After NYC Explosion, Starbucks Barista Inspires Thousands With Simple Act Of Kindness

On Saturday, an explosion from a home-made bomb shook the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. First responders quickly rushed to the scene, caring for the people who were injured and quickly locating and disarming a second suspicious device. But in the wake of that scary event came a ray of light: a lone Starbucks employee.


The employee, named Germaine Zolkos, was caught on video the morning after the explosion bringing free coffee and pastries to first responders. Starbucks– perhaps one of the largest and most recognizable brands in the world– is devoted to philanthropy and community service, so it’s no surprise to see the brand responding to tragedy with generosity, but there’s something about this particular act that’s touching hearts everywhere.

The video– originally shared by– has been viewed over 17 million times and shared over 200 thousand times, and it’s gained millions of more views on sites that have reshared the video. In the video, Germaine hands bags of food to visibly grateful first responders. Knight News tracked down Germaine and asked why he gave those first responders the breakfast gift. He said:

It’s the least I could’ve done. These guys run to danger instead of running from danger. And I just figured why not? We should be nice to each other. We should be kind to each other. I think that would stop a lot of these negative outbursts… And we all will come together as people. Little gestures, by holding the door for people, by saying sorry, by getting up and giving your seat to people who might need a seat on the train or on the bus. All those things matter. That’s what makes us human beings. And I wish that maybe the world could see it and maybe change the world for a better place.

When Germaine was asked what he thought when he first saw the video going viral, he smiled, saying “It was overwhelming. I didn’t know what to say! I didn’t think me giving coffee would be news. I just thought that it was the right thing to do.”

Germaine may have just been “giving coffee,” but his kindness has given the world hope. Check out the viral video below.

Share Germain’s kindness today.

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