Starbucks to offer free coffee to those who buy drinks for others

(WJLA) - The CEO of Starbucks has a message for lawmakers - kindness and generosity are better than posturing and arguing, and he's using his company's coffee to prove it.

Starting Wednesday, Starbucks stores nationwide will offer a free tall coffee to customers who buy someone else their favorite drink; a message of "paying it forward" that company CEO Howard Schultz hopes will rub off on Congress and the government.

"We have a responsibility as well as an opportunity not to be bystanders, but to act in ways that contribute to the vibrancy of the communities where we live and work," Schultz said in his letter.

Schultz says that even though Starbucks is "just a coffee company," the fact that his stores often bear witness to small random acts of kindness can be an example of a larger spirit of generosity and community.

The offer runs through Friday.

You can read Schultz's full letter here.