Eleven years after a Kevin Spacey film, Pay It Forward, spread the idea, the charitable movement is still alive and well. It made the news again this week, in a story focusing on a small South Carolina coffee shop. The shop, whose customers have engaged in the good deed of paying for the coffees and food of others for two years, shared stories from their experience with the local media. Cord Jefferson described the scene in the small locally-owned Corner Perk coffee shop, located in a town of 12,000 people. The first customer to start the paying forward was a woman who left $100 to be used for coffees for customers until the money ran out. Customers expressed surprise at the beginning, never dreaming they would be getting their latte for free. Making remarks such as “What do you mean? I don’t understand. Are you trying to buy me a coffee today?” Of course recipients tell others and the word has spread around town. That accounts for the interest of the local TV station, which just covered the story. So other customers continue to leave cash at the shop just to pay for the coffees of others. Pay It Forward has a website and a Facebook page which keeps track of the charitable events. Though its promoters stress that every day is a good day to participate, there will be a lot of attention focused on the annual day dedicated to Pay It Forward. That day – April 12th this year – will be here quickly. For ideas on how to increase awareness of the Pay It Forward Day, go to the website. PIFD, as it’s called, is an internationally celebrated event. This year the goal is to inspire 3 million acts of kindness throughout the world, through this venue. That’s a lot of coffee and food and sure to make the world a brighter place.
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