Cork board of compassion inspires others to pay it forward

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It's not your typical morning coffee spot.
Val Spring runs Val's cafe in Lemoyne, Cumberland County. It's just her, Monday through Saturday-- except when loyal customers are in getting their caffeine fix, a quick bite or satisfying their sweet tooth. They come for the treats, and stay for the kindness.

Val says a mom came into the cafe one day, frustrated...

"I couldn't get my kids down for a nap and I just need a cup of coffee!"

The generosity that mother receives next from a complete stranger, is just part of a growing ripple of kindness within the community.

Val tells the woman, "I said, well you're in luck, because you're having a bad day, your coffee is free and go pick out a pastry."

That woman's day was changed and all of a sudden, a fussy child wasn't so bad.

"Yeah, someone else paid for it and it wasn't even me!"

It's those expressions from her customers, that inspired Val to make a cork board cloaked in compassion.

A customer told Val to pay it forward to the next person, "and I thought, well this could be a thing."

Not only when you come in to Val's cafe, can you support local business, but you're also supporting the local community.

Dan Albert, a customer of Val's says he witnessed people doing nice things for other people, "I definitely want to be a part of that."

Those good deeds don't go unnoticed. As quickly as Val is giving out the pay it forward cards, those note cards are replaced by giving strangers daily.

Val says, "the donations are anonymous, so I can't tell you."

Dan likes that the donations are kept quiet, "there's a feeling you get when you feel like you're doing something for someone you don't even know."

When asked if she encourages people to "pay it forward" Val responded, "Nope! They just do it themselves."

Val says a number of people she has talked with say they want to help people in the community, they just don't know how.

Dan agrees, "it gives you an avenue to do it. It just makes it easier for someone like me."

The smiles may come from a cork board, it's the members of the community making the concept work.

Val says it has been great for her community, "it's just kinda brought everyone together a little bit more."

Now, Val hopes others will jump on board by paying it forward within their communities, "anyone wants to do it- to give stuff to other people, that's always a wonderful thing."

So, when you come to Val's cafe-- without fail, Val will be there, greeting you with a smile and the providing you an opportunity to help a complete stranger.

"Ohhh guess what?! Your coffee is free today!"

For more information on the cafe, visit: