Coffee customers paying it forward ignite chain reaction of goodwill

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Coffee lovers will wait in lines no matter how long for a little liquid pick-me-up. Sarah Liesen frequents a Starbucks off Main Street so often she has "a usual."

"A skinny vanilla latte grande. And I had my dog with me, so a puppy whip cream on the side," she described.

But this time, her order was anything but usual. Liesen was getting ready to pay her five dollar order at the drive-thru window when...

"He said, 'oh, the guy in front of you, he already paid for your drink,'" she recalled. This happened around 9:30 a.m.

It started with someone willing to pay for the person behind them in line. From there, it's a chain reaction of goodwill.

"I was kind of shocked, kind of like, 'wait, what? It took a little while to register. I've never had that happen to me before. And I said, 'oh that's so nice.' It feels so good, kind of like a warm fuzzy feeling inside," said Liesen.

Though this is a first for Liesen, Starbucks supervisor Lydia Rentschler says it happens at least once a week at the Main Street location.

"I find that Kansas City people are so nice and that our customers really just love to love each other," said Rentschler

A drink at Starbucks ranges from two to seven dollars. Liesen paid for the driver behind her, whose order cost twice as much hers.

"It feels really great and I wanted the person behind me to have that same feeling," she said.

This act of kindness continued for more than 13 orders.