On the last day of her life, Pennsylvania teenager Alyssa O’Neill texted her parents with a simple request: That they take her for a pumpkin spiced latte the next day.
But on Sept. 4, the 18-year-old died of an epileptic seizure, just a year after being diagnosed with the condition.
Two days after the funeral for their eldest of their four children, Jason and Sarah O’Neill decided to pay it forward in her memory.
At a Starbucks in Erie, Penn., the O’Neills bought pumpkin spiced lattes for 40 people, asking that the hashtag #AJO, for Alyssa Josephine O’Neill, be written in purple marker on the cups.
“We told the manager why, and all the employees were moved, so they all donated drinks until we had bought drinks for 90 people,’’ Jason O’Neill told TODAY.com.
Thanks to social media, the small act of kindness spread and has inspired strangers to honor Alyssa at coffee shops across the world.