Many have seen him and know that he spreads love wherever he goes. But they don’t know who Decaris Hunter is and why he spends his free time holding up signs with positive messages in busy traffic.
The 35-year-old is known as the “Spread the Love” guy and is a native of Chipley.
Hunter said he started his movement in June 2018 after he lost his job. It was a bad day for Hunter.
“Losing the job was hard, but the worst part was seeing a motivational poster my daughter made that said, ‘A positive attitude changes everything,’ was thrown away the same day I was fired and made me angry,” Hunter said. “Why would they get rid of something positive? It just didn’t make sense.”
Hunter was dismayed after he applied for multiple jobs and didn’t get any calls. His wife, Tamara, told Hunter to find something to do to take his mind off of things because, “God’s got us.”
While scrolling through Facebook, Hunter saw a meme that said, ‘Stop the hate, spread the love.’ In that moment, his movement was born.
Hunter said he has always been a loving, happy person even during his youth when he wasn’t always a good kid.
“I gave my mom a hard time during my teenage years,” he said. “I stole her car more than once, and the second time nearly killed me.”
Hunter and some friends had taken his mom’s car while she was at work and started having engine trouble on the way home. When Hunter tried to stop a truck that was coming to help them, tragedy struck.
As Hunter stepped in the road the truck swerved to miss him, but he was struck by the trailer. The driver stopped and performed CPR on him. To this day, Hunter credits the driver with saving his life.
“He is the reason I am alive,” Hunter said.
Spreading the love is what Hunter feels he is called to do.
“This feels like a calling,” Hunter said. “I love doing this. I love telling people about Jesus. It makes me happy and makes people happy too. God created me to do this.”
When Hunter is not working at Anchorage Children’s Home, he spreads the love before work, after work and on his off days by holding up signs with positive messages in areas of heavy traffic. He has traveled to several states and spreads love while he is there. He said he wants to show people that love can change everything.
“I want to show people that there is a God,” he said. “I want people to take from my story and see that they too can live and be happy every single day. God is for us; the devil is against us.”
“It is not just about me spreading love, it is about us as a family. We all need to spread love,” Hunter said of the lesson he wants people to learn from him.
“You better spread the love before I do, because I am coming to a city near you,” Hunter said.