Spread the love


Russell Bean, Jan Dickinson, Moises Trejo, Katelyn Nordfelt and Sydney Merrill (L-R) pause for a photo during a Valentine’s Day service project where they handed out flowers to strangers in Walmart.


Spread the love


Teen hand out free flowers at Walmart,

just to be nice


By Robert Stevens

Managing  editor



EPHRAIM—A Manti youth took Valentine’s Day to a whole new level with a service project intended to “spread the love.”

Jan Dickinson, 16, of Manti, is a senior at Manti High School. Over Valentine’s Day weekend, Dickinson and some of her classmates decided to bring a little extra kindness to members of their community.

The group of friends stocked up on flowers and showed up at Walmart in Ephraim where they spent the afternoon passing flowers out to strangers and sharing words of kindness for no other reason than to make their little corner of the world a little nicer for one day.

“It was so much fun,” Dickinson told the Messenger. “Seeing other people smile is the best feeling in the world.”

Dickinson says she and her friends got the idea from seeing videos online of people sharing small acts of kindness. After seeing the videos, she wanted to join in the fun.

“I always find an idea and make it my own,” she said. She said she decided to take a good act she had seen in the video and do it her own way.

“I know that Valentine’s Day is a very big part of people’s lives, whether they show it or not. Everyone wants to feel loved,” she said.

Dickinson was joined by Sydney Merrill, 16; Katelyn Nordfelt, 16; Russell Bean, 16; Anna Dickinson, 14; and Moises Trejo, 18.

The experience paid off with plenty of good feelings and warm words, Dickinson says, and a couple of sweet memories too.

One of those memories didn’t make itself known until after the project was over and Dickinson was speaking with a former math teacher. The teacher had gone to visit her aunt, who is a widow, for Valentine’s Day. Upon arrival, Dickinson’s teacher discovered a lovely carnation flower decoration on display in her aunt’s home.

The widow had been one of the recipients of a random act of kindness Dickinson and her friends had been handing out; and it had put a smile on her face all day.

“Who knows how many more people took their flowers home and put it in a vase and thought to themselves ‘someone does care about me and loves me,’’’ Dickinson said. “I know that every once in a while we all need that reminder.”

With troubling times becoming more and more common over the past year, Dickinson says perhaps the most valuable lesson learned from the experience was the power of kindness to make someone’s day better.

“It taught me how much the smallest act of kindness can help other people smile,” Dickinson said. “It also taught me how others are willing to help serve in this time of crisis. We had Farmer Floral in Mt. Pleasant donate some flowers for this project. We even had a lady reach out at the store and gave us money to buy more flowers. It was such an amazing time and I hope to do it next year!”


Jan Dickinson (right) gives Katy Schroeder Harmer a flower in Walmart for no reason other than wanting to spread some love and kindness with her friends for Valentine’s Day.