Val Spring runs a cafe in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. One day, an exhausted single mother came into her store. Her kids were being fussy.
“‘I couldn’t get my kids down for a nap, and I just need a cup of coffee,'” Val recalled the mother telling her to Fox 43. “I said, ‘Well you’re in luck. Because you’re having a bad day, your coffee is free — and go pick out a pastry.'”
A customer had come in earlier that day and told Val to pay it forward to another customer. They left a donation to cover a coffee and a pastry.
The mother was ecstatic. It was exactly the pick-me-up she needed. When Val saw the expression on her face, she got to thinking.
“I thought, ‘Well this could be a thing,'” Val recalls.
That’s when she decided to create a “corkboard of compassion.” Customers can leave donations and place a card on the corkboard. The donations can be addressed to a single mom or dad, police officer, or someone having a bad day.
“You’re doing something for someone you don’t even know,” Dan Albert, a customer of Val’s said. “I definitely want to be a part of that.”
The wonderful thing is the chain reaction this has created. When customers see others doing good deeds, they instantly want to do it, too. Many customers want to give back to the community but don’t always know how. This is a simple way to do it with their morning coffee while supporting a local business.
“It’s just kinda brought everyone together a little bit more,” Val says.
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