Epic Thank You:
Student flash mob celebrates beloved Dunkin' Donuts employee, goes viral on YouTube
Stony Brook students banded together earlier this month to collaborate on an "Epic Thank You" to a beloved Dunkin' Donuts employee, and just incidentally created a YouTube hit that is warming hearts across the globe.
Here's the backstory: Junior Daniel Ahmadizadeh created the Stony Brook Compliments Facebook page a month ago to “spread joy to Stony Brook." People were encouraged to "message their compliments and a photo," which would be posted anonymously. "It was a way to foster a sense of community on a campus of 25,000 in a forum of positivity." That sense of community extended beyond the campus when the following was posted on December 20:
"The Bengali man working at Dunkin Donuts on 25A is by far the nicest man I've ever purchased something from. He's always working alone at night but is still extremely friendly. I've always wanted to approach him or give him an anonymous note, and I wish there was a way that multiple Stony Brook students can get together and give back to him - because I'm sure he’s like this for everyone as well, and does it with a smile on his face."
The compliment received hundreds of "likes" and positive comments. Ahmadizadeh decided to organize an "Epic Thank You for Zamir" Miah, the man who works the overnight shift at Dunkin' Donuts and "never accepts tips from students" to show him how much the students appreciate his kindness. "It was easy to facilitate," he explains, "because it was something that the students genuinely wanted to do…it was completely organic."
A plan was put in place for Friday, February 1. Students were instructed to meet at the Stony Brook LIRR station across the street from Dunkin' Donuts at 10 pm. Ahmadizadeh, a junior business major, RA and head manager of the men's basketball team, enlisted the help of University police and C-Cert [Stony Brook Campus Community Emergency Response Team] to provide reflective vests and facilitate pedestrian safety. About 60 students gathered there and walked across the street into the Dunkin' Donuts carrying signs, banners and personal messages, cards and gifts for "Mr. Zamir." Ahmadizadeh said thank you to Miah in Bengali.
The man who won't accept tips from students was warmly accepting of the students' display of appreciation and gratitude. The event was captured on a video that quickly went viral on YouTube, and was picked by local news, CBS and NBC. Ahmadizadeh would like to see the kindness movement go viral as well. "I hope this inspires more people to do things like this, where the only reward is making someone's day."