378 Starbucks customers Pay it Forward A cup of Starbucks coffee sits on a table in a cafe in central Hong Kong (Reuters)
378 Starbucks customers Pay it Forward
Lexile

A woman started an act of kindness chain that lasted for hours and hundreds of customers at a Starbucks drive-thru in St. Petersburg, Florida.

She ordered an iced coffee around 7 in the morning Wednesday and asked to pay for the caramel macchiato for the stranger in the car behind her, who returned the favor.

The chain kept going as employees began keeping count. By 1:30 the chain had reached 260 customers.

Here's how it worked, according to Tampa Bay Times reporter Weston Phippen. Customers first ordered a drink at the speaker. When they came to the next window, employee Vu Nguyen told them their drinks had already been paid for by the person in front of them. Would they like to return the favor?

"It makes your day better, I think," said Lexie Kane, 17, of St. Petersburg, who ordered an iced coffee.

Tim Burnside, 19, had visited in the morning and paid it forward so he returned later to see whether it was still going on. Seeing that it was, he ordered a second chai tea.

"It's nice just to do a random act of kindness for someone you don't know," said Burnside, also of St. Petersburg.

Some said the simple act connected them to all in line before them while others said they didn't want to be the one to end it.

The Times said the chain finally ended around 6 o'clock in the evening when customer number 379 pulled up and ordered a regular coffee. Nguyen leaned out the window, explained the chain and asked if the woman would like to participate. She declined, saying she only wanted to pay for her coffee.

Nguyen said he doesn't believe she understood the concept of paying it forward.

Critical thinking challenge: Explain the concept of Pay it Forward

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COMMENTS (346)
  • CatalinaPinto
    8/24/2014 - 10:06 p.m.

    The article is about an act of kindness which took place at a Starbucks drive-thru in St. Petersburg, Florida. A woman started the chain around 7 am and asked to pay for the order of the car that was after her in the line. People had to order at the speaker, and then, an employee told them about the chain and asked them if they wanted to join the initiative. The chain ended around 6 oclock afternoon when a woman didn'tt want to follow the idea and paid only for her coffee. Some of the customers said that the idea made their day better.
    Its interesting; I suppose that should make those who joined the chain felt like they were part of something new and bigger, since this is not something you can do every day.

  • CatalinaPinto
    8/24/2014 - 10:23 p.m.

    The article is about an act of kindness which took place at a Starbucks drive-thru in St. Petersburg, Florida. A woman started the chain around 7 am and asked to pay for the order of the car that was after her in the line. People had to order at the speaker, and then, an employee told them about the chain and asked them if they wanted to join the initiative. The chain ended around 6 oclock afternoon when a woman didn'tt want to follow the idea and paid only for her coffee. Some of the customers said that the idea made their day better.
    Its interesting; I suppose that should make those who joined the chain felt like they were part of something new and bigger, since this is not something you can do every day.

    • chloem-Win
      9/04/2014 - 01:41 p.m.

      I think its a way of showing kindness to other people and letting them know that you want to help them out by paying for their food or drink or whatever they get from Starbucks.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    8/25/2014 - 08:59 p.m.

    I think this is cool because one person, started it all. This is similar to another random act of kindness by a man who saw 2 soldiers in a restaurant and he wanted to pay for their bills. When the soldiers asked for their bill, the cashier said their bill was paid for by someone else. Being moved by the act of kindness, the soldiers paid the bills for someone else. Then that person paid for someone else's bill and the chain kept going. I feel very happy for those people when they start a chain of kindness. It always makes me feel very happy for that person. I wonder how the world could change if this was like a tradition to people.
    Critical Thinking Challenge: Explain the concept of "Pay it Forward".
    Answer: I think the concept of "Pay it Forward" is that someone pays for another person's bill for no reason and then that person would be moved so that person would want to pay for someone else's bill. Then the chain goes on.

  • abbygrider-Win
    8/26/2014 - 01:32 p.m.

    I love the concept of paying it forward. It's very much like what we are learning in Guidance class. I paid it forward to my friend this week by picking up their books that were dropped on the floor.

  • keatenw-Win
    8/26/2014 - 02:42 p.m.

    It's a random act of kindness. You must pay it forward by doing something kind. Everyone bought each other's coffee, and "paid it forward." I love this concept!

  • taylorh-Win
    8/26/2014 - 05:30 p.m.

    I like the story because paying is very cool.I payed it forward at school when i helped a friend before recess i helped her pack up and she helped my other friend. So i really liked this story and i hope other people do it to. :)

  • hankw-Win
    8/26/2014 - 07:08 p.m.

    person in front of someone payed there coffee for them so they were sharing kindness 260 customers did it but it ended at six in the evening.

  • katyp-Win
    8/26/2014 - 08:27 p.m.

    I think it was really nice of them to pay for each other's coffee. I was very surprised that it lasted for around 11 hours. I think some people didn't just go there for the coffee, but to also PAY IT FORWARD.

  • loganwalker-Win
    8/27/2014 - 07:16 p.m.

    Ms. Winslow,
    I think the pay it forward concept is you do something for someone else as a good deed. Thank you.
    Your student,
    Logan Walker

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