the truck driver was so brief she was unable to get even get his name.
"Something so small meant so much to us, especially him, which meant something to me," Pinion said.
Charlie's mother took her quest to find the mystery truck driver to social media. She made a post on Facebook detailing her experience with Peninger.
Less than an hour after making the post, Pinion found the garbage truck driver.
"Someone that knew me tagged my wife and my wife tagged me in it," Peninger said.
Turns out, Peninger does this kind of thing a lot.
"I hand out things to children all the time," Peninger said. "If I don't have anything to give, I'll blow the horn give them a show with the truck."
It didn't take long for the Indian Trail community to praise Peninger for his wonderful actions. Pinion's Facebook post racked up more than 700 likes and created a special dialogue.
"I think people are looking to hear good things nowadays, I think it's heartwarming to hear good things, Pinion said. "Something so small obviously touched a lot of people."