900 carnations were passed around by a middle schooler for Valentine’s Day. The carnations were the idea of Hayden Godfrey because he didn’t feel that any girl should feel alone, and after witnessing so many disappointed faces from the same group of girls, he wanted to do something nice, according to People.
“I don’t like this,” he told his mom after school. “I feel really bad that things are this way.” That’s when Godfrey decided to take matters into his own hands with the carnations.
The next year, he anonymously sent flowers to the girls he didn’t think would get anything. “He remembers watching the girls who he sent them to and how surprised they were,” his mother, Erin Godfrey, said.
When Godfrey was a high school sophomore, he decided to start saving money so, one day, he could buy the 900 carnations for every girl in the school. The following Valentine’s Day, he bought a bunch of roses and passed them out to girls in the hall who weren’t carrying anything.
As soon as Godfrey turned 16 he got a job at McDonald’s, working in his small hometown — Smithfield, Utah. For the past 18 months, the now 17-year-old has worked three jobs to save money to accomplish his goal.
By the time he got a girlfriend, his mom thought he’d back off. But he didn’t.
“He said, ‘I’m still going to do this. This isn’t about love; it’s not about the commercial side of Valentine’s — it’s about bringing joy to everybody,'” his mother recalled him saying.
Three jobs, two years in school and a few paychecks later, Godfrey purchased 900 carnations for $450.
On Thursday, he recruited his school drama club to help him pass out flowers to nearly 900 girls in Utah’s Sky View High School.
“Today I passed out 900 carnations, one to every girl at SVHS and it was totally worth it,” Godfrey wrote on Facebook afterward. “I don’t think anything can compare to seeing every girl in your life holding a flower as they walk through the halls.”
His mother said she was proud, but not surprised at her son’s sweet gesture. “Hayden has been an old soul since he was born,” she said. “He’s super, super sensitive to feelings.”
The teen believed a carnation would be the perfect Valentine’s Day flower for his girl friends: “It’s a friendship flower — a better symbol than a rose.” Though Godfrey doesn’t have any future Valentine’s Day plans, his mother doesn’t think the ambitious boy’s loving journey ends here.
The 900 carnations certainly put a lot of happy faces on a lot of girls who felt alone. “Every year has been quite the production,” she said. “I can’t imagine that he’s just going to stop celebrating; it’ll go on for a lifetime.”