ALBERTA

Tim Hortons Free Coffee Trend Continues In Alberta

07/26/2013 01:03 EDT | Updated 09/25/2013 05:12 EDT

Canadians keep brewing up more and more generosity as the trend of free coffees continues across the country.

What started as an act-of-kindness in Edmonton, quickly spread to Calgary and Ottawa, as strangers began buying 500 Tim Hortons coffees at a time, essentially giving free coffees to the next 500 customers behind them.

And now there have been more of the pay-it-forward acts reported in Alberta.

According to CBC Edmonton, the Tim Hortons in the Royal Alexandra Hospital on Thursday had not one, but two, benefactors purchase java for the masses.

A man, believed to be a worker at the hospital, bought 500 cups early in the morning, while a second woman bought 800 cups later that day.

“It’s a way to give back,” Monica Kavanaugh told the CBC.

“They've (hospital staff) helped my father a lot and I just feel, why not give a little back to the hospital?”

A coffee crusader also struck in the Alberta town of Chestermere early Friday morning, reports CTV News.

Store manager Valerie Bruce told CTV a regular customer came in about 6 am and bought 500 cups of coffee.

The whole thing started on Monday, when an Edmonton man walked into Tim Hortons and purchased 500 cups of java for those to come after him.

A copy-cat in Calgary also bought 500 cups of medium coffee for those who ordered after him Wednesday at the Crowfoot Crossing Tim Hortons.

On Thursday, a Red Deer Tim Hortons saw another customer purchase 500 cups of coffee to share with customers.

The trend spread east on Thursday when a man believed to be a transit employee paid for approximately 500 cups at an Ottawa location.

Tim Hortons spokeswoman Michelle Robichaud said Thursday the company was "humbled by the generosity" that has been taken place across the country.

"Clearly this is someone who has a very pure heart and just wishes to put smiles on some people's faces and spread some good cheer," said Robichaud.

As news spread on social media, some skeptics speculated that the donations were part of an elaborate publicity stunt by the coffee chain.

But Robichaud said that's not the case.

"As brilliant as this is I can assure you that Tim Hortons has nothing to do with the Good Samaritans that have been purchasing coffees across the country," she said.

Michael Nilsen from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, a group that creates philanthropic guidelines, said that the idea of being charitable can be very contagious.

“We often find that people are inspired in some way by what other people do and want to get involved,” said Nilsen. “There is that unifying element to philanthropy.”

With files from The Canadian Press

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