NPR

Acts Of Kindness Continue At Corner Perk Cafe

The Corner Perk Cafe in Bluffton, S.C. (Mandi Brower Photography)

In January, we brought you a story from Bluffton, S.C., where acts of kindness abounded at a small coffee shop called the Corner Perk Cafe.

It all began when one of the cafe's regulars decided to "pay it forward." She donated $100 to buy other customers' coffee.

Since our story first aired, Corner Perk owner Josh Cooke says that he's received letters, postcards and visitors from all around the world. He's done interviews with the Toronto Star, a radio station in Ireland, "and a guy translated the story into Chinese and posted it to Chinese Yahoo, on their news story page, which is wild," Cooke says.

But publicity isn't the only thing that's increased, so have the acts of kindness. A nearby toll bridge in Hilton Head Island has seen an increase in people paying for the car behind them, and Cooke estimates that about 100 people have come into his coffee shop this year, donating thousands of dollars to others.

"A lot of times it's like a chain reaction, where somebody will start it and leave a 5, a 10 or a 20," Cooke says.

All of the attention and money has been great for business, Cooke admits, but it's customers' reactions that continue to floor him. He remembers one particularly frazzled woman, who forgot her money at home.

"We're like, 'Actually, someone's paid for your drink already,' " Cooke recalls, "She just kind of like, broke down and was like, 'I really needed that today, that just gives me the encouragement and strength to go on,' which was just a blessing, you know."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

Again, from our journal, stories of things past, we bring you one from Bluffton, South Carolina, where acts of kindness multiplied at the Corner Perk Cafe. It all began when one the regulars decided to pay it forward.

JOSH COOKE: She comes in and says: Here's a $100. I just want to leave this for the next so and so people that come in and get drinks.

LYDEN: That's Josh Cooke, owner of the Corner Perk, talking to us in January. Since our story aired, Cooke says that he's received letters, postcards, visitors from the world over. He's done interviews with the Toronto Star, an Irish radio station.

COOKE: And a guy translated the story into Chinese and posted it on Chinese Yahoo on their news story page, which is wild.

LYDEN: Now, acts of kindness abound there. A nearby toll bridge has seen an increase in people paying for the car behind them, and Cooke estimates that about 100 people have come into the shop donating thousands of dollars for others.

COOKE: A lot of times it's like a chain reaction where somebody will start it and leave a five, a 10 or a 20.

LYDEN: He remembers one particularly frazzled woman who forgot her own money at home.

COOKE: We're like, actually, someone's paid for your drink already. She just kind of, like, broke down and was like, I really needed that today. That just gives me kind of the encouragement and strength to go on, which was just a blessing, you know?

LYDEN: That's a lot for a cup of joe. Josh Cooke, owner of the Corner Perk Cafe in Bluffton, South Carolina. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Most Popular