The past two years have seen a huge rise in people using food delivery services, and many times the transaction is pretty straightforward – order food online, driver picks it up, driver drops it at the door and leaves – transaction complete. But, what happens when the driver delivers an unexpected but poignant message of hope?
Huntsville native, Ariel Seay, has been driving for DoorDash since November, at which time she began attaching messages of happiness, kindness and hope to every single delivery. To date, that’s more than 300 meals with a message. “I like making people happy. I started adding the notes because I wanted to let the person know that this wasn’t just a delivery, but that they’re a person and they matter,” said Ariel.
Reactions to the Special Delivery
Although she doesn’t get to see the person’s reaction when they collect their meal from the door, she sometimes hears about it later. In December, Lissa Turner posted on What’s Happening in Huntsville Facebook page about a note she’d received from Ariel, and more than six weeks later, it’s still receiving comments and likes for the positive message.
Turner was the first to post about Ariel. “When I saw the note I cried. I was already having such a hard night and was in the middle of moving. Her message impacted me to keep going, and to recognize that there are people who still care when you’re at your lowest and feel like you don’t exist. I’m lucky for an angel like her.”
“I like making people happy. I started adding the notes because I wanted to let the person know that this wasn’t just a delivery, but that they’re a person and they matter.”
This angel delivers fries with a side of encouragement
Ariel is a quiet person who mostly keeps to herself. She’s not too active on social media, so when the first post appeared on Facebook her best friend had to tell her what was happening. “I remember the first time someone posted about getting something from Ariel and she was super excited to hear about it because that’s all she wanted. She wants people to feel appreciated,” said Jovani Ruiz.
Soon after the first message was posted, others who received notes with delivery from Ariel began sharing their stories. Whitnye Cremeans of Madison opened the door to find her meal with the words, “In case you haven’t heard this enough, I love you. The world is a better place with you in it. – Ariel”
“When I noticed the message I broke down in tears and thought ‘how could a human be so selfless?’” said Cremeans.
Ariel understands the power behind simple gestures and the impact those can make on others. “I began adding messages to my deliveries starting on my first day. Sometimes all it takes to turn someone’s mood around is to be acknowledged.”
Rowan Hickey of Huntsville was also the recipient of a surprise note with her meal. “I keep this as a reminder for tough days. It definitely lifted my spirits after a stressful night.”
Although the message that get posted seem to mostly come from her McDonald’s deliveries, Ariel says that she does deliver for many of the restaurants in Madison County. “The popular ones seem to come from the McDonald’s orders. I guess you could say that ‘I’m Lovin’ It and it’s a Happy Meal,” she joked.
All of her notes are written at the spur of the moment. She never knows what she’s going to write until she arrives and sets her marker to paper. “I want it to have a personal touch; that’s what makes a person feel special,” said added.
Thank you, Ariel, for being the change that helps make a person, family and community feel loved.
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Laura Barnard lives in Madison and is mom to a hilarious set of twins. When she's not sitting in car line or waiting for the bus, she's the owner of Sweet Tea Communications, a public relations, graphic design and website design company. Her family loves exploring, traveling, sports, music, and their family dog.