Monday, 7 September 2009

The power of generosity!

Its been almost two weeks since a woman came into the Steamin’ Bean, 1875 N.W. Missouri 7, and wanted to pay for the order behind her.

She told the cashier “she just wanted to do her good deed for the day.”

And that “good deed,” that small random act of kindness has spurred a phenomenon of sorts in the small Blue Springs coffee shop.

As of Wednesday morning when the Steamin’ Bean opened for business, manager Michelle Wilkinson said there have been 1,079 customers who have paid for the person behind them — and it was still going strong.

“That was just when we opened today,” she told the Journal Wednesday evening. "I'm sure we have much more now.”

Steamin’ Bean customers were so enthused about paying it forward that some even donated more than just a cup of coffee.

The shop had a fund of more than $100 as of Wednesday evening. So even if a customer does not choose to participate — the fund still keeps the campaign going.

Wilkinson said the Steamin' Bean plans to attempt to end the program this weekend and then donate the money left in the fund to charity.

She wasn’t sure which charity the fund would go to, but said the coffee shop would most likely go through the Community Services League.

The Steamin’ Bean co-owner Garin Bledsoe even took some of the fund to other Blue Springs businesses last week including the Big Biscuit, Zarda’s and Clancy’s in hopes of getting the ball rolling all over Blue Springs.

And while Wilkinson said those pay it forward chains only lasted throughout the day, she still hears people talk about them.

“They are bigger orders and a different process so it didn't last as long as ours have, but I still hear people that were at The Big Biscuit that day talk about it.”

The length of the chain came as a shock to many at the Steamin' Bean.

Bledsoe said last week that while these types of things have happened before, they haven’t ever lasted this long — and were usually spurred by the holidays.

But probably the most surprised was the woman who started it all.

“The girl that started it is still in shock about it all," Wilkinson said. "She comes in every morning and still can't believe its going on.”

“People have good hopes and spirits even though times are tough and they just want to do something to keep their spirits high,” Bledsoe said.

This came to my attention via an e mail from stewardship

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