PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A Rhode Island man has launched an experiment in social giving, providing his Starbucks card information for anyone to see in what could be the modern equivalent of "Have a penny, leave a penny."
Jonathan Stark wanted to see if anyone would take him up on an offer to use his card to buy a drink, but also to see if anyone would feel the urge to put more money on the card for someone else to use.
As of Monday, Stark reported that $3,651 had been spent on his card already. The original card balance was $30 and at least 177 people have been bit by the generosity bug already and have donated to the card.
“It’s been a bit emotional, actually,” Stark wrote Monday. “People’s reactions have ranged from accusing me of stealing to thanking me for renewing their faith in humanity,” Stark added, according to CNN.com.
Jonathan wants to make it clear that he is not affiliated with Starbucks in any way. On his website describing the Jonathan’s Card experiment, he writes, “In case it wasn’t obvious from the complete lack of design, this site is totally not affiliated with Starbucks.”
Though not affiliated, Starbucks has been appreciative to be involved with Jonathan’s Card. In a response to the experiment, Starbucks has said, “We think Jonathan’s project is really interesting and we are flattered he chose Starbucks for his social experiment.”
To learn more about Jonathan’s Card and how you can get a free coffee – or give one – visit his website here. You can also follow the card’s funds on Twitter @jonathanscard or on Facebook.