Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Beginnings....

It started with one generous customer who inspired dozens of others to pay it forward at an Iowa Starbucks outside of Des Moines.

When the man pulled up to the drive-through window to pay for his coffee, he also picked up the tab for the car behind him, KCCI-TV reported.

So, the next customer followed his lead.

This is not the first time it's happened, but it would usually only last for three or four customers before someone would say thanks and drive off without paying forward, but on Friday it just kept going. It could be just that time of year where people get caught up in the holiday spirit.

Whatever sparked the generosity in the Starbuck's drive-through, it quickly spread. Store manager Megan Rezek said it has happened before, but never quite like this.

"I've never seen it go on for as long as it did today," said Rezek.

As Rezek was working the window, she was keeping track of the customers paying it forward and was shocked to see it growing and growing.

"And they were so excited and I'd tell people, 'You're No. 48 or No. 49.' It was so neat and they were so excited and so included," said Rezek.

"It was a really neat thing that it happened, and so of course, I paid it back too by paying for the next person behind me too," said customer Kate Gamble.

Starbucks is part of Gamble's morning routine, but this was a first. She was No. 50 to pay it forward.

"Just really nice to see the Christmas spirit of it and still having people do this kind of thing even with the economical crisis we've all been going through this year," said Gamble

The spirit was brewing again in the afternoon as people came through for a latte or mocha.

"I think it's great. I think it's great whenever people do something like that, especially when it's unexpected. So I decided to return the favor," said Kelly Spencer.

"It's such a simple thing. A cup of coffee is such a simple thing, but it means such a great deal to so many people that I don't know. It's so heartwarming. I just love it when that happens," said Rezek.

A total of 53 customers paid it forward. Rezek said that it likely would have continued, but as the morning rush slowed the last car had no one behind it in line. So it came to an end.

Rezek said one customer gave them a $20 bill and said ‘get as many as you can'.



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