Los Angeles, Feb 14: In a heart-warming gesture, a teenager in the US gifted flowers to over 800 girls in his school for Valentine's Day after saving money by doing odd jobs. 17-year-old Hayden Godfrey's gesture for all the girls at his school in Smithfield, Utah, resulted from years of buildup and planning.
He saved for a year and a half to afford the USD 450 it cost to purchase 900 carnations from an online wholesaler. Every Valentine's Day since he was 14, Godfrey would anonymously send flowers to dozens of his friends, he said.
Each year, the project grew larger in scale until he ultimately decided he wanted to make "as many people as possible" happy this Valentine's Day.
He began earning the money by working as a cook at a nearby McDonald's and a dishwasher at a Mexican restaurant, and for the last 10 months, he has been bagging groceries at a local store. Godfrey's mother, Erin Godfrey, said he first got the idea in middle school, when he noticed that some girls did not receive anything on the romantic holiday.
"That broke his heart on Valentine's Day," she said, calling her son a "sensitive soul." "He wanted every girl to feel joy."
Godfrey ordered the flowers to his home three weeks in advance and enlisted the help of about 20 friends to help him process and cut the 24-inch stems after they arrived. He gave the carnations one day to bloom before loading them all into his parents' van to bring them to Sky View High School on Thursday.
His girlfriend of six months and fellow classmate, 18-year-old Lilyan Sharp, called Godfrey's gesture "very special" and said every girl walked out of school with a "giant smile on their face." "I, myself, spent a lot of Valentine's Days not receiving anything.I know how it feels," she was quoted as saying.
Godfrey worked with school administration to pull off his Valentine's Day plan. Assistant Principal Curt Hanks helped Godfrey by providing a headcount of the number of female students enrolled at the school and arranging for him and his friends to interrupt the last classes of the day to pass them out.
"I think that he's an amazing kid," Hanks said of Godfrey. "I'm speechless at his actions." With the help of volunteers, Godfrey handed carnations to 834 girls.