Cape May coffee shop customers pay it forward for fallen Marine

The postcard and $10 bill a customer handed to a Coffee Tyme employee in Cape May in honor of a fallen Marine. (Courtesy of Jesse Lambert/Coffee Tyme)

The postcard and $10 bill a customer handed to a Coffee Tyme employee in Cape May in honor of a fallen Marine. (Courtesy of Jesse Lambert/Coffee Tyme)

A random act of kindness at a Cape May coffee shop in memory of a fallen New York City firefighter and U.S. Marine sparked a pay it forward campaign.

“Something beautiful happened that we would like to share,” Coffee Tyme owner Jesse Lambert said.

He says he noticed a regular customer last weekend crying when she was giving her drink order to a barista. After walking over, his employee handed him a postcard.

The customer explained that her best friend had recently lost her husband, Staff Sgt. Chris Slutman, who was serving in Afghanistan and left behind three young daughters.

Slutman was killed in a roadside bombing on April 8, WCBS reported. He was only three weeks from returning home.

“Through the tears, she was able to tell me with a light laugh that whenever he and his buddies would go out to a coffee shop, his friends would all get black coffee and he would always get a big pink smoothie with extra whipped cream on it,” Lambert said.

That’s when the customer said she wanted to do something in his memory.

Lambert said she asked if employees could hand out the postcard to customers so they could also carry out a random act of kindness in Chris’ honor.

“Throughout the day, this one beautiful gesture became something even more beautiful,” he said.

Lambert said they first used the card and money for a young couple with a baby. They asked to pay it forward to another customer and then more followed.

“We are blown away to see how many people carried out a random act of kindness in Chris’ memory,” Lambert said. “He gave his life serving our country, and through these beautiful gestures, the memory of Chris’ life was honored.”

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