One coffee shop in Lexington, Ky., knows the true meaning of family.
Last week, A Cup Of Common Wealth and several neighboring small businesses were victims of a string of robberies. But instead of idly standing by, the coffee shop began a pay-it-forward movement. Anyone who makes a purchase from a targeted store will earn him or herself a free cup of coffee. And customers don't have to bring their receipts as proof of purchase -- everything's based on the honor system.
"We aren't crime fighters or superheroes," the store wrote on Instagram, "but we know for sure what some love can do for people in these situations."
The kindness doesn't stop there. The coffee shop is also sharing its Christmas tree with the town, allowing anyone to come pick up or drop off a gift under the tree.
"We wanted to rally the community," owner Chris Ortiz told The Huffington Post in an interview.
He and co-owner Salvador Sanchez, both 30 years old, opened A Cup Of Common Wealth in July in hopes of making an impact on the Lexington community. Sunday's robbery hasn't changed that.
“After our shop was broken into... we received an incredible response from the community," Sanchez told HuffPost. “We feel a sense of family all over again.”
The tree has become a meeting place for those who may be in need of a little holiday cheer, and it's also a great way to support the businesses affected by the robberies. Customers have come in to donate gifts and money, while others have stopped by to helped decorate the shop.
"We all go through life together, and sometimes that means picking up the pieces together when things go wrong," the store's Instagram reads. "But it also lays the ground work for us to build something better together when it's all said and done. Even if it all starts with a simple cup of coffee and a high five."