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Woman starts day-long 'pay it forward' chain at Starbucks

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There's been a lot of terrible, depressing, disheartening news coming from what feels like every corner of the globe lately, from Gaza to Russia to our own backyard in Ferguson. But finally there's a story about the warmth and kindness that we as humans can display to one another, even if it's through something as beautifully simple as a cup of coffee. In St. Petersburg, Florida this morning one woman started a random act of kindness in her local Starbucks that would last for eleven hours and an impressive 379 people.

This morning at around 7 a.m. a woman pulled through the Starbucks drive-thru, ordered her iced coffee and when she went to pay she told the barista that she would also be paying for the caramel macchiato of the stranger behind her. To everyone's pleasant surprise, when he received his caramel macchiato he paid it forward and bought the drink of the person behind him as well.

The employees of the St. Petersburg Starbucks were delighted as everyone in line repeated the kind act all the way until about 6 p.m. when a woman who ordered a regular coffee, presumably after a long day of work, broke the amazingly long chain after barista Vu Nguyen explained the day's occurrence to her but she chose to only pay for her own drink. Nguyen mentioned that he didn't think that the customer totally understood the idea of paying it forward.

The chain may have been broken in a rather anti-climactic fashion but this will surely be a shift to remember for all the baristas who clocked in today. Maybe tomorrow morning you'll buy a stranger's coffee, too.