Dairy Queen Drive-Thru Customers Spark ‘Pay It Forward’ Chain of Kindness Nearly 1,000 Cars Long

Nearly 1,000 customers at a Dairy Queen drive-thru in Minnesota took part in a kindness chain last weekend that lasted for two whole days.

Tina Jensen, general manager of the Dairy Queen in Brainerd, told ABC affiliate KTRK it’s not unheard of for customers to pay for what the person behind them ordered as a random act of kindness.

When that happens, employees will typically ask the customer whose order was paid for if they want to do the same, and at most, the chain will stretch for 15 to 20 cars before it breaks.

But on the afternoon of Thursday, Dec. 3, a customer sparked a chain that would take more than 900 customers all the way through Saturday night.

Jensen told NBC affiliate KARE that the recipient of the first act of kindness was surprised to learn that the man in front of her had paid for her order.

“She’s like, ‘Really? Why would he do that?’” she recalled. “I said, ‘We just have it every once in a while where someone will take care of the person behind them, and today is your lucky day.’”

The woman kept it going – and by closing time on Thursday, there was $10 left over to put toward orders the next morning, KTRK reported. Then, someone called to donate an additional $80 to help kick things off even further on Friday.

“One lady, she was so excited, she threw us a $20 bill, almost in tears. ‘Are you serious? This is really going on?’” Jensen told KARE. “I said, ‘Yep, you are about 125 cars into it.’ She said, ‘For real? Can you believe this?’”

Heidi Bruse told CNN that she stopped by the Dairy Queen and took part on Friday night, and that she felt as though it had helped “restore [her] faith in humanity.”

“The way the world is now, you see a lot of anger, tension and selfish behavior,” she said. “What we witnessed was pure kindness and it was a breath of fresh air really.”

When all was said and done, and more than $10,000 in orders had reportedly been paid for, the store shared a post on Facebook expressing gratitude for all the customers who’d joined together to make it happen.

“Wow. It’s hard for us to come up with the right words to say,” the store wrote on Facebook. “THIS is what we stand for, THIS is Dairy Queen… You brought smiles and maybe even a little tears to our whole crew and we’re sure to you as well.”

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