Hazel Dell coffee stand continues ‘pay-it-forward’ program

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Northeast Hazel Dell — If you go to Mrs. B’s Espresso, you might be the lucky recipient of a free drink. The drive-thru coffee stand has a popular “pay-it-forward” program that began in April with one person. A customer offered to buy the drink of the person behind her. She said she couldn’t do much in this economy, but she wanted to help someone. That started a chain reaction: That day, six customers followed suit. One customer donated back his completed frequent-customer punch card so Sherry Bailey, the owner of the business, could give it to someone needier. That idea caught on. Customers will request their card be given to the person behind them, or the next car that pulls up with a baby or dog inside, or to the next elderly customer, Bailey said. After the punch cards are used, Bailey said she hangs them from the ceiling. The count is up to 182. Mrs. B’s has been in the same location at 6204 N.E. Highway 99, behind the 7-Eleven store, for 16 years.