Stacks of valentines are being delivered to the Omaha Police Department's northwest precinct.
They're all addressed to Sgt. Brian Smith.
Last week, precinct Capt. Shayna Ray told Smith she was having a hard time finding valentines that her fifth-grader would like enough to pass out at school. And Smith mentioned he had never received a valentine in school.
Ray decided immediately that she would address that slight.
She covered a shoe box with red construction paper, asking officers to help fill it for Smith.
She also posted Smith's story on the Omaha Police Department's Facebook page.
By Wednesday, Smith had received valentines from Girl Scouts, schoolchildren and day cares in Omaha, and even from people in Texas and Nevada, all thanking him for his service.
Ray said the entire precinct was moved by the thoughtfulness of strangers.
“It's such a cool, overwhelming response,” she said.
Candy hearts, boxes of chocolates and hundreds of homemade cards later, Smith had another confession to make:
Valentine's Day is his birthday.
“He's one of those guys who's so positive and happy all the time,” Ray said. “A bright spot in our stressful jobs.”
Ray believes so many people participated because they couldn't imagine that someone might have dreaded Valentine's Day as a child.
“It just shows how compassionate people really are,” she said. “Omahans care about each other.”