COFFEE. HYPERPOLITENESS. A crowd-wave mentality. What could be more Northwest than the mass good-deed fest that went down in Marysville in December? A woman in a Marysville Starbucks drive-through began a ripple effect of generosity at 8am on a Wednesday when she paid for the coffee order of the car behind her. For nearly 48 hours customers continued the trend, and more than 1,000 people left the store with hearts as warm as their lattes.

Shift manager Jill Fox said the marathon of giving continued thanks to barista Michael Smith, a freshman at the University of Washington. “The lady came through and it caught momentum, then he kept it going,” Fox explains, “and he was there for 10 and a half hours without a break until I finally sent him home.”

Fox recalls one gentleman moved to tears when he heard what was happening. “He was confused at first, but when we explained it to him he started crying and said it was the nicest thing he’d ever heard.” Customer Nicole Tamayo was equally impressed: “I would have done it if there were 10 people in the car behind me.”

So, how did the wave of philanthropy end? Says Fox, “On Friday morning a woman who was in a hurry just said ‘Thanks,’ and left.”

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