SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. — Sixteen-year-old Rachel Miller vividly remembers when she arrived home from 7th grade in tears on Valentine’s Day because she didn’t have a boyfriend and thought she was not going to receive anything.
As it turned out, her father, David Miller, came home from work that night with flowers, chocolates and a card with 1 Corinthians 13 written on it.
“Reading that verse reminds me that I have a heavenly father that loves me more than anything,” Rachel said. “Valentine’s Day from that point on is a reminder that I have a heavenly father that loves me, parents that love me, plenty of friends, just a reminder that I’m loved.”
That experience came to mind as Valentine’s Day approached this year.
Rachel is now a student at Massaponax High School, and when talking to her family about ways to reach out to the community in 2017, she suggested going back to her middle school, Thornburg Middle School.
“I felt God laid it on my heart that he wanted me to minister to the middle schoolers by telling them they’re loved on Valentine’s Day,” Rachel said.
The Miller family, including mom Melissa and dad David, all pitched in on the project, and they even created a GoFundMe page to raise funds.
They spent several weeks making 750 handmade valentines for each student in the school.
“It took three weeks of us as a family punching out each heart,” Melissa Miller said. “We have received so much through process. We had an opportunity to connect with each other all the time we spent at the table. We had lots of great conversations.”
On Tuesday, the family went to Thornburg Middle during lunch and delivered the cards and flowers to every student in the school.
Most of the kids received carnations, but the family brought 50 roses for the children with special needs.
“Rachel has a little brother with Autism,” Melissa Miller said.
The family said the response from the kids was priceless.
“Many of the kids, their eyes just got really big, smiles, some started sword fighting with them, one kid actually said I ate mine like a carrot,” David Miller said.
“This is exactly what the world needs in light of the division in our country,” Melissa Miller said.
The family said their efforts also inspired others to carry out acts of kindness on Valentine’s Day.
David Miller said he told a man he met at work about what the family was doing, and the man started tearing up.
“He said there are a couple of special needs girls at a school he works in. I’m going to make sure they have a flower and valentine this year,” David Miller said.
The two stayed in touch and the man told David he bought the girls flowers, balloons and some chocolates.
“It was really cool to see,” David Miller said.
Melissa Miller said the act of kindness was the perfect answer to find a way to give the love her daughter is seeking.