Meet The Woman Who Is Handing Out 1,000 Valentines To Strangers In New York City

Erika Anderson hopes you have a really great Valentine’s Day!

1. On Valentine’s Day last year, Brooklyn-based freelancer Erika Anderson addressed hundreds of Hello Kitty valentines from “me” to “you” and gave them out to people she saw on her work commute.

Jesse Untracht-Oakner

3. “I think it can be such a terrible day, whether you’re single or with someone,” Anderson told BuzzFeed, explaining why she started the project

“There’s inherent pressure for somebody’s affection for that 24-hour period.”

4. So she decided to make hundreds of Valentine’s Day cards, and gave them away to anybody who wasn’t “running away.”

On her morning commute, she said people were sort of weirded out. But by nighttime, people were much more excited.

“On my evening commute, so many people were like ‘Nobody gave me a valentine!’ or, ‘You made my day!’ I think there’s nothing better than that. So I thought, OK, I should make this an annual thing.”

7. This year Anderson is upping the ante. She’s invited about 50 people to her house tonight for a valentine-making party, where the group plans to make 1,000 notes.


She bought handmade paper and invited people to bring their own cards and supplies.

9. She even has a friend in San Francisco who is extending the movement to the West Coast. There’s also a hashtag this year: #ArmyOfLovers.

Kathrina Manalac, left, Anderson, right

10. “I think adulthood is synonymous with cynicism, and when are we more cynical than on the 14th of February?” she said. “I’m hoping we can counteract that a bit.”

“It’s weird to talk to strangers, it’s weird to give them things,” she said. “I’m going to proceed as I did last year, but I’m going to hope that I won’t do it alone.”

12. Next Friday the 14th, Anderson will ride the A, C, and F trains through Crown Heights and the Lower East Side. Hopefully you’ll see her or another member of the #ArmyOfLovers and get a Valentine of your own!

13. If you want to help out and be a part of the #ArmyOfLovers, let Erika know.

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