LINDENHURST, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — An initiative on Long Island is gaining attention. Customers are paying it forward, and it all begins with a sticky note.

Alice Bopp and her family moved to Lindenhurst from Rio de Janeiro. “I’m from Brazil, I love coffee,” Bopp told WCBS-TV’s Jennifer McLogan.

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Alice Bopp, owner of Muni’s coffee shop in Lindenhurst, speaks to a customer. (Credit: CBS2)

So she opened her coffee shop, Muni’s on Wellwood Avenue, but then the pandemic hit. “We here, and community, we stood together,” she said.

Once able to reopen, they offered walk-up service, and finally, coffee can now be ordered inside, too. And then, something remarkable happened. “My barista [was] popping up, saying, ‘Have you seen this?'” Bopp said.

Customers were connecting with suggestions on paying it forward: buy a coffee for someone struggling. “Let’s jump right in! Let’s turn this board around. Let’s start sticking Post-it on it,” said Bopp. “The first Post-it, we did it, and then from there, nonstop.”

That’s translated to five batches of notes, totaling almost 500 drinks.

“I donated one of the ice cookie rainbow lattes, and you see there’s more and more Post-it notes every day,” patron Karen Altenburger said.

“During a time that’s kind of been hard on everyone, you know, just make someone smile for the day,” added patron Kerry Moore.

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Customers are spontaneously spreading goodwill.

“I’ve never seen this in a coffee shop. I really think it’s nice,” said Jonathan Pagan, who suddenly plunked down $5 for an unknown person’s future drink with a note saying, “Hopefully it will brighten somebody’s day.”

Customers at Muni’s coffee shop in Lindenhurst are paying it forward, and it all begins with a post-it note. (Credit: CBS2)

Bopp has been amazed by the reaction from her customers. “The thing just started going, going with beautiful messages,” Bopp said.

Some who don’t live close enough to Muni’s are even wiring payments and sending messages so Bopp can post a sticky note to strangers. Her son and husband say coffee and compassion are in Alice’s blood. “This has been her dream. We saved up and we got it rolling. People have been very generous,” husband John Bopp said.

“I feel good about it ’cause these workers help people in need,” 7-year-old Benjamin Bopp said.

“They go over there, they grab it, the smile right away comes up. You can tell by the eyes,” noted Alice Bopp.

Alice hopes the sticky note empathy continues beyond the pandemic.

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