#18 Pay for the person behind you.

I woke up today with a slight hangover (damn you, jumbo wine) and a whopper of a cold. This was disappointing, as the act of kindness I had slotted in for today was to help cook a meal for the Ronald McDonald House in Toronto, a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children.

Unfortunately germs and food preparation don’t mix. I still think this is a wonderful organization to be involved with and am looking at other volunteer opportunities with them (maybe ones that don’t showcase my embarrassingly rudimentary cooking skills) – so stay tuned!

Every morning when I get to the office, the first thing I do is go make myself some pretty crappy (but free!) coffee in the lunchroom. Today, the machine was broken. After attempting to unplug and plug it in a few times – which has never failed me before – I dejectedly crawled to the nearest Starbucks in what I can only describe as a caffeine-withdrawal haze.

By the time I found myself in the packed Starbucks line, I was pretty rattled by my uncooperative sinuses, the 50 “urgent” work emails blowing up my phone and the $3 I was about to spend on an overpriced coffee.

As I approached the next available barista, he greeted me with an Australian accent and a huge smile. He asked me how my morning was going and nodded understandingly as I shrugged my shoulders and scrunched my face. “Tomorrow is a new day, love,” he winked as he handed me my coffee.

I decided at that moment that a) Australian accents are magical and b) this was the opportunity to turn my day around with an act of kindness.

As he handed me back my $7 in change I asked him to apply it to the next person’s bill. Before he could say anything, I grabbed my cup, shot him a dazzling smile and headed back to the office to tackle my inbox. And as the first hit of that sweet, sweet caffeine reached my bloodstream, I hoped that someone out there was enjoying their free coffee.

Total Kindness Cost: $7

Have you ever paid for someone behind you in line or had someone pay for you?




  1. I was following my brother-in-law to one of niece’s concerts about 15 years ago. When I pulled up to the toll booth behind him, the toll collector told me my brother-in-law had paid my toll. What a surprise! Since then I have done the same from time to time for others behind me.

    My Rotary Club makes dinner at our local Ronald McDonald House once a month. It’s a great thing to do.

    And Australian accents – no contest!

    • That’s awesome. I don’t drive but love the toll booth idea. I would be blown away if someone did that for me.

      It seems like a wonderful organization to volunteer for. I’m looking into opportunities where maybe I can even lend my professional skills to some of their upcoming events.

      And on the Australian accents, I hope to visit the land under one day VERY soon to bask in the glory of them. 🙂

  2. Random acts of kindness are a regular thing my son and I practice. There is a heavy population of homeless in our town, so I carry blessing bags in my suitcase aka my purse, to hand out discreetly as I walk to work.

    • Hi Nelly,

      That’s pretty awesome that you are teaching your son to do these things – I’m sure that it is something he will carry through in his own life.

      Thanks for sharing!

  3. Love these! I do this for strangers and it gives me the greatest joy! Keep spreading the love with your blog 🙂

    • Thanks, Mama. Appreciate you taking the time to comment. 🙂

  4. Such a cool (and kind) idea – I love it. And I am Australian – thanks for the shout out to our fellow Aussie over there! Have a fabulous day 365daysofkindness

    • Thanks, Dominique! Hope you had a fab day as well. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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