TROY — Back in September, a student at Troy High School began a project that came straight from the heart.
Every night, the student — who wishes to remain anonymous — would fold brightly hued pieces of paper into origami hearts. On each of those hearts was a simple, hand-written message: “You are loved.”
On Tuesday, Valentine’s Day, the months of hard work and effort brightened the day of every student, teacher and staff member at Troy High School, as the those hand-crafted hearts were taped to every locker and put in every teacher and staff member’s mailbox to start the day.
All told, nearly 1,500 hearts were distributed by the anonymous Cupid.
“She started in September and didn’t tell anyone,” said Troy High School principal Katy Weaver. “She plotted out how many she would have to make each day to have them ready for Valentine’s Day. She said she just wanted everyone to be able to have something on Valentine’s Day. We talk a lot about the ‘Trojan Family,’ but I think this is the perfect example of that.”
One student was responsible for making all 1,500 origami hearts, then she got help hanging them on all the lockers after school Monday, so they would be awaiting students when they arrived at school on Valentine’s Day.
“It was kind of neat knowing what was going to happen the night before,” said Weaver, who saw the students hanging the Valentines on every locker in the school. “It was so neat walking the halls Tuesday morning to see what everyone’s reaction was going to be.”
Predictably, the student reaction was overwhelmingly positive.
“I think it’s really cool,” said Troy senior Will Brumfield. “Things like this are what sets Troy apart from other schools in the area.”
Senior Nick Prus said the kind gesture could have a far-reaching impact.
“I think it’s awesome,” he said. “It sends a good message; it’s an amazing thing. Someone could be going through a really rough time in their lives and that could really mean a lot to them. For someone who may need something like that in their lives, that could be huge.”
The story of caring and compassion has since gone national. A post on Troy High School’s Facebook page received more than 3,000 “likes,” 180 comments and 900 shares in less than 24 hours. The story was later picked up by the Facebook page “Love What Matters,” and received more than 100,000 likes, 15,000 shares and 2,000 comments in less than 24 hours.
In addition to local and regional media outlets, Weaver said she’s also started hearing from national news sources, including cbsnews.com.
“It’s almost overwhelming; what better way to have our students be seen nationally than for something like this?” Weaver said. “I think it’s great that people around the nation are seeing what kind of kids we have here at Troy. We have amazing kids here.”
One of whom wanted to take one day to make every student feel special — and do so anonymously.
“She just wanted everyone to know they are loved,” Weaver said. “In her mind, this wasn’t about her — it was about the school community.”
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong