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378 People 'Pay It Forward' with Free Coffee at Florida Starbucks

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Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/AP

A woman started an act of kindness chain that lasted for hours at a Starbucks drive-thru in Florida.

She ordered an iced coffee at about 7 a.m. Wednesday in St. Petersburg and asked to pay for the caramel macchiato for the stranger in the car behind her. He returned the favor. The chain kept going as employees began keeping count.

The Tampa Bay Times reports the chain finally ended around 6 p.m. when customer number 379 pulled up and ordered a regular coffee. Barista Vu Nguyen leaned out the window and explained the chain that started earlier in the day, asking if she’d like to participate. She declined, saying she only wanted to pay for her coffee.

Nguyen says he doesn’t believe she understood the concept of paying it forward.

RELATED: Starbucks Starting Program to Help Baristas Earn a College Degree for Free
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