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Pay it forward or pay it backward; everyone wins!

Starbucks proves you can pay it forward. . . or backward
Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Everyone has heard of the maxim “Pay It Forward,” meaning to help someone as you have been helped. However, according to The Blaze on Aug. 21, a Florida Starbucks is proving that you can also pay it backward and make an impact.

It all started when one generous customer asked to pay for the person behind her. That was at 7 a.m. on Wednesday. By the time one customer didn't choose to participate, 378 orders had been paid for.

It just goes to show that all it takes is one person to start a charity chain reaction. The Starbucks baristas were so amazed, they started to keep a tally on a green piece of paper posted near the drive-through. By 1:30 p.m., the tally was 260 customers paying it forward. . . or backward as the case may be.

Tim Burnside, 19, actually paid it backward in the morning and returned later on to see if it was still going on. It was. So he did it again, just to keep it going. “It’s nice just to do a random act of kindness for someone you don’t know,” he told The Tribune.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. When customer 379 came through the drive-up, the baristas excitedly told the woman in the white jeep what was going on and did she want to pay it forward. No, she didn't. She wanted to pay for her $2.25 cup of coffee and leave. The baristas feel she didn't really understand what had been going on.

But even though it came to an end, 378 people were helped by the kindness of others. And 378 people got the warm fuzzies that only come from helping others.

Most customers said that this simple act of paying for the person behind them made a positive impact on their day. Another customer, Lexie Kane, only 17, said, “It makes your day better, I think.” That’s a wise young lady.

What will you do to pay it forward?