March 14, 2009— -- Two college sophomores are trying to make people happier, one compliment at a time.
"Love your school spirit."
"I like your hustle. I like your boots, too."
"I like your curly hair. Great smile."
"Nice purse. It's very large."
Brett Westcott and Cameron Brown are 19 year-old undergrads at Purdue University, and they've gone on a two-man mission -- giving out free compliments to everyone they see. They joined "Good Morning America Weekend" to spread smiles in Times Square.
"Honestly, we do it because we want to do something nice," said Westcott. "School's hard and we have friends who are seniors who haven't found jobs. If someone's having a bad day or it's raining, we give them something to smile about."
Brown admits some students think they're playing a practical joke. "Some people question our sincerity, but we're 100 percent sincere. We wouldn't be doing this for two hours every Wednesday for eight months if we didn't mean it. We haven't missed a Wednesday."
Their favorite reaction is when people join in on complimenting. "When people come up and say they've had an awful day but our compliment really helped. People have also baked us cookies and made thank-you cards," says Wescott.
Even when they get an angry response, Brown and Wescott have a compliment ready. "The worst response we've gotten is the middle finger, or they just tell us to shut up. But then we give them positive reinforcement for that," says Brown.
Brown and Wescott say they'll continue their praise of passersby every week until they graduate.