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Warms your heart

Hundreds of Greenfield strangers buy each other coffee

GREENFIELD — Spurred by the recent Sandy Hook School shootings, one person’s random act of kindness was passed along for several hours, touching hundreds of customers at a local drive-through this week.

“While working in the drive-through, a lady pulled up to the window and asked to pay for the two cars behind her, as well as her own order,” said Selina Reum, 19, of Greenfield, who works at the Federal Street Dunkin’ Donuts. “She left behind two cards, and asked us to give a card to each of the two cars behind her.”

The cards each contained the name of a victim in last week’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. A note inside asked the recipients to “pass on the love” Wednesday morning.

Reum said she didn’t recognize the woman as one of the shop’s regulars.

The gesture kept going, reaching about 20 customers. Though it died down, the kindness was rekindled a little later.

“A few hours later, another customer pulled up with a list, and asked me if she could also pay for the order after her own,” said Reum. That list contained the names of the 27 Newtown victims.

“She said she was doing one nice thing a day for each victim of the awful tragedy. She was on number five,” said Reum.

When Reum explained the kindness to subsequent customers, they were touched.

“I probably had at least 10 people cry,” said Reum. “It was very emotional, how nice it was.”

It was so touching, said Reum, that nobody told her “no” when she explained the phenomenon and asked if they’d keep it going.

“There were people scrounging up their last pennies to cover the money for an order that wasn’t even theirs,” she said. “One guy ordered a small coffee, which is about $1.50, and ended up paying $17 for the car behind him.”

During lulls in business, she said, a few customers left cash to pay for whoever may come by next.

“After three hours, it was still going on (when I left), and I was told that hours after I left, people were still doing it,” said Reum.

“I got here around 3 p.m., and it went on until 6:30 or 7,” said Tony Mason, night manager at Dunkin Donuts. “Not everybody paid for the next person’s entire order, but almost every single person gave something.”

Reum has worked at the doughnut shop since 2008. She said that every now and then, some kind customer will offer to pay for the car behind them, but it usually fizzles out after a few cars. That was certainly not the case Wednesday.

Reum estimated that as many as 300 customers passed on the warm gesture.

Reum said she was inspired by their acts, and wants to do more for her fellow human beings.

“It was the single most amazing thing I’ve seen in my life,” she said. “There is so much good left in the world, and I saw a lot of it Wednesday.”

David Rainville can be reached at:
drainville@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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