Everyday Hero: San Antonio sanitation worker goes extra mile for local mother of two

‘I am in tears still thinking about what he did to help me,’ woman said

Julio Marrufo
Julio Marrufo (Darcie Reed)

SAN ANTONIO – Heroes live among us, some save lives and others help where they can and make a huge difference in small gestures.

Julio Marrufo with the San Antonio’s Solid Waste Management Department is one such hero, at least for one Alamo City mother. She nominated Marrufo for KSAT’s Everyday Hero campaign, where we asked for nominations for people who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic.

Darcie Reed told KSAT that Marrufo made her day after a shelf full of chemicals in her garage gave way right as Julio’s sanitation truck was coming down her street on the morning of Nov. 23.

“I had no idea what the chemicals were and I panic-called my parents,” Reed said. She said her husband was in quarantine and her family lives in Minnesota so she “felt very alone.”

Reed said when Marrufo pulled up to her house that she asked him for help and he immediately said yes.

“He got gloves and helped me figure out which chemical had spilled and helped me get the rest of the chemicals away from that area.”

She said Marrufo, who has worked for the city since Dec. 13, 2003, refused to accept money and told her to take her two young sons out for a happy meal instead.

Reed said she’s interacted with Julio multiple times and that her sons love garbage trucks and wait outside every week to see the trucks go by.

“Julio noticed us and would always honk and wave at us each week. A few months ago he stopped to say that he really loved how excited my boys are each week to see him,” Reed said.

She told KSAT that Marrufo has stopped before to let the boys see the inside of the sanitation truck and that after the chemical spill she didn’t want to take up any more of his time but, again, Marrufo let the boys see the truck.

“Julio showed me such kindness and compassion that I am in tears still thinking about what he did to help me and my boys. If anyone should ever get recognized it should definitely be him,” said Reed.

City of San Antonio spokesperson Marcus Lee told KSAT that Marrufo started his career in the sanitation department as a collector before getting his CDL license and getting promoted to a truck driver position in July 2007. He currently works as a side load equipment operator for the city.

“If you are lucky enough to have Julio in your life please thank him extra,” Reed said.

Want to nominate an everyday hero in your life? Nominate someone in the prompt below and include a photo, name, details about why they deserve recognition and contact information for you and the nominated hero. (Can’t see the prompt? Click here.)


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