At the drive-thru in Loveland, Colorado more and more people are pulling up to the pick-up window to find they owe nothing. That's right, nothing. They're then told the person ahead of them paid their bill. "It kind of almost took my breath away for a minute," said Lindell Green, a Loveland resident. "It was just such a wonderful surprise." Green then paid for the person behind him. It's a simple idea of pay-it-forward and it seems that an unnamed revolution is building around it! This video from CNN shares more.


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  • Regina

    Thank you Cloe and Blair for thinking a little deeper than the surface on videos like these. Personally I would not go as far as being certain it was started via a marketing ploy, but I would not rule it out. Starbucks (among others) has been known for using some "innovative" marketing ploys exploiting cultural trends . No one can claim for sure "who started it" at Starbucks, that's impossible, unless a "whistle blower" who got paid by the company proofs it to be so. Notwithstanding whoever started it, I am sure Starbucks like most companies will be happy to exploit it for indirect advertising via videos like these. Good diversion tactic to some of their exploitative and "void of kindness or even basic human decency" business practices in other countries (which some improved, but only due to petitions and exposure of the same). But whether or not Starbucks was behind this initially or not, doesn't concern me as much. My husband and I love coffee and when we are on travel we visit coffee shops a lot. Most people getting coffee at Starbucks or like coffee shops are not living in poverty nor do they care much if the coffee they are drinking is fair trade and if any human suffering went into producing this cup they are holding. I am not saying that everyone should stop drinking coffee, but CARING and addressing the issue would be more important than paying for someone in line behind you, who you know will be able to pay him/herself and may not even appreciate. If they are standing in line, they for sure have the money available to pay themselves. To give a meal and/or a cup of coffee or whatever needed to a homeless person or someone you know can usually not afford it and consider it a "special Treat", I strongly feel be worthy of a "Karma Tube or alike video". This one is at least "questionable".

  • Cloe

    Thanks, Blair, you said it. I am not a fan of feeling manipulated and pay-it-forward at Starbucks always makes me ill. I'm not a sucker and this has never happened anywhere but Starbucks. For those who are not bothered by it, carry on. I'd rather buy my own drink than participate in the artifice of giving.

  • Greg Saul

    I liked it because my wife does this kind of stuff all of the time. Just last week she had a gentleman standing behind her in line at a restaurant, and she paid for his meal without him knowing that she did. When he went to pay the cashier she said the lady in front of you bought your lunch which was around ten bucks. After he was finished he came up to my wife as she was still there and said thank you for openong my eyes to the needs of other people who might not be so fortunate. He then gave her some money to cover his lunch and said thank you ther must be somebody out there that needs it more than me. My wife said thank you, and blessings as she put the money in her pocket. She was later shopping for some school clothes for some kids and went to settle up at the cash register and when she pulled out the money this guy had given her back was a one hundred dollar bill! She started crying and the clerk was asking her if everthing was allright, and she said yes and told what happened. The clerk was so impressed that got ahold of the manager and gave them fifteen percent off of the entire purchase to say thanks for paying it forward.

  • George

    There's a lot of love out there in the world, despite the hatred that forms a cloud of hopelessness over the human race, a sliver of generosity still shines through

  • Admiin

    @Katie - how wonderful to know about your mother's spirit of generosity and kindness! She has inspired and kindled that spirit in so many others.

  • Katie

    My mother was the one who started this in Loveland :) She used to do when we lived back in Saint Louis too.

  • Anonymous

    A message to Blair - It is interesting. I did this at a Starbucks in Virginia and the next day the Batista told me it had continued for 23 cars. I don't think it is a marketing ploy (and my field is marketing). Another point - Anyone buying Starbucks coffee isn't in need of a free coffee. The point isn't the gift. The point is, hey guy in the car behind me, even if you are anonymous, you are a person and just for a second I thought about you specifically, with kindness. We all deserve to be thought of with kindness.

  • Arlan Berglas

    The Pass It Forward Movement was so impressed with this video we have highlihgted it on our website for your

  • Emily

    Oh Blair, don't be such a skeptic. Pay it forward anywhere but Starbucks if you must but pay it forward. It will do your heart good!

  • Gautam Chaudhury

    A ray of hope

  • Heather

    Loveland is also a delicious town that happily postmarks valentines for people all over the country and world. Rock on, Loveland!

  • Blair in Vancouver

    Hate to burst the bubble - it's a great thing to do - but the multiple references to Starbucks and ubiquitous presence of Starbucks icons and logos, as well as the source being CNN, indicate that this is a clever piece of marketing by the company akin to paid product placement in films. The offhand inclusion of a reference to a non-chain coffee shop is intended to make this less obvious. I think Karmatube is a great concept and the urge to be positive is a great one; however let's not allow this urge to see the positive make us more credulous and easily manipulated in a commercial world that has, after all, made manipulation into a fine art. The majority of psychologists in the U.S. are, after all, employed by advertisers.

  • Page 1

  • Next time you're at a coffee shop, or a toll booth, or a restaurant, pay for someone you don't know.  Better yet, hand them a Smile Card too.

  • A restaurant in Berkeley operates without any checks.  Tell a friend about this "gift-economy" concept.

  • Write a story of an experience when a stranger tagged you with kindness and email it to your friends!

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