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

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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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Assigned 206 times

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    8/27/2014 - 09:06 p.m.

    I think that it is nice and a good idea to do something amazing for the community. I think that it was a nice thing to do because by helping others, other people get the idea and they try to help others as well. I hope that people will get the right idea and do the same thing as the lady. I think that it is a great idea because it shows that people are trying to make the community a better place.
    Critical thinking challenge: Explain the concept of Pay it Forward.
    Answer: The concept of "Pay it Forward" is so that you pay someone else's bill, who is behind him/her..

  • ryleighd-Win
    8/27/2014 - 10:02 p.m.

    I think what all those people did for about 11 hours is truly amazing and wonderful! This week and the last I paid it forward by helping kids get their books when they dropped them.

  • ryleighd-Win
    8/27/2014 - 10:07 p.m.

    I think that what those customers did for nearly 11 hours was wonderful! This week and the last... I have helped pay it forward by helping kids pick up their book when they dropped them in the hallway.

  • brookej-Sta
    8/28/2014 - 08:33 a.m.

    oh wow that is so amazing I would want to be a leader like her because normaly people would lke to keep their money and not pay for other peoples coffee and for me as a coffee lover i think that is great that the lady did that for a stranger.

  • justinf-Win
    8/28/2014 - 11:35 a.m.

    Paying it forward is when people do random acts of kindness for each other out of their own goodwill. The Starbucks customers bought each other coffee and this continued all day.

  • ryancatone-Win
    8/28/2014 - 04:02 p.m.

    Pay it forward is a random act of kindness that people do. If you pay it forward to somebody else they might pay it forward to another person then they will pay it forward to the other person and a chain will start. That's my comment on pay it forward.

  • amedina0623
    8/28/2014 - 05:06 p.m.

    I think that it's nice to do something for others. Once I was at a Starbucks, me and my sister were talking about how she was short on money and she could only pay for one drink. That made me very sad. So while we were talking the man in front of us over heard us and bought a mocha for me. After my sister paid are drinks were ready the lady told us that the man in front of us bought me a drink we were so grateful. We thank him then left. Just that one man made my in tire day just by doing one little thing!

  • naranda0623
    8/28/2014 - 05:06 p.m.

    I say that the pay it forward at Starbucks is a good thing. I thinks a good thing because you are helping someone out. Once my teacher read a book and its about a diff rent people and they say that if you are nice to people you can be a bucket filler. A bucket filler is when a person has a invisible bucket that they carry around and if people are nice to them they get thier bucket filled. A example would be say if i am nice to someone i could fill their bucket. I be live that the lady should have carried the chain.

  • cadef-Win
    8/28/2014 - 05:23 p.m.

    Paying it forward is a random act of kindness. It starts a chain that the person is paying the persons coffee in front of them. Then the person that got the coffee payed, payed the person that payed for THEIR coffee, and the chain keeps on going on and on.

  • tailerr-Win
    8/28/2014 - 05:38 p.m.

    Basically the concept of," Pay it Forward" is to do a random act of kindness for someone when they do not expect it. An example of it is when a random woman started it, it really became a chain and it really makes you feel good inside to know that someone you do not know has taken the effort to pay for your stuff. And it makes you feel even better when you do it fir another person.

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