Glen Oliver has a small ritual that helped one stranger in a very big way.
Four years ago, Oliver was in line for coffee behind someone who didn't have enough change for their purchase. He covered their bill instead, and ever since he's made a habit of "paying it forward" whenever he's at the coffee shop.
Whether he just buys a coffee for the next person in line, or leaves $10 with the cashier, Oliver says his charitable habit is "the least I can do." He always gives his treats away anonymously, but he has a signature: he always asks the cashier to tell the next customer "Have a great day."
Oliver says that last part is just in case the customer is "not having one already," but it's exactly what a stranger needed to hear this summer.
In a letter to the local newspaper, the Pickering News Advertiser, an anonymous person said they were suicidal, and planned to end their life last July. But on their planned last day, the letter's writer stopped for a coffee.
Before they could pay, the clerk told them, "The nice man already paid for it and he said to have a great day."
The letter's writer says that getting the free coffee from Oliver helped turn their life around.
"I decided at that moment to change my plans for the day and do something nice for someone," they wrote. "I ended up helping a neighbor take groceries out of her car and into the house." And once they were home, they stopped to consider the random act of kindness that meant so much to them.
"I wondered why someone would buy coffee for a stranger for no reason. Why me? Why today? If I was a religious sort I would take this as a sign. This random act of kindness was directed at me on this day for a purpose."
The letter's writer mailed their story to the newspaper so the stranger who paid the coffee forward would know how much they helped. Oliver's wife was in tears as she read it, because she recognized it was her husband right away.
"I was blown away, blown away "” couldn't believe it," he said about hearing the news. "You know for such a small thing, just a series of events that were set off from that point on ... it just makes you feel great."
And while he still doesn't know the letter writer's identity, he wants them to stay hopeful, and thanked them for sharing their story.
"I'm glad you took it as a sign and decided to change your plans for the day. It makes me feel like a million bucks to feel like I had some part in that."
Share this incredible act of kindness with someone you know!
[H/T: Global News]