May 2, 2013 at 3:34 PM ET
A New York City man used 1,000 fliers, help from strangers on social media and a tweet from TODAY’s Matt Lauer to make his one-year anniversary with his girlfriend one she would not forget.
On Sunday, Danny, 26, a Manhattan resident who did not want his last name used, enlisted the help of six friends to plaster 1,000 fliers across the city asking a special favor from strangers. The flier gave a description of his love for his girlfriend, Kristen, 26, and the evolution of their relationship. It then asked strangers to post pictures of the flier to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #EYJDK for “Enjoy Your Journey Danny and Kristen.”
Danny’s goal was to have 160 photos posted because 16 is Kristen’s favorite number and “asking for 16 photos is lame,’’ according to the flier. But in just three days, between Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and emails, Danny received more than 1,000 posts of the photo from strangers.
“It’s incredible the power of word-of-mouth and social media,’’ Danny wrote in an email to TODAY.com. “With that said, I was just a guy with an idea and a message of love. The people that shared it are the ones that are truly awesome.
“Kristen was in disbelief at first and then when I showed her the photos that were posted and the fact that there were already over 200 right away, she was just in shock. She spent the next couple of minutes looking at all the photos and laughing at the ones of the people making fun of me.’’
At the bottom of the flier, Danny asks anyone who knows Matt Lauer to find out whether he might tweet or take a photo of the flier because Kristen has a huge celebrity crush on him. The couple’s anniversary was on Monday, and on Tuesday Danny got his wish when Lauer sent out a tweet with the hashtag from the flier.
Danny, who is a student at a college in New York City, was in class when he saw it and quickly updated everyone.
“Kristen was actually napping (when Lauer sent the tweet),’’ Danny said. “When she woke up I just got a text from her saying, ‘OMG!’ She came to pick me up and was so giddy, it was cute! I do feel our families were more excited than us, because there was a point where it all started growing a lot faster and Kristen and I were just like ‘Whoa.’’’
The couple have known one other since the eighth grade and were friends before they started dating last year. Danny had made a giant collage of them together for their six-month celebration and was looking for a way to top himself.
“I knew I wanted to express, to as many people as I could, the amount of love I have for her,’’ he said. “I thought of pamphlets at first, but seeing how people just avoid them altogether I moved to another idea. Then I just thought of placing them all over the city, and I stuck with it. The hashtag was actually a little tougher to come up with. We have this saying ‘Enjoy The Journey,’ and what it means for us is that we didn't care what the future holds for us, as long as we travel and enjoy the journey together, with each other.
“Why 1,000 fliers? Well, because I got a price break at 1,000 and my girlfriend loves when I make decisions based on savings.”
Friends on foot and on bikes helped him plaster them everywhere from Washington Square Park to Grand Central and all the way over in Queens.
Danny noted how far his message ultimately traveled: “Considering where they were posted, and the fact it reached and was shared by people in Egypt, Canada, Spain, China, Russia and many other places, was just mind-blowing.’’