Kindness is a self-renewing commodity. The more you use it the more you have to give. Todd Edwards of the Ole Latte Coffee food carts in Portland has taken this idea to heart and made it his mission to spread and celebrate acts of kindness one cup of coffee at a time.
Todd’s first effort on behalf of spreading kindness was to become part of the Suspended Coffees movement. Suspended Coffees allows patrons at Ole Latte to purchase the price of a cup of coffee that can then be ‘forwarded’ to be claimed by someone who cannot afford a cup of coffee themselves.
Ole Latte has begun its own ‘pay it forward’ campaign that is unique to Portland. Ole Latte Merit Tokens. Challenge coins were part of Todd’s military service. The military challenge coins represented merit and deserved excellence. Ole Latte Merit Tokens are meant to be a ‘civilian’ version of challenge coins. The premise is to have the tokens to those who perform an extraordinary random act of kindness.
These tokens will allow those who hold one to give that token to someone whom they see acting with generosity towards others. Todd’s goal is to make “Thanksgiving last all year ’round, to work towards being better at saying thanks to strangers [and] doing good deeds when not asked.” People given a token can then redeem it at either of Ole Latte’s two locations for a free cup o’ joe.
So get yourself an Ole Latte Merit Token at the one of Ole Latte’s two locations. The original cart at SW 10th and Alder downtown and the second location at SW 5th and Harrison.