Pay for Someone Behind Me in a Drive-Thru Line


An old photo of a coffee colada from a long night studying at the library, but you guys get the point 🙂


The other day, I crossed this one off my “Kind Acts & Volunteering” bucket list. After getting some of my internship work done, I decided it was a beautiful day to sit out back by the pool; this decision meant it was also a perfect day to get a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee.

I had been craving iced coffee for the past couple of days and was pretty excited to relax by the pool with it (it’s the little things, huh?). I then realized that  if I used the drive-thru (Who am I kidding? I typically always use the drive-thru if there is one!), I could cross another item off my bucket list!

After ordering my drink and driving up to the window, I gave the guy there an extra five dollars and told him to put it toward the person behind me in line. He looked a little confused at first, so I pointed behind me and re-explained to make sure the money went toward his or her order. He was nice enough to tell me that he/she only ordered an iced coffee as well and gave me about $2.50 back, which I thought was both kind and honest. Still, I was happy I’d gotten the chance to pay for someone’s drink.

“Your husband?” the man at the window asked me. I smiled and told him no, I just wanted to do something nice and he smiled back. I purposely drove away immediately so there was no chance the driver could pull up next to me and thank me.

Although $2.50 or so isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things and I only know that the driver was probably male (I didn’t get a chance to look behind me) because of the man at the windows’ question, the thought that I might have made someone’s day a little better made me happy too.

Has anyone else gotten pleasure out of doing something similar? Or does anyone plan on adding a similar item to his or her bucket list? I’d love to hear from you guys!

To find upcoming info or articles featuring inspirational stories/people, please check out my new Facebook & Twitter pages if you guys get a chance!

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159 Responses to Pay for Someone Behind Me in a Drive-Thru Line

  1. Thanks for the follow!! I’m really enjoying your blog and the insights you’re giving! I’ll just have to do this bucket list thing for real now!

  2. Always good to pay it forward!

  3. taniaknowsbest says:

    Reblogged this on Tania Knows Best and commented:
    A perfect example of RAOK: Random Acts Of Kindness.

  4. tideeyed says:

    When I was little, my family used to cross the Carquinez Bridge a lot. The toll was $1. We LOVED paying for the car behind us. The people would always speed up to smile and wave thanks, and we would wave back with giant smiles. People frequently paid for us as well, so it was pretty common. To this day, this is one of my favorite things to do. Not that I live anywhere near a toll bridge anymore, but just paying for the person behind me in line. It’s a simple way to brighten BOTH of your days – the giver and the receiver. High five for a job well done! 😀

  5. djtoasterbiscuit says:

    I am always a fan of this idea. I do this sometimes when passing through a toll booth. If I have an extra $4 and it is around rush hour, I’ll gladly pay for the next person who drives through. There have been a couple times I’ve been so spontaneous, that I’ll find myself at a toll booth without cash. Each time, the attendant paid for me. I figure that they were so kind to me, I may as well do it for other people. And who knows, maybe the person was getting low on gas? I just helped them put a gallon of gas in their tank.

  6. I’m getting inspired to do something this! 😀

  7. KraftedKhaos says:

    LOL… I put this on my suggestion list for my blog post tonight, and had no idea you’d just done it because I somehow missed this post. Anywho… just to let you know, I featured your blog in my post tonight, and you also inspired me to do a Random Act Of Kindness (one I’d been meaning to do, but had neglected it for far too long) which I will post about either later this morning, or tomorrow night.

    You do such a great thing here, and you inspire countless acts of goodwill… getting lots of good karma, young lady 🙂

  8. khandoitnow says:

    Where do you intern and I think I’m gonna do this too!

  9. Simmy says:

    That’s such a nice idea. It’s so simple yet I’m sure it made his day!

  10. ouidepuis1 says:

    I recently read something about ‘suspended coffees’ which basically means you pay for a coffee and someone who is poor or homeless can come in and ask if there are any suspended coffees available and they get it for free. Some places also do suspended meals or soft drinks or whatnot. You’d have to have faith in the place you buy it from for someone else, but I guess that is always they case. I love how sweet you are!

    • Wow, that’s so cool, I never knew about that 🙂 I agree that you have to have faith in the place you buy from, but that would be awesome if they follow through! I will have to check this out, and aww thank you so much!

  11. I had been craving iced coffee for the past couple of days and was pretty excited to relax by the pool with it (it’s the little things, huh?). I then realized that if I used the drive-thru (Who am I kidding? I typically always use the drive-thru if there is one!), I could cross another item off my bucket list!

  12. I love this! I’ve paid for the groceries of the person in front of me at the store (a woman whose card wasn’t working and she was buying some essentials like milk, bread, eggs, etc.).

    • Aww that was so nice of you 🙂 I bet it made you feel good too!

      • It did, though I’m more comfortable with doing nice things anonymously, as I feel uncomfortable having attention drawn to myself for things like that.

      • Yes, I like that idea. It’s one of the main problems I’ve been having about writing these posts since, as you said, its ten times more fulfilling doing a kind act and then not telling anyone about it. To combat that dilemma, I’ve been trying to do a mix of ones I write about and ones I tell no one about 🙂 Very good point though!

  13. tommyshaw says:

    I had something similar happen to me in China. I met a Chinese couple at a restaurant and they had a beer sent to my table, after we shared a couple more they headed off and it wasn’t until I went to pay my food bill that I found out they had taken care of it before they left. Helps restore faith in humanity.

  14. Pingback: Kind Acts Bucket List | Turquoise Compass

  15. Pingback: Pay for Someone Behind Me in a Drive-Thru Line | TaniaKnowsBest

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