While in college in 2009, Taylor Doe created a program called Reach which aimed to demonstrate acts of kindness to people in non-typical ways. One of his acts of kindness was giving Valentine’s Day candy to people working at his favorite fast-food restaurant.
He, and his friends who came along with him, were surprised to see how much that small gesture meant to the workers that night. They were “met with tears and hugs” and, after seeing the impact it made, Taylor decided to make it an annual event which he called “Fast Food Valentines”.
Over the years, the initiative evolved a bit and Taylor began bringing some of the young men he mentors along for the night of kindness. His friend, and fellow mentor, Brandon Andrews also joins along as they spend their Valentine’s Days making people smile.
Since teaming up with Brandon, they’ve shifted the movement to focus more on the young men than themselves. They take the boys to pick out the valentines and candy, the boys fill out the cards, and the boys are the ones walking up to restaurant counters to hand out the valentines.
After a successful night of handing out valentines in 2018, one young man told a news outlet, “I like to see the ladies’ faces when they receive our gifts. I like when they give us hugs. It makes me happy to see them happy.” The boys are always met with smiling faces and gratitude, but one year an employee said to them, “This is the only valentine I got this year. Thank you!”.
This small gesture that Taylor came up with so many years ago is not only bringing a little more kindness to the world, but also bringing some positivity into the lives of the boys he brings along. One mom said her sons “just feel happy when they come home” from Fast Food Valentines night.
Check out the highlight video from the 2020 Fast Food Valentines event. Be sure to share the story with your friends to help Taylor, Brandon, and the boys spread the word and make it an even bigger night next year.
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