IT'S the most wonderful time of the year -- for coffee drinkers, that is.
In December, the Tim Hortons chain surprised its customers with Random Cups of Kindness, a week where they'd pick up tabs of guests at random. But a few days before Christmas, Timmie customers in Winnipeg decided to return the favour.
At about 10 a.m. on Dec. 21, a Tim Hortons customer at the Beaverhill Boulevard location decided to pay for the order of the next vehicle in the drive-through line.
That began a chain of random acts of kindness that lasted for three hours -- and 228 orders.
"It isn't uncommon for Tim Hortons customers to pay for the next person in line, but this was a real gift," said Michelle Robichaud, spokeswoman for the company.
When customers inside the restaurant caught wind of what was going on, they, too, decided to pay it forward.
"It was a boost of goodness, especially with everything happening in the world," said Robichaud. "It's what Winnipeg needed."
Robichaud said the Tim Hortons restaurant doesn't know who initiated the chain.
"We don't know who started it, but that's the beauty of this act of generosity," she said. "It was the start of something wonderful."
Troy Thompson, general manager of the Beaverhill outlet, said the restaurant was busy that day and there was a real buzz created.
"There was a lot of energy in the store," said Thompson. "Our team was really excited and shouting out the number of pay it forwards all morning."