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Acts Of Kindness Continue At Corner Perk Cafe

Sat, December 29, 2012 6:11pm

Story by NPR Staff




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The Corner Perk Cafe in Bluffton, S.C.

In January, we brought you a story from Bluffton, S.C., where acts of kindness abounded at a small coffee shop called the Corner Perk Cafe.

It all began when one of the cafe's regulars decided to "pay it forward." She donated $100 to buy other customers' coffee.

Since our story first aired, Corner Perk owner Josh Cooke says that he's received letters, postcards and visitors from all around the world. He's done interviews with the Toronto Star, a radio station in Ireland, "and a guy translated the story into Chinese and posted it to Chinese Yahoo, on their news story page, which is wild," Cooke says.

But publicity isn't the only thing that's increased, so have the acts of kindness. A nearby toll bridge in Hilton Head Island has seen an increase in people paying for the car behind them, and Cooke estimates that about 100 people have come into his coffee shop this year, donating thousands of dollars to others.

"A lot of times it's like a chain reaction, where somebody will start it and leave a 5, a 10 or a 20," Cooke says.

All of the attention and money has been great for business, Cooke admits, but it's customers' reactions that continue to floor him. He remembers one particularly frazzled woman, who forgot her money at home.

"We're like, 'Actually, someone's paid for your drink already,' " Cooke recalls, "She just kind of like, broke down and was like, 'I really needed that today, that just gives me the encouragement and strength to go on,' which was just a blessing, you know."

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