EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Chilly weather Friday morning did not stop a group of 8th- grade students from Regis Middle School from spreading warmth across the community.
Nine students with the Pay It Forward Club, that is brand new to Regis this year, gave out hot chocolate in the parking lot of Mega East in Eau Claire. The idea behind it is to spread joy, and try to make a big difference with simple, little things.
The group came up with "100 acts of kindness in 100 minutes", trying to give out 100 cups of hot chocolate to 100 perfect strangers.
"We don't want people to forget that it is OK to be kind to a stranger. And when we started out, people weren't sure why would anyone want to give them something for free? But, I think it's catching up and people said it is so nice, and that it has brightened up their day; and that's what we're here for,” said guidance counselor with Regis Middle School, Malia Clements.
"We are helping people have a good day, you know; even if they don't take a hot chocolate, just smiling and waving and telling them to have good day, just spreading the joy,” said Grace Frank, 8th-grader at Regis Middle School.
“It doesn't take a lot of time and it doesn't cost us a lot of money: it's saying “Hi” to somebody, giving a compliment, a cup of chocolate; just something small that can brighten somebody's day enough to say, ‘hey that made me feel really good’, said Clements.
The group is hoping that just one cup of hot chocolate will inspire other to spread the kindness in return.
“I think it's wonderful, now I'm going to go pay it forward for someone else,” said Mega Food’s customer, after receiving her hot chocolate.
“This group has already grown since the beginning of the year; kids are really excited, which makes me really excited because they're the future, and if they are willing to spread the kindness, hopefully it just keep spreading,” said Clements.
And of course, it was a learning experience for the kids.
“I learned that if they don't take something you can brighten their day by just having a little chat with someone, and they’ll still be just as happy,” said Grace Theisen, 8th grade student at Regis Middle School.
“It’s just kind of shows the generosity especially coming from young people, it's pretty special,” said another Mega Foods, enjoying her hot cocoa.
The group ended up giving out 140 cups of hot cocoa. Today was the first "100 acts of kindness in 100 minutes" for Pay It Forward Club. The group is hoping to have at least one more event before the school year ends.