06/08/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Paying It Forward: A Breakfast Surprise In Maltby, WA

With all the bad news swirling around these days, we have been sharing stories of good news, particularly random acts of kindness, and asking our readers so share their experiences of goodwill with us. Today we bring you a story of a random act of kindness from our mailbag. This story comes from Vanessa in Maltby, WA.

It's not an exotic story but its definitely one of random kindness.

This past Saturday we just weren't in the mood to make ourselves breakfast so we went to the ever popular Maltby Cafe, in Maltby, WA. You couldn't tell we were in a recession that morning. We put our name on the list for a table and were told it would be an hour (which is the way it's been on the weekend for years). To kill time, we headed up the road to a local nursery, which was also incredibly busy with customers. We got back to the Cafe after being away for 40 min. Apparently they had already called our name but were able to seat us right away.

We ordered, food came, we really enjoyed it, then when it was time for the check, our waitress said, "Well...your tab has been paid for." "What?" my husband and I asked. "Yea, funny thing. We had a really large party here this morning and they decided to pay for another party's tab. Those people then paid for someone else's tab and those people have paid for yours!" It didn't even take a nanosecond for me to say, "Well, let's keep it going!" Our waitress let us know we had covered the tab for the couple who sat nearest to us. We only hoped they would some how enjoy it and then pass it on.


- Vanessa


Difficult times have been known to bring communities together as people lean on one another for support. In this recession, there's no shortage of communities around the country that have rallied around a struggling neighbor, reached out a helping hand to those around them, or donated free dry cleaning to the job-seeking and unemployed. We know there are more stories like these and HuffPost wants to highlight them. If you read or hear about an act of kindness in your community, email us the story at

These vignettes are a much needed counterpoint to the doom and gloom surrounding the economy; let's help change the conversation -- we can't do it without you.

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