A Starbucks regular who stops in daily to his local coffee shop with a very large order ended up having an inspiring reason for needing all of the drinks. The retired 70-year-old man is named Dan Dewey and his coffee order was his way of brightening the day of some patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments at a nearby hospital.
Every Thursday, Dan stopped by his local Michigan Starbucks at around 10:30 in the morning with a handwritten list of 12 to 24 drink orders. He then loaded all of the coffee in the back of his car and delivered them to the patients.
Bad weather and his bad knee have never kept him from filling the orders either. The idea for “Dan’s Coffee Run” started when he brought a cup of Starbucks to his father Edgar, who was a patient at the Michigan Cancer Institute. He decided to extend his generosity to the other patients there and bought everyone receiving treatment a drink they would like from Starbucks.
Valerie, a Starbucks barista who regularly fills Dan’s orders, explained: “I look forward to filling his order on Thursdays and seeing his smiling face. After three years of people asking about why this man buys so many drinks, me telling them the story and them asking how they can donate, I came up with an idea. I would get a custom Starbucks card with ‘Dan’s Coffee Run’ on it for anyone who would like to donate money that will go directly to purchasing drinks for the patients of MCI.”
Sadly, Dan’s father passed away, but before his death, he asked that his son keep the weekly tradition going.
In a Facebook post about his mission, Dan explained how the funds eventually ran out but how the barista’s efforts to get news coverage of his story kept his program running. When TV2 reporter Jason Carr did a piece on Dan’s Coffee Run, he said the “funds started coming in” again.
He noted humbly: “Never really thought about asking for help. Just kept to myself. Just so very glad that over these many years I have seen the amazing kindness of others!!! Had Valerie not have made that call I wouldn’t be typing this.”
He added that his mother taught him about the value of volunteering, sharing her philosophy of “do what you can whenever the chance presents itself” and went on to thank the many people involved in keeping his mission afloat.
He also remarked that “smiles are the reward” for what he does, saying how people’s reactions when he delivers their coffee make a huge impact. He wrote: “it is truly that quiet smile from so many brave people, who have to deal with the worst of the worst of medical problems” that inspires him to continue.
One person with first-hand knowledge of Dan’s generous spirit commented on the Facebook post: “I know how special this is. My mom is one of the people Dan has seen since the beginning. He sees her more than I do… I so appreciate everything he does with one drawback. He has made her addicted to Starbucks.”
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