"It is a selfless act": 900 customers pay for each other's meals at Dairy Queen in Minnesota

Kindness becomes contagious among these strangers
Kindness becomes contagious among these stran... 01:30

Last Updated Dec 21, 2020 7:20 PM EST

In early December, "Minnesota nice" got a little sweeter as each car passed through a Dairy Queen in the city of Brainerd. 

"It started with a gentleman, he said how much is the person behind him?" employee Darla Anderson told CBS News. "He said, 'I will cover mine and theirs.' I was thinking it would be a few cars." 

One by one, for nearly three days, 900 people paid for the car behind them. Anderson and her manager, Tina Jensen, had never seen anything like it. 

"It is a selfless act," Jensen said. "It really was the community coming together to make it happen." 

Dairy Queen
On December 3, 2020, 900 cars paid for the ice cream orders of the people behind them at a Dairy Queen in Brainerd, Minnesota.   Dairy Queen

That community included Shauntel Pulak, who was in car 600. 

"The gal at the window said, 'It's your lucky day and the people in front of you paid for your ice cream,'" Pulak said. 

She didn't think twice about paying it forward, too. 

"Anytime you have the chance to do something nice, just think what that person is going through and how much of an impact you might have on their life," Pulak said. 

Enthusiasm about the pay-it-forward ice cream took off on social media, with the chain racking up $10,000 in sales. 

Dairy Queen
Employees of a Dairy Queen in Brainerd, Minnesota. Dairy Queen

For those wondering why Minnesotans are so excited about ice cream in December, Jensen said: "I tell them it is the best time, it doesn't melt." 

The hope is that the act will thaw the hearts of people everywhere. 

"It starts with one person, you don't know whose life you can change," Jensen said. 

Anderson added: "This has showed me that this world is full of a lot of kindness and love." 

  • jamie-yuccas-2018-promo.jpg
    Jamie Yuccas On Twitter»

    Jamie Yuccas is a CBS News correspondent based in Los Angeles.