Dozens Participate In Spontaneous Pay-It-Forward At Starbucks Drive-Thru

BETHEL PARK (KDKA) — It’s like any other drive-thru, but the Starbucks on Library Road had dozens of customers who did something special.

“They like… just felt like joy, and they were like, that’s so awesome of them, so they just wanted to do the exact same thing,” Logan Norris, a barista at Starbucks, told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Tuesday.

It’s called “Pay It Forward,” popularized in a movie by the same name.

Movie Trailer: “This is the one. Just pay it forward. Pay it forward. It’s like this idea. Just pay it forward. Three big favors for three other people.”

When someone does you a kindness, do it for someone else.

Norris was working the Starbucks window at 9 a.m. when a customer offered to buy coffee for the strangers in the car behind him.

“It started out by… someone just came up and they wanted to do just that and pay it forward, and it just kept going,” said Norris.

Drive-thrus have become as American as apple pie.

But what makes the one at Starbucks in Bethel Park a bit unusual is the number of people who are willing to pay for the drinks of those coming behind them.

“I was the 137th person to pay it forward, to buy it forward today by buying the coffee today,” noted Danielle Yerkey of Pleasant Hills.

“That’s what I just did. I bought two of them,” she admitted, laughing.

So how many cars participated?

“Well, that was just about 30 more that went through. I know we’re at least up to 160,” said Shelley Papa, another Starbucks barista. “That was the longest by far.”

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Seems like everyone was buying coffee for strangers.

That’s what Barb Wycinsky, of Bethel Park, did.

“Yes, somebody did. It was very pleasant. Thanks,” she said.

So Wycinsky bought for the person behind her.

“It’s a wonderful feeling,” she says.

“I was just thanking the Lord about how beautiful it is and what a nice day in Pittsburgh,” says Yerkey, “and it made me feel really good.”

If a customer wasn’t in the mood to pay it forward, the 20-year-old barista stepped in to pay a couple times.

“I wanted to keep it going, so I didn’t want it to end there,” says Norris.

Not a bad example.

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