Monday, October 21, 2013

Giant Smiles

"What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable."
-Joseph Addison

How much would you spend on coffee to see a person smile?

A man in Michigan by the name of Dan Dewey has spent $10,000 of his own money to do just that. And it seems this weekly habit causes the line to back up at a local Starbucks each and every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. Others may at first be put off by the long wait until they learn he is there to buy coffee for patients undergoing chemotherapy at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in the town of Pontiac, Michigan.

All of this began in 2007 when his father was a patient at the same hospital. It just so happened that every Thursday at the same time, his father was undergoing chemotherapy and Dan was there each time. One particular trip, with his father sitting in treatment, Dan offered to get his father a coffee from Starbucks.

As Dan recalls, “I took a look around. There were several other people there, and they couldn’t go anywhere. So I said, ‘Anybody else want a coffee? He’s buying; I’ve got his wallet.’

This became a weekly event in which Dan would get coffee for his father, other patients and staff in the cancer unit. When his father had completed his treatments, Dan asked his father if he should continue coming back to get coffee for others. His father replied, “Yeah, go ahead."

Dan says he will never forget his father's words and while his father passed away the following year at age 87, his memory inspires his son to comfort other cancer patients with his weekly trip to the cancer treatment facility which has become known as “Dan’s Coffee Run.”

Those that know Dan also note that Dan Dewey does not have a lot of money, but it does not stop his generosity. He does get fan mail and some donations from those that have never met him. There are the occasional gift cards and letters from those he has never served coffee to but have undergone cancer treatment as well.

But it is the coffee and friendly nature of Dan that rewards him with new friends and lots of smiles. And more importantly as Dan says, "I feel like I’m having coffee with my dad every Thursday morning. That’s all I need.”

Many times all it takes is a friendly gesture, a little conversation and a gigantic smile to make all of the difference in a person's life and your own.

Stay inspired my friends!

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