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It Started With a Cup of Coffee

December 08, 2010

What do you do if you are inspired to start a little Facebook club, only to find out that club already exists? If you’re David Del Mundo, you merge with the other group.

This week, Del Mundo began a good deeds group on his Facebook after he was one of the benefactors of a stranger who anonymously bought him a cup of coffee. The stranger actually bought several cups of coffee with as much as a $20 bill would cover. Del Mundo then did the same thing, giving another group of patrons a free cup of coffee, thereby "paying it forward".

The incident made him feel so good he went home and put on his Facebook page the challenge -- or invitation - to his friends to also do a good deed that inspires another good deed. The idea took off and his Facebook soon documented many stories of kindness. He was then contacted by the founder of the Pay It Forward group, so they merged and now there are over 600,000 fans in 28 countries around the world who have been inspired to pass on a good deed. The good deeds have included not only coffee, but entire grocery bills, free lottery tickets, and meals in fast food drive-thru lines.

The original good deed that inspired Play It Forward might not have been a free cup of coffee, but a book, movie and website have spread the word. April 28 was designated as the day to do the good deeds. The official website - Payitforwardday.com - actually encourages people to do random acts of kindness on a daily basis, not just once a year. But every year on April 28 the word is spread.

A cup of coffee might seem like a small thing, but it’s the resulting snowball effect of inspiration that is amazing.




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