Good Things Happen: Paying it forward, invisible battles, Tim Titus Day

Welcome to Good Things Happen, a monthly roundup of the best real-life moments from Starbucks stores worldwide.

A random act of kindness, with a twist

Our first good thing takes us to Green, Ohio, for a pay-it-forward story – with a twist. Mackenzie Mauller, a 19-year-old college student at Kent State University stopped by her local Starbucks to order herself a caramel macchiato. She felt like doing something nice, so she told the barista she wanted to buy coffee for the person behind her in line at the drive-thru. Later that day, she found a note in her mailbox.

The note was from Nicole Clawson, a 32-year-old mother of two who cried when she found out a stranger had paid for her coffee; her father recently died, and she is going through a rough patch. It turns out the two are neighbors. “I felt it necessary for you to know that what you did for me was more than just a coffee,” Clawson wrote.

Mauller’s tweet and Clawson’s thank you note quickly went viral on Twitter. Mauiller followed up with Clawson, and even offered to babysit sometime.

“It's really weird having it go viral,” Mauller said. “If anything, it has made me realize truly how much you can impact someone’s day just by being kind.”

Mackenzie Mauller and Nicole Clawson realized they were neighbors after Mauller paid it forward at their local Starbucks.

Honking horns and invisible battles

Speaking of random acts of kindness, Tiffany Jenkins took paying it forward to a new level at a Starbucks a few states away in Florida. When the person behind her in the drive-thru got angry and started honking at her when she didn’t pull forward immediately at her turn, Jenkins – a popular vlogger and blogger – “retaliated” in a surprising way, by paying for her order and “trying to be as kind as I possibly can.”

Her humorous and heartfelt video about the incident has gotten nearly 40,000 views on YouTube.

Tim Titus Day

Tim Titus has been a partner at the Starbucks in St. Louis Park, Minn., since it opened. When city officials got news of the 69-year-old Starbucks partner’s retirement, they proclaimed Aug. 5, 2018 as Tim Titus Day in the city. At a picnic to celebrate his retirement, the mayor read from the Tim Titus Day proclamation: "Tim demonstrates the power that one individual can have in making St. Louis Park a caring, welcoming place by how he treats his customers, who consider Tim a friend.”

Titus's wife of 44 years, Karen, his children and his grandchildren attended the party as well.

Titus has a master's degree in public health, and his first career was in adolescent addiction prevention. After he retired, He worked at Starbucks for 15 years and eight months  

"I helped open the Starbucks in St. Louis Park after I retired, and I worked for Starbucks for 15 years and 8 months," Titus said.

A welcome sign

In San Francisco this month, a group of deaf tourists from the United Kingdom were surprised when they realized their barista at Starbucks was deaf as well. Ayisha Knight-Shaw was able to communicate with them using American Sign Language (ASL), and though most of them use British Sign Language (BSL), they were delighted, and able to chat just fine.

“I’m so proud Ayisha was such an amazing ambassador and made this group of customers feel so welcome and included,” said her manager Andres Campos, who captured video of the moment.


Pure kindness

Remember the story of Starbucks partner Chris Lopez who helped save young Sydney Johansson’s senior picture photo session on a very stormy day in Colorado?

This month, the city of Fountain presented Lopez with the “Pure Colorado Award” for his kindness.

Laura Johansson, Sydney Johansson and Starbucks barista Chris Lopez at the award ceremony.

thumbnail for Photo essay: Caps off to the class of 2024

Photo essay: Caps off to the class of 2024