Grieving son and mom surprised by JCPS 'Flash Dads' - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Grieving son and mom surprised by JCPS 'Flash Dads'

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- They show up and show love and support to children who may need encouragement, and this week, the JCPS "Flash Dads" initiative led to tears of joy for a local family.

The "Flash Dads" initiative was created so students at schools like Audubon Traditional Elementary could start the day with encouragement from positive male role models.

On Wednesday, nearly a hundred city workers showed up and helped fill a big void for one student.

"We showed up, and we were running behind as usual," said Jessica Burton, the mother of a Audubon Traditional Elementary student.

Burton's Wednesday morning school commute was like all of the rest ... until the end.

"There was just garbage truck, after garbage truck, after garbage truck," she said.

"And we were like, what's going on today?" said Joseph Burton, a third grader at Audubon Traditional Elementary. "We saw like millions of trucks."

It was an impressive and emotional sight for Burton and Joseph. The people and trucks outside the school were part of the "Flash Dads," but the crowd was a little larger than most.

"We were really overwhelmed, because my son lost his dad three months ago," Burton said. "There was a large presence of workers from the metro solid waste department, and that's where my husband worked."

Burton's husband Joe died earlier this year, but his co-workers from public works were there for his son.

"As my son got out of the car-rider line to go in, there were a hand full of gentlemen that were welcoming him by name, and they called him his dad's nickname," Burton said.

"My dad is big Joe-body and I'm little Joe-body," Joseph said. "And I said, 'That's me!'"

Keith Hackett, Assistant Director of Metro Public Works, said being there for the family was an important part of the day.

"We did our first one last November, and we told them anytime we can help out with such a think as this, we would do it," he said. "We were there to support the family, and you never know who you might touch."

In this case, the act of kindness touched a grieving family.

"It has been three months, and there have been a lot of tears," Burton said. "This was ... one of the first days of tears of joy."

"My day was amazing after that," Joseph said.

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