MADISON, Ala. – All this month, we’ve been Paying it Forward by doing random acts of kindness. This week, we head to Madison to surprise some of the lunch time crowd and ask them something other than, would you like fries with that?
The last thing some people were expecting when they went to grab lunch at the Wendy’s in Madison was a guy with a microphone followed by two camera guys walking up and offering to pay for their meal. Not one person said no when I asked if I could buy their lunch. “Well, okay. That’s just fine by me,” one guy told me. A woman I surprised smiled and simply said, “Well sure.”
It’s amazing how little it costs to make someone feel good or put a smile on their face. In the case of one customer, it only cost $8.68. “You made my day. That’s for sure,” he told me with a smile. For more than an hour, we tried to pay for as many orders as we could. Inside, our offer was followed by, “Well, that’s alright with me. That’s a blessing and I’ll take it.” And outside, “Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Thank y’all.”
Something as simple as buying lunch for someone you don`t even know, can help make somebody’s day a little better. “Kelly Rohacek stopped after getting her order and told us, “I was actually treating my daughter and my granddaughters to dinner today and now I don’t have to pay for it. I’m kinda crying. Thank you so much.”
You can imagine some of the reactions we got when people in the drive thru got the good news. A Wendy’s employee surprised them with “WHNT News 19. They’re doing a random act of kindness today and they’re paying for you food.” Pat Elrod and her sister were like kids in a candy store. “We’re probably not going to be able to eat it now. We’re too excited,” she said. In the short time I talked with her, I could tell she’s thinking how she can pay it forward to someone down the road. “Oh yeah. We have to. We don’t have any choice,” Pat told me. “How can we live in this world and not do that.”
And that`s what we were hoping, to get people thinking about doing their own random act of kindness. Suzy Owens told us, “That made my day. Thank you. I’ll have to pay it forward.” That’s exactly what Sara Payne did. She offered to pay for the person behind her in the drive thru. “What about the people behind us,” she asked. Sara was told we were taking care of it. “And the people behind them too,” she asked. She was told again, we were taking care of them. But she wasn’t giving up. And the third time was the charm. “Is there anybody I can pay for inside,” she asked. She handed the girl in the window a 20 dollar bill and told her to give it to the next person to order at the counter. Sara told me that’s the way it’s supposed to work. “If somebody would do it for me, do it for somebody else. I just did it,” she said. It’s a good feeling and the world needs more of that. Sara agreed.