Hundreds 'pay it forward' at Lakeland McDonald's

- A woman recently brought the spirit of Christmas to Lakeland by paying it forward at a local fast food restaurant.

It happened at the McDonald's on Sheppard Road last week.

Marisabel Figueroa Lopez, an employee of the McDonald's, was working at the drive-thru window taking money, when a  woman drove up,  told Lopez that she wanted to pay for the car behind her, and then asked Lopez to specifically say "Merry Christmas", and not "Happy Holidays".

"Hey, that's nice," thought Lopez. "It's pretty cool."

Well, that act of kindness started a chain reaction. Each person in line paid for the person behind them. It kept going and going until 250 people had paid it forward.

Perhaps the only reason it ended, Lopez said, was that the 251st person seemed a bit confused about the concept of paying it forward. She wished Lopez a Merry Christmas, and left.

It had to end sometime, and the fact that hundreds of people paid it forward before it did, makes all the difference this holiday season.

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