On Valentine’s Day, a kind little girl brought a cupcake to a homeless man who was struggling and deeply feeling unlovable, and it inspired him to turn his life around. Daniel Lopez arrived in Spokane, Washington, at the age of 30. His mother struggled with meth addiction as a child, and his father was absent from his life. His grandmother adopted him when he was four years old, but his difficult upbringing contributed to his own substance abuse problems.
Years later, after his grandmother died, he boarded a bus to Spokane and became homeless. Daniel was contemplating suicide, feeling depressed, hopeless, and unloved while holding a sign asking for spare change every day. Then, on Valentine’s Day, while he was holding his sign and feeling very lonely, a little girl approached him, handed him a cupcake, and wished him a Happy Valentine’s Day.
“I’ve got to tell my Valentine’s Day story,” Daniel said in an online post. “The last time I panhandled was on Valentine’s Day in 2013. I was homeless, living at the UGM [shelter], and waving a sign in front of Walmart. This little girl approached me and said, “Happy Valentine’s Day,” before handing me a cupcake. Then she climbed into the backseat of her mother’s car and drove away.”
As she drove away, the little girl’s pure and innocent act of kindness made the deeply hurting Daniel feel loved, if only for a moment. He cried as he stared at the cupcake, folded up his sign, and decided to change his life by enrolling in a teen rehab program. “I looked at that cupcake and folded up my sign, and walked up the road crying, because at the time I felt so unloved.
I was in a drug rehab program about two weeks later (Spokane Teen Challenge). You never know whose life you might be able to change by being kind. “Happy Valentine’s Day, little girl.” Daniel is now a well-known Spokane graffiti artist known as godffiti. He is no longer alone, and he is frequently hired to paint beautiful murals throughout the city. Many of the residents enjoy seeing his artwork as they drive around, and Daniel is grateful.