The New Trend In Random Acts Of Kindness That’s Going Viral

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A world-wide social movement is coming to a coffee house near you: suspended coffee.

No, this isn’t a new-fangled type of coffee that’s made while it hovers in mid-air, and it certainly doesn’t stay suspended in the cup by a complicated web of sugar. Suspended coffee is coffee that you don’t even drink.

Someone else in need does. Also called “pending coffee,” suspended coffee is the advance purchase of a cup of coffee for someone who needs it.

You order your beverage as usual, and then simply tell the cashier that you’re also paying for a suspended coffee. Later, when a homeless person or someone in need comes in, he/she can enjoy a fresh cup without having to pay for it.

The concept was created by John Sweeney, a social entrepreneur and kindness coach from Cork, Ireland, and he’s been promoting the idea for a couple years now. He based it off of an old tradition developed in the working class cafes of Naples, Italy, where citizens would buy a cup of coffee for someone else as a way of paying it forward, or as an act of goodwill.

“Everybody matters and deserves to be cared about,” says John. “No one should ever feel alone when one kind act – something as simple as a smile, a conversation or a cup of coffee – can change the course of their day and even their lives.”

Here, John gives a TED Talk on why kindness matters, and talks more about this movement. (Check out the Facebook page for suspended coffees here.)

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C. Kramer is back in the Mitten State after a brief residency in the Sunshine State. She has an adorable dog-child, and enjoys reading, writing, going to the theatre, and finding pins on Pinterest.