One drive-thru customer's spontaneous act of kindness resulted in a two-day, 900-car pay-it-forward chain at a Dairy Queen restaurant in Brainerd, Minnesota, last week.
According to Twin Cities-Pioneer Press, in the end, about $10,000 worth of food was paid forward during the multi-day chain, which quickly sparked national attention.
It all started when one customer offered to pay the cost of the food ordered by the next customer in line. When that customer came to the payment window they were told there food was paid for and asked if they'd like to cover the cost of the following customer's meal, and that trend continued through the night.
"Everybody paid something forward — either what their bill was or paid for the next car, depending on what they could do," restaurant manager Tina Jensen said.
She noted by the end of Thursday night, $10 was left over in order to keep the chain going the following day. Then another customer called in to donate $80 to the cause, which brought the surplus total to $90. That was enough to propel the chain forward through Friday and well into Saturday.
Pay-It-Forward Chain At Brainerd Dairy Queen Passes $10,000 Mark youtu.be
Jensen said that while pay-it-forward chains tend to happen once every few months, they usually last only about 15 to 20 cars before fizzling out. She said she had never seen something last for more than a day, until this time. She said one customer even came through the line twice.
"There's all different types of ways to help people," Jensen told CNN. "I think this touched a lot of people that we didn't even know it touched, deeper than we know. And you don't know what's going on in a person's life."
"Wow.. It's hard for us to come up with the right words to say," Jensen wrote on the restaurant's Facebook page Wednesday. "You brought smiles and maybe even a little tears to our whole Crew and we're sure to you as well. This is a great act of Humanity, this is what the world needs a little more of. Whether it be to make someone's day, the Holiday Spirit or to just feel like a kid again. Thank You Fans for letting [us] serve you one red spoon at a time! Keep the positivity going, spread the love!"
One customer who participated in the chain, Heidi Bruse, said, "During times like these it kinda restores your faith in humanity a little."
"The way the world is now you see a lot of anger, tension, and selfish behavior. What we witnessed was pure kindness and it was a breath of fresh air really," she added.