When one person engages in a single act of kindness, we imagine the hope is that it will be followed by other acts of kindness.
That was overwhelmingly the case at a Minnesota Dairy Queen last week.
Tina Jensen, the store manager at the Brainard Dairy Queen, told KARE-TV one man paid for the car behind him, and it spawned a marathon of acts of kindness that lasted nearly two and a half days, between more than 900 vehicles.
“The lady pulled up and I said, ‘Just to let you know, the gentleman in front of you paid for your order,’” Jensen said. “‘If you like, I can pay it forward and you can pay for the order behind you and we can keep this going.’ She’s like, ‘Really? Why would he do that?’ I said, ‘We just have it every once in a while, where someone will take care of the person behind them, and today is your lucky day.’”
The woman didn’t want the luck to end with her, so she too paid for the car behind her. That began the waterfall of paying it forward.
As the number grew, customers began getting excited about the chain.
“One lady, she was so excited, she threw us a $20 bill almost in tears,” Jensen said. “‘Are you serious? This is really going on?’ I said, ‘Yep, you are about 125 cars into it.’ She said, ‘For real -- can you believe this?’”
Jensen said it was the best day she’d had on the job in a long time, and at the end of it, she made a Facebook post saying someone had donated to keep the act of kindness going into the next day.
And just like that, customers continued paying it forward into the following day.
After nearly three days, the acts of kindness ended at more than 900 cars paying it forward.
At the end of the chain, Jensen had a perspective to share.
“No matter what hard times anyone is going through, just take care of each other, you know? That’s what it is: Take care of each other.”
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