DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - Paying for the person's food in the car behind you or buying your coffee and the coffee of the person in line after you has been done before. Have you heard of suspension? Suspended Coffee Decatur is adding a twist to the Pay it Forward concept. Volunteers are hoping to start a positive movement in the River City.
There's a lot going on behind the counter at Java Jaay Cafe in Decatur. Coffee is brewing and sandwiches are being made, but it's this bright pink sign that caught customer Jane Johnson's attention.
"I saw the sign for the suspended coffee and I thought that's a great idea, so I bought three of them," says Johnson.
The three, pre-paid coffees are for someone in need to enjoy.
"I just enjoy doing things for people," says Johnson.
Doing things for others is the concept at the center of Suspended Coffee Decatur.
"Suspension is for people who are in need," explains Sue Grumbir, group leader for Suspended Coffee Decatur. "It may not just be homeless people. It could be a mom with four kids and she can't afford a coffee for the day."
It's also for people who are out of work or if you forgot your wallet. Anyone in need can go into a participating business in Decatur and ask if a suspended product or service is being offered.
"Rather than them coming in saying I can`t afford a coffee today, all they have to say is do you have any suspended coffees available today?"
The goal is to remove the shame and negativity associated with needing help.
"If they come in and say I can`t afford it, that just makes them feel worse than they already feel," says Grumbir. "It's not for us to judge who is in need."
A person could need more than just coffee. That's why other businesses are getting on board, like Denise's Doggie Den in Moulton.
"I thought it was really worthwhile," says owner Denise Tortora.
Tortora often sees customers struggling to pay for grooming services.
"There are other services as well," explains Tortora. "I thought if I could set an example for the other service oriented businesses in town, that would be an awesome way to start out."
It's catching on. Other businesses are getting involved like B.B. Perrin's Sports Bar and Frille, where you can suspend a meal, and Beautiful Edge Salon, where you can suspend hair services. It's a worthwhile cause that anyone can be a part of.
"There's so much negativity going on," says Johnson. "We've got to keep the positive going. I think it should be all over Decatur."
If you pay for a suspended coffee or other service, the business keeps a record of how much money is available, so if someone walks in and asks, they can help them. The $319 we award weekly will go to the three non-profit groups in Decatur that provide volunteers and support for the Suspended Coffee Decatur movement.