It Started with Five $1 Bills

It started with five $1 bills. A young mother paid for her pumpkins and then asked for three of Papa’s famous pumpkin cookies for her three daughters — all grade school age. She handed over five $1 bills, far too much for $.75 worth of cookies. The mom explained, “Getting pumpkin cookies at Papa’s is one of our favorite parts of the visit. Just pay it forward for the next family and buy their cookies, too.”

This was about 5:30 pm on Friday evening. For most of the next hour (and it was a busy evening), we offered pumpkin cookies to the folks who were checking out with their pumpkins. Each time, we explained that the family before them had paid it forward and bought cookies for the guests who followed.

It was so cool to witness the surprise and wonder on the faces of those who’d just received cookies. “Really? Why would they do that?” “Honest? A stranger bought my family cookies?” And then the best part.

Family after family paid it forward for others. Some left a quarter; others a dollar. One man and his son left $5; another woman and her relatives left $10. It was such a warm expression of kindness to strangers, and it had nothing (and everything) to do with pumpkins.

Papa sits this morning humbled by the grace you shared, and touched that you would choose to do so with his pumpkin cookies!

Take good care,



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