For many people, Valentine’s Day is a day of chocolates, lavish dinners, dazzling romance, and deep affection. But for singles, it can often be a day of deep loneliness and hyper-awareness about one’s solo status.
With that deep disparity in mind, 29-year-old Seth Stewart has been spending the last eight years on a mission to make sure that local widows, single women, and the wives or girlfriends of deployed service members in Spokane, Washington, are not forgotten.
Stewart and his brothers wake up every morning on Valentine’s Day before delivering red roses to between 400 and 500 women, and this year they hope to deliver no less than 700 roses to women across the region.
The service—dubbed Rose Rush Deliveries—has been a major success. Stewart told KHQ:
“Last year we had one lady, she broke down sobbing, she hugged me for about half a minute. Her husband had passed away in the last year, and she just thought that she was by herself.”
Stewart maintains a list of the women and mothers in his region who receive the deliveries every year, and in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day, he asks followers of his Facebook page to nominate single women who might want a small pick-me-up in the form of a free rose.
For local single woman Sarah Jean Meddock, a visit from Rose Rush had its intended effect. While Valentine’s Day is a “holiday [when] we tend to get forgotten,” Stewart’s visit was a welcome surprise. She explained:
All of a sudden this handsome cowboy comes walking in with a rose, and I’m going ‘wait, what’s happening’ … It literally set the tone for my whole entire day, and I’m not kidding, I think it changed my entire Valentine’s Day.
It’s something that’s so small, it’s just a small little gesture, and it’ll completely change the tone of everyone’s day. It’s the little things in life.”
And while the 700-rose goal is a large increase from the 400-500 deliveries of the past, Stewart believes that they can deliver many more roses in the coming years. Even though he is relying on a GoFundMe page to help pay for this he is willing to pay out of his own pocket to make such a small but meaningful impact on the lives of the women he’s encountered.
Stewart told CNN:
“Every single year we do this, there are always one or two women who break down sobbing because it means so much to them.”