Last night, it suddenly hit me that I hadn’t used my Starbucks birthday reward yet. It was about to expire today. I usually don’t stop at Starbucks on a regular basis, definitely not during my work week. It’s a special treat that I allow myself when I am traveling or meeting up with friends. Although I like the idea, you won’t find me randomly by myself at a Starbucks somewhere. I like my couch at home way too much and besides, Starbucks is, if we’re honest, quite expensive. I can make make a good cup of coffee at home.
Since I didn’t want to let the birthday reward go unused, I decided to stop at Starbucks on my way to work. It didn’t really make sense, as we always make our own coffee at the office, but why would I ‘waste’ a $4-5 beverage when I can get it for free for my birthday?
I stopped at the small Starbucks which is only a couple of blocks from my apartment. When I got out of a car I saw a homeless person with a sign sitting on the sidewalk in front of the coffeeshop. This is not uncommon in Midtown. I run into homeless people frequently, sometimes have a short conversation with them; hardly ever do I give them money.
I went inside, ordered my grande vanilla latte and scanned my “Gold Card” on my Starbucks App to claim my reward. When I received the drink, I automatically wrapped my hands around the warm paper cup, as it was a bit chilly out this morning and my hands were cold.
As I left the coffeeshop, I had to pass the homeless person with the sign again. I glanced down to read what it said. “Female vet, struggling to get by.”
I don’t know if it was the fact that the person was female (I don’t run into female homeless people nearly as much) or the fact that she was a vet and looked tired and cold, but not disheveled, just in need. I didn’t even think twice and offered her my vanilla latte. Her eyes lit up when she looked up at me and she accepted the steaming hot beverage with a smile of gratitude and surprise and whispered a “Thank you and God bless you”.
I smiled back at her, then got in the car and she waved me goodbye when I drove off.
I know it was just a small gesture. I know it’s not making a big impact on the world or anything, but knowing that I made this lady’s morning by offering her a hot cup of coffee – which most of us take for granted – kinda made my day.
It’s the little things that we can do on a daily basis that do make a difference, if only in this one person’s life. Don’t let the chain of love end with you.