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Serving up coffee and kindness at Windsor’s Dutch Bros

Dutch Bros. isn’t about coffee. Well, it is, but it’s so much more than that. The company was founded on the principles of kindness, philanthropy and community, and 26 years later that hasn’t changed a bit.

With a Dutch Bros. location in Windsor (and one soon to come in Greeley!), more and more locals are discovering the story and way of life behind Dutch Bros.

“We definitely live in and believe in the philosophy that the more you give, the more you get,” said Nate Frary, owner and operator of Dutch Bros. in Loveland, Fort Collins and Windsor. “The real heart and soul of all of it is our customer service. Really being very intentional and personable in the 30 seconds to a minute that we see someone, building relationships.”

In 1992 brothers Dane and Travis Boersma purchased an espresso machine, began experimenting with coffee beans and then set up a pushcart on the railroad tracks near their home in Oregon, handing out samples. They quickly saw they were onto something, and Dutch Bros. was born.

Today, Dutch Bros. Coffee is the country’s largest privately held drive-through coffee company, with more than 290 locations in seven states. While the company has grown from a two-man operation to one with more than 7,500 employees, the backbone of the company is the same: giving back.

The company has several “giveback” days every year. Through those special days, Dutch Bros. donates more than $2 million per year to local communities and nonprofit organizations.

Two of the giveback days are Dutch Love Day in February, when $1 from every drink sold is donated to local food banks, and on National Coffee Day (September 29), when $1 from every drink sold is given to a local youth organization. So far locally, money has been donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Larimer County, and with the Windsor store now up and running, Frary said some funds will go to the Weld County organization, as well.

The biggest of the year’s giveback days is Drink one for Dane day. It’s dedicated to the memory of co-founder Dane Boersma, who died in 2009 after a four-year battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. On Drink one for Dane day, the entirety of proceeds from the day’s sales are given to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

“Those days are just amazing,” Frary said. “We’ll get a lot of people who aren’t regulars, but they come for that day.”

Ethan Follon, stand manager in Loveland, said Drink one for Dane day is his favorite of the year, hands down. He said it’s because he knows it hits close to home for so many people.

“A lot more people than we realize have other people in their lives that have struggled with ALS,” he said. “The fact that Dutch Bros. has been able to give back such a large amount of money to one issue and has such a drastic impact on people, just in our community, it’s amazing.”
Dutch Bros employee Matt Thirkhill preparing drinks for customers. (Jordan Reyes)

Dutch Bros’ connection to its community is clear, and this attracts lifelong customers who build strong relationships with the brand and the employees.

It’s exactly how Becca Padilla, who now manages the Windsor location, got introduced. After her parents dropped her off at college in Washington, they drove through the nearby Dutch Bros. When the barista asked what they were up to, Padilla’s mom broke down crying about leaving her daughter at college.

Next thing she knew, the Dutch Bros. worker came outside, hugged Padilla’s mother tightly and said she was going to give Padilla her phone number in case she ever needed anything, promising to take good care of her. A connection to Dutch Bros. – and a great friendship – was born.

“Coffee is just our means,” Padilla said. “It’s about the customer experience. It’s not about the glamour or the speed or latte art. It’s about building relationships outside the window.”

Padilla talked about something called the “usuals notebooks” that all the Dutch Bros. employees have. Frary encourages everyone to write in them at least three times a shift, jotting down a person’s name, favorite drink and something memorable about them. This helps that person “stick” in a barista’s mind for the next time they return.

Being remembered definitely speaks to customers. Combined with knowing that the folks behind the counter are really listening to their customers, it’s easy to understand why people keep coming back.

“You don’t have to have anything magical or life-changing to say at the window,” Padilla said. “You just have to be prepared to listen. Whether it’s an elderly person who lives alone, a stay-at-home parent with no other adults around or anyone else, someone is always dying to tell somebody something. And if you give them a listening ear for a minute or two, they’ll tell you it all.

“You get glimpses into people’s lives, and we’re really fortunate when people want to come back to us.”

 

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Hernando Middle School students start kindness initiative

At Hernando Middle School, a group of students is trying to spread it to the more than 1,000 students there.

Students at Hernando Middle School start arriving at school around 6:45 a.m., but a small group of kids gets there even earlier to make sure they’re in place to greet everyone who comes through the doors at the start of the day.

A group of eighth and seventh graders has started a kindness initiative. They greet all their classmates with smiles, good mornings and of course, high fives.

“Even though people give really hard high fives, it means they’re enthusiastic for school,” said eighth-grader Rose Stafford.

Some students had seen similar things being done in other areas of the country. They hope others around the world are now inspired by what they’re doing.

“We can help by standing at the door and greeting people and spreading that love,” said eighth-grader Peyton Rials.

“We try really hard to educate the whole child at Hernando Middle School,” said Hernando Middle School Principal Jerry Floate. “We try to educate them academically socially emotionally and behaviorally.”

The kindness initiative has become part of a larger group called the Community Awareness Club.

It’s a new club at the middle school, thought up by two teachers, where students are taught to use their passions for good.

“It is about spreading kindness, but it’s also about what needs to be done in our community, and in our school,” said Hernando Middle School teacher Lindsey Jones. “So whether it’s looking at our parks or our neighborhoods.”

More than 40 kids were at the Community Awareness Club’s first meeting. Kids have different reasons for joining, including just listening to mom.

“Ever since first grade, she’s told me to go make the world a better place,” said seventh-grader Cody Eaton. “Once I heard about this club, I decided it was time.”

 

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Dundee woman sets up group sharing random acts of kindness in city

Share the Care, set up by Mia Greenway, aims to “promote smiles, happiness and positive esteem, through random acts of kindness”.

Mia said: “Share the Care was set up as a way to give back to the Dundee community as a whole to share smiles, positivity and a connection to those around us.

“Health workers, hospital workers, retail staff and others can struggle or have issues they are facing and a wee bit of gratitude can go a long way.”

She set up the group after the death of her partner Ali.

Ali experienced anxiety and depression alongside her chronic illness before she died, something Mia experienced as well as grief.

Mia adds that the messages, cards or wee items can be left on buses, near landmarks or in community spaces for people to find.

She said: “Maybe they will also be inspired to share the care too, and write and distribute their own messages.”

Mia hopes to get carer groups across Dundee involved in the project. She said: “It may help boost their confidence and esteem as caring roles can often mean isolation.”

 

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You can also find us on Twitter @holakindness and Facebook The Kindness Project, we would love to hear your kindness story’s so please get in touch!

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Local student honored by school board for act of kindness

School supplies are necessary for students as they start the new school year, but they can be expensive. So, one local elementary school student came up with a plan to help out as many of her classmates as she could.

For Buck Lake Elementary 5th grader Suzanna Barrentine, she had no idea what would happen when she decided to help her fellow classmates.

A few weeks back, Suzanna put on a car wash. After it was all over, she had helped wash around 30 cars and raised $300. She then used that money to purchase school supplies.

“We got binders, paper, pencils, pencil boxes,” she said.

She took the shopping cart full of supplies and donated them to a local Stuff the Bus fundraiser.

“I think she inspires and people who do things like that certainly inspire all of us to come up a little higher,” said Rebecca Harden.

For Suzanna’s parents, they said they could not be more proud of her.

“She’s got such a big heart and she tries to help and it was all her. It’s what she wanted to do, we were just there for support,” said Jason Barrentine, her father.

The surprise did not stay that way for long. On Tuesday evening, Suzanna was honored at the Leon County School Board meeting, even getting a chance to speak with Superintendent Rocky Hanna.

“They asked me what all the charities and stuff I did…it was, it was good,” she said.

For Suzanna, she said this will not be the end of her charitable acts.

“I want to keep doing charities and come up with more ideas,” said Suzanna.

During the school board meeting, she also had the opportunity to lead the room in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

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You can also find us on Twitter @holakindness and Facebook The Kindness Project, we would love to hear your kindness story’s so please get in touch!

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Cedarburg area bus driver known for kindness and patience with special needs kids

Kindness and patience are the virtues held by those we consider good people in this world, and for former Cedarburg resident and bus driver Dwight Miller, those words certainly ring true.

Miller had been serving as a bus driver for the Cedarburg School District driving special needs kids to and from school every day, and volunteered with Friendship Ministries and as a Big Brother in Big Brothers Big Sisters. He recently retired from the role to move with his wife to Ohio to be closer to his son and grandchildren, who are currently living there.

Miller was also recently nominated for the “Be A Good Neighbor Contest” by his neighbor, Susan Grosskoph. She won a private hometown screening of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” a documentary about the life of the former TV host Fred Rogers — better known by those who watched as “Mister Rogers” — for her nomination of Miller.

“Many of you know of his kindness as a bus driver for Riteway because you worked with Dwight or you were a student or family member of his beloved kids,” Grosskoph said prior to the movie screening in Cedarburg July 23.

“Bus driver doesn’t describe what Dwight did and the impact he made every day,” Grosskoph said. “Parents knew their children were in the best hands when they left for school and when he returned them home. He waited, (probably longer than he should have sometimes) for the student who just couldn’t quite get going in the morning. He was singing songs, decorating the bus with monthly themes, and quietly mentoring from behind the wheel.”

Miller was surprised at the amount of support he received at the screening from friends, people he knew, and the kids he transported and their families.

The mayor had even declared the day of the movie showing Dwight Miller Day.

“That was quite a surprise. I didn’t know that was coming at all,” Miller said.

 

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A Simple Act of Kindness Between a Boy and a Man Goes Viral

A woman posts a video of a man sharing his phone with a little boy and the video goes viral. So far, it’s had 1.5 million views with almost 2,000 comments.

“What I witnessed today on the train. I almost cried y’all,” Kia Tatiyana Davis wrote when she posted the video on her Facebook page.

The footage shows a man occupying his time with his smartphone on a New York City subway while a little boy sitting next to him looks on. After a while, the man smiles as the boy makes some comments. Then he looks at him and hands him the phone. Watch the exchange on Davis’ post:

Most of the comments noted the man’s kindness and the boy’s cuteness. Some just posted emojis and GIFs to show their approval of the man’s benevolent actions in a culture that isn’t always kind.

“God bless this man sweet,” commented Lillian M Makeke.

“Wish people would be more like him,” posted Jhon Jie.

“This is priceless,” wrote Karen Etin Usoh.

 

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Teenager’s act of kindness for woman in Starbucks goes viral

Last week a 19-year-old student from Ohio carried out an act of kindness by buying a coffee for a stranger in Starbucks.

While this may have seemed like a very small deed for the teenager, Mackenzie Mauller, at the time, she had no idea how much of an impact her actions had on the recipient of the coffee until she received a heartfelt note in her mailbox.

As it turned out, the woman for whom she’d bought a coffee was actually a neighbour who’d recently fallen upon hard times, as she revealed in the letter.

“Thank you for the coffee! I rarely go to Starbucks and treat myself, but the last couple of months have been a bit of a struggle,” read the note, which Mauller shared on Twitter.

The woman, Nicole Clawson, explained that her father had recently passed away and that he’d usually look after her children while she went to work.

On that particular day, Clawson’s babysitter had cancelled and she’d been forced to take the day off work as a result.

“I decided to buy my kids breakfast and get myself coffee with total guilt because I am going to be a stay-at-home mom for a while,” she wrote.

Clawson broke down in tears after discovering that Mauller had offered to pay for her coffee.

She later happened to find out where Mauller lived, as she spotted her pulling into her home a few houses away from her own abode.

“I felt it necessary for you to know that what you did for me was more than just a coffee,” she expressed in the note.

“It was something that has turned my whole day around, put tears in my eyes and a smile on my face and I feel so grateful. Thank you.”

The interaction between Mauller and Clawson has touched the hearts of thousands of people on Twitter, with the tweet garnering 20,000 retweets and 81,000 likes.

However, the story doesn’t end there, as the pair then began conversing in the comments below.

Mauller responded to Clawson with a handwritten card and offered to babysit her children.

Clawson stated that Mauller’s act of kindness had inspired her children to follow in her footsteps and show compassion for others in their day-to-day lives.

“By the way, my children have been aware and a part of all of this since the beginning,” Clawson tweeted.

“This has been such a great learning opportunity for them, on how to treat others, no matter what.

“They are excited to pay it forward, and treat others with kindness and selflessness.”

 

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You can also find us on Twitter @holakindness and Facebook The Kindness Project, we would love to hear your kindness story’s so please get in touch!

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Milkman Performs Random Acts Of Kindness On Milk Rounds

A London-based milkman has become something of a local hero thanks to his passion for helping others.

Ian Beardwell’s altruistic streak means he’s returned lost pets to their owners, found and returned a laptop after spotting it on the road, and even chased car thieves – all while delivering milk.

For one particular act of kindness, where he helped to calm and reassure a Southfields resident and her young daughter following a burglary, the cheerful milkman won an award.

an was completing his milk round at 4am in December 2017 when he noticed the front door of a nearby house was wide open and all the lights were on. Concerned, he rang the doorbell and waited for a response.

He was greeted by local TV producer Sasha Rickerd, who was visibly very shaken. She told him that she had woken up when she heard someone break into her home – her young daughter was also upstairs with her, terrified.

Too scared to do anything other than turn on the lights and pace around to try and warn the burglars that someone was at home, Sasha hadn’t managed to call the police. She was also yet to check whether anyone was still inside.

Ian offered to wait at Sasha’s door until she had done this, reassuring and calming her at the same time. Once Sasha had called the police, Ian completed his milk round but circled back 10 minutes later to check on her.

The milkman, who works for delivery company milk&more, said: “I was happy to help Sasha, just as I hope anyone would have done. I understand that these kind of situations can be very scary and am just happy that she and her daughter are now safe and well.”

After the incident, Sasha contacted the Wimbledon depot where the milkman works to thank Ian for his actions. She also gave him a thank you gift. He has since received a ‘Hero’ award from the company for his actions.

Sasha said: “Ian was extraordinarily reassuring and simply lovely. Moments like this can feel unbelievably lonely and vulnerable, especially as my young daughter was with me, but Ian completely understood that I was frightened and went out of his way to help.

“His presence made a horrible circumstance immeasurably better and I cannot thank him enough for taking the time to help us – complete strangers to him.”

 

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You can also find us on Twitter @holakindness and Facebook The Kindness Project, we would love to hear your kindness story’s so please get in touch!

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Couple who bought pub for £500k overwhelmed by kindness of regulars

A couple who bought a traditional pub in west Dorset say they’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness of its regulars.

The Spyway Inn, outside the village of Askerswell, has been purchased by husband and wife, Mark and Laura Watson, for more than half a million pounds.

Previous owners Vivien and Kevin Wilkes had been at The Spyway for 15 years, running the pub along with their son, Tim, as a family business. They finally decided to retire and Tim is pursuing a new career.

Mr Wilkes said: “We have enjoyed our time at The Spyway Inn. 15 years is a long time in the trade, but we have enjoyed running the pub and the lifestyle it has brought us, having re-located from the Midlands and settled here.”

New owner Mr Watson said: “We fell in love with The Spyway Inn from the moment we stepped into the garden.

“Not only are the views breath taking but the pub, built in the 1600s, has so much charm and character that it would be a shame to take any of that away. We aim to remain the friendly, family run business that it has always been with the addition of you being able to bring along your four-legged friends.

“We have been overwhelmed by the kindness shown by regulars of The Spyway Inn and have had a very warm reception thus far. We would like to offer our existing and new customers 10 per cent off your bill if you dine with us in August and mention this article. We look forward to meeting you soon.”

The Spyway is close to the Jurassic Coast and has proven popular with visitors and tourists to the area

It was sold through property adviser Christie and Co.

Company director, Nicholas Calfe, said: “The Spyway Inn represented a rare combination of lifestyle and high profit margins in a picturesque village near the Dorset coast. Mark and Laura have exciting plans for the property moving forward which I am sure will enhance the business further.”

The Spyway Inn was sold off a guide price of £595,000.

 

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The note this woman received from a stranger is a reminder of the power of small acts of kindness

Queueing up at a coffee shop, exhausted and unable to function before your morning coffee, it can be easy to forget to leave a little extra room for kindness.

But Mackenzie Mauller warmed a woman’s heart, and received an unexpected thank you, when she took a moment to think beyond her own need for caffeine.

The Ohio student simply paid for the stranger behind her’s coffee at a Starbucks drive-thru, not knowing how big a difference her small act of kindness would make.

Yesterday I bought coffee for the lady behind me at Starbucks.. later in the day I found this is my mailbox. Small acts can make a big difference folks, spread some kindness.
— Mackenzie (@mackey2399) August 7, 2018

Later that day, she received a grateful, kindhearted note in the mail, explaining how much the coffee meant to the woman.

The moving story got everyone emotional.

So sweet, so thoughtful. Isn’t it amazing how the slightest act of kindness can make a huge difference in someone’s day?
Maybe let’s all do that tomorrow. Not for a ‘thank you note’ (but also so sweet), but because we should.
Thanks for the example, @mackey2399 ☺️!!
— @BlondeKarin (@BlondeKarin) August 8, 2018

Thanks for sharing this wonderful story, Mackenzie. You are a great example of how we should be treating one another. We need more good stories like this. You made my day! Thank you!
— John Gazdik (@SayHayGaz7) August 8, 2018

Even Nicola Clawson, the woman who sent the letter, got in touch.

THANK YOU FOR THE COFFEE, FINDING ME (SINCE WE’RE NEIGHBORS) TO THANK ME FOR WRITING YOU A CARD AND OFFERING TO BABYSIT ON TOP OF EVERYTHING ELSE TO HELP ME OUT. YOU TRULY ARE THE SWEETEST AND A WONDERFUL PERSON WHO DESERVES THE RECOGNITION!!
— nicoleclawson (@nicoleclawson12) August 10, 2018

By the way, my children have been aware and apart of all of this since the beginning. This has been such a great learning opportunity for them, on how to treat others, no matter what. They are excited to pay it forward, and treat others with kindness and selflessness.
— nicoleclawson (@nicoleclawson12) August 10, 2018

Mauller, who is studying flight technology at Kent State University, told Inc why she bought coffee for a stranger.

 

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You can also find us on Twitter @holakindness and Facebook The Kindness Project, we would love to hear your kindness story’s so please get in touch!

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