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  • Make a Drive-Thru Difference

    December 30, 2013 by  
    Filed under Community, What You Hear

    When you go to the drive-thru for your morning coffee, or a quick bite at lunch, or anywhere you go to make a purchase – show a little kindness and pay the bill for the person behind you. You might just impact someone’s day in ways greater than you might imagine.

    And every Wednesday, it’s Drive-Thru Difference Day – to help spread a little love around the DC area.

    Here’s how to get started…


    Just download a Drive-Thru Difference Note (PDF) here. Print this out – even a few copies – take it with you, and put in your car.

    When you go to a drive-thru for your morning coffee or your quick lunch, simply give this flyer to the cashier and let them know you want to pay for the person behind you – then see what happens!



    We would love to hear how it went – it just might encourage someone to do it, too!

    • Call the studio 800-700-1094
    • Leave a comment 800-400-1432
    • Post your story to our Facebook page
    • Twitter – #919difference
    Or leave a comment below!


    You can hear a story one person who has already been encouraged by the Drive-Thru Difference.


    30 Responses to “Make a Drive-Thru Difference”
    1. Rick Plasters says:

      Make a Drive-Thru Difference
      I am a graphic designer here in Birmingham, AL and listen daily to your show. I love every minute of it.
      I am so inspired about the Make a Drive-Thru Difference program that you run that it really made me want to do the same thing here in Birmingham. Can I share this idea with a new local christian radio station to see where God will take this idea, of course it would all be credited back to you.

      Your thoughts…

    2. Rob Conway says:

      Hey Rick,

      Thanks for asking about that–so glad you’ve been moved by the Drive-Thru Difference. I’d have to check to see if the name itself is copyrighted, but there’s nothing about doing something kind for a random stranger that is. :) Pls feel free to share this with them. Most of us in the radio industry around the country are pretty well connected, so chances are they may have heard about it, but doesn’t hurt to mention to them.


      Rob Conway
      WGTS 91.9

    3. Angie Abraham says:

      Hi WGTS Friends!

      Now that I live in Seattle I’d like to do the drive thru difference here. Can you post a note that refers people to the WGTS website rather than the radio station? Or should I make my own note?



    4. Flo says:

      i am not sure how this would work- i am often moved to pay for people in front of me after they have ordered i pay their entire bill sometimes even asking is there something else they wanted to eat , but i cant for the life of me figure out how you pay for the person behind if you do not know what they have ordered and what their bill total is, pls help me understand this-Thank you guys you are the best!!

    5. Addy says:

      Hi Flo!

      When you pull up to the window, just tell the cashier you’d like to pay for the person behind you and they will tell you how much their order is. You just pay for it like you would yourself. And don’t forget to hand them the note! ;-)

      Thanks for asking!

    6. Addy says:

      Hi Angie,

      We should definitely put our website there, too! We have good friends at another station in Seattle that do the same thing, but I don’t think they’d mind you sending them to us, either. :)

      Good idea. We miss you back here!

    7. Emma Amison says:

      I want to Longhorn yesterday with my family to have dinner, when it was time to pay for the check, to my surprise another person have already pay for it. I was so surprised, and grateful. God work miracle in so many ways and for that I said thank you and may God continue to bless them who so ever they maybe.

    8. Robin says:

      God bless you and all those at your radio station who encourage others and share God’s amazing love with all who listen. I am emailing re: the drive thru difference I have heard about on your station. I fully believe that it is an absolutely wonderful way to show God’s love to others!!! However, I also believe that paying for someones meal is for God’s glory and not ours! Calling in and telling everyone listening how you paid for someones meal takes the glory away from God and puts it on yourself. How about just relaying the message to show God’s love by paying for anothers meal and then only playing the messages of those who received the blessing of a paid meal and how God’s love was shown to them? Bragging about our works takes all the glory from the one who gave us the ability to do our works. Still love your station and wonderfully uplifting praise and worship music!!

      In God’s hands forever,


    9. barbara says:

      As a mother of a young adult that works at Chic-fil-A, I just want to let you (and everyone who does this) know how POWERFUL it is for them to see people paying for other people’s food. In a time when they have so much exposure to violence and unkindness in the world on a regular basis, (via technology, etc.) it renews their faith and hope in people. Sometimes the person that is blessed the MOST is the young person witnessing this kind gesture. Please continue to give our young people good role models in the world around us and bless you for continuing to do this.

    10. Kristi says:

      Hello, WGTS Friends! I was blessed yesterday at a Chick-fil-a restaurant. The person in the car infront of me paid for my dinner. I didn’t receive the flyer, but I listen to you guys everyday and figured this was the Drive-Thru Difference. (I paid for the three cars behind me.) Thank you so much for this great idea!

      One little suggestion: I think the flyer really should mention Jesus. I love encouraging people, but it is because of HIM that I am doing this. Just a thought. My church used this phrase on a business card: “Was just hoping to bless your day in the name of Jesus!” and then had our church info on the reverse side.

      Love you guys! Keep up the good work!


    11. Dora Kolpack says:

      I’ve been supporting WGTS for over 12 years now and doing the drive thru difference for quite a while. Today though after giving the note and pulling up to wait for my order, one of the employees brought my order out and asked if she could get a copy of the letter. She loved the idea and wanted to pass it along. Even though I do this quite often, the response and good vibes I get each time never grow old…thanks for providing just another way to share God’s love. The giver and receiver are blessed.

    12. Nicole Wilkins says:

      My husband and I were having a rough patch in our marriage after he returned home from Afghanistan, as many Military families do. We decided to take our sons, 3 years and 3 months at the time, to a quiet dinner to get them out of the house and get away from the chaos. A beautiful older couple was seated to our right, and when they were finished they came over to our table and said: ” When my husband returned home from Vietnam, he was changed and not for the better. We have had 4 children, and now 12 grandchildren. We fought to keep our marriage whole and let me tell you one piece of advice: LET GO AND LET GOD. Fighting to keep what you think is the ideal of peace in your home only causes chaos.

      We thanked them, well my husband did as I was hugging the wife and bawling. we then gathered up our children and went to pay our tab. The sweet lady at the front gave us a note and said our bill was taken care of. The note read:
      LET GO AND LET GOD! We love you!

      We have been faithful to that promise, and are thriving in our marriage 2 years later. Praise the Lord for bringing that wonderful couple into our lives that day!

    13. Charlie says:

      I love the entire concept of the Drive Through Difference. It is a simple, straightforward way to demonstrate a loving act of kindness. And the bible tells us to do good deeds so God will be acknowledged. I’m wondering why God is not acknowledged in the Drive Through Difference Note? I say this with a deep respect for WGTS, but the note doesn’t mention God at all. Who is to get the glory? WGTS or God? Maybe you could rewrite it so God is first and WGTS is second.

    14. Cindy M says:

      Next time you go thru the drive thru, think of the person working at the drive thru. I gave a young lady working a little gift bag filled with a small notebook, fancy pen, cards to send, stamps, invitation to come to church and some tracks. When I gave it to her and told her Jesus wanted her to know she was Special today. She had a smile like Christmas morning. Sometimes a few little gifts can go a long way… you think about it…
      God Love You today.

    15. Tara T. says:

      After a bad start to my morning (grouchy husband, late to work, stress from job, legal issues with deadline this week, pending separation and custody battle weighing on me), I needed to eat since I hadn’t yet today so went through a Chick Fil-a drive-thru on my way to work. I decided to pay for the person’s order behind me even though as I glanced back I saw it was a person in a BMW (shame on me for immediate judging) I decided that I was going to do it no matter what they were driving or how much it cost (even though I couldn’t really even afford to be going through the drive-thru myself). Just then the Christian radio station I listen to came on with their “ad” about their latest program – “The Drive-Thru Difference”. It was like God poking me right then and there to prompt me and remind me to do what I had pledged to do this week. So I obeyed and genuinely smiled at the cashier, was pleasant even – for a moment forgetting my problems and focusing on just doing a random act of kindness. The cashier was young, and but only slightly surprised by my request to pay for the person’s order behind me. He smiled and took my check card again; letting me know what the person had ordered. I said, “Ok, sure. Go ahead. Just tell them to ‘Have a nice day”. and he swiped an extra charge onto my account (one less meal for me). After that he gave me my food and I rushed off – back to my bubble of wearying worries and anxious concerns and never-ending list of demands on me. BUT before my rush to get on my way, I glanced back as I slowly drove away to try to see the person’s reaction to my gesture. Unfortunately I couldn’t see anything BUT the feeling of doing something positive for someone else buffered me and helped the forced smile on my face stay just a minute longer than normal and kept the negativity of my mind at bay for at least an hour after I finally got to work. In my rush to get out of the drive-thru both me and the cashier forgot to get my drink for my order so I made a circle returned a minute later. The cashier said that the person “said Thank you and was very happy and surprised”. Even though I had a bad start to my morning my obedience to God’s prompting helped me get through my afternoon at work and proved to me that random acts of kindness and thinking about others more often is good for my own health and happiness. #philanthropyisnotdead; #lookingoutsidemyselfforachange #LoveGodLovePeople

    16. Rob says:

      Hi Charlie

      Really appreciate the constructive thoughts! Please know we will prayerfully consider them.

      Now the quick answer as to why the note is written this way is that we hope someone may find Jesus through WGTS 91.9 (and not be turned off before they reach for the dial). We don’t try, or intend to take any credit, except being a vehicle God uses to reach others.

      However, understand this is merely a draft that you may feel free to edit/adjust however you feel most comfortable.

      Thank you for helping spread God’s love around the area!

    17. Sarah says:

      Hello, I just wanted to share my experience at the drive thru with who I’m sure must be one of your listeners. On Wednesday I travelled from Virginia to Baltimore with my 5 children to see medical specialists at Johns Hopkins. Three of our five children suffer from a serious genetic disease and the team at Hopkins is top notch, but going there makes for a very long day. By the end of the appointments the children were all tired and hungry. I decided to treat them to McDonalds on the way home. When we got there they ordered what seemed to be half of the menu and racked up a $33 bill. Wouldn’t you know, that the person in front of us picked up the tab. Not just a$2 soda but a dinner tab for 5 hungry children. When we pulled up the cashier told us this nice person paid for us because “it was the Christian thing to do”. I immediately understood what she had done and we were all touched. We were trying to think of a way we could say thank you and my oldest child came up with a great idea. We pray as a family every day and my children and I would like to dedicate our prayers this week for the intentions in the heart of that pretty blonde lady with the white car in Maryland. We were truly touched by your gift. Pax Christi and many thanks.

    18. Pat says:

      You know I don’t agree with Robin, I find it very encouraging when I hear that people are putting smiles on other faces with the drive through difference. I do it usually two time a month and I love it! I love hearing the testimonies, we need more happy days when you know of all the de-moralization going on in our country.
      I actually think I shock the person working at the window…they sometimes shake their heads and it usually a young adult and they need to know blessings are still out their.
      Thanks for the fun idea, and have a good week!

    19. Stephanie Blake says:

      Someone made a “drive-thru” difference for me this morning at the Starbucks in Mt. Airy, Md.! Completely caught me by surprise and made my morning. I will definitely pass it on.

    20. Teri Phelps says:

      A few weeks ago a friend and I were heading out start the weekend helping him move. We stopped at a drive-thru Starbucks in Countryside, Sterling, VA for an ice tea. The week had been extremely stressful and exhausting at work. When we got to the window, the young lady told us the tea was paid for by the person in front of us (a young mother and her small child). I cannot tell you how much that act of kindness and sharing meant to me – totally changed my outlook for that day – it was just the sweetest thing. Thinking about it just brings so much joy to my heart and often times tears to my eyes. I will be sharing with others in the same way.

      Thank you!

    21. The Drive Through Difference has really inspired me to think outside the box with giving. Tithing used to be really hard for me, but God has spoken to my heart so many times since I started doing this and has changed my heart to be a giving person rather than fearfully holding on to every penny. It has been such a blessing to me that I have decided to link up to your challenge and give the mommies in my bootcamp a taste of selfless giving. I am starting a Pay It Forward Challenge where I give my participants 10% back to them to experience the thrill of making someones day by giving. Your station (particularly Out of Eden’s song- “Window”) pulled me out of a pit in college and I hope that by giving we can pull some others out of their pits and let them see first hand God’s love! You guys are amazing! If you have other ideas of how to pay it forward, please submit them to my website http://www.FoxyMommyBootcamp.com. I hope we can continue to spread the movement past the drive thru and continue blessing people!

    22. Pat says:

      Hi, One day while sitting in line, I was just thinking of how I have been paying for meals for others and have never run across anyone who has had this happen to them despite hearing all the testimonies on this station. Well low and behold that very same day my sister called to say she was having a bad and while in the line at mcdonald’s some one paid for her meal! She was so overwhelmed she began to cry. I have been sharing the love of God with her for quite some yrs now with not too much response but the simple act of giving from a stranger made an impact. She said “you know what? I am going to start paying for peoples meals too!”

    23. Patrick says:

      Today at the George Washington Chik-Fil-A, someone bought my lunch. Whoever it was, just wanted to say thanks. I will definitely do it the next time I go, it’s a great thing to give and it’s a lot of fun too.

    24. Maria says:

      Hello, I hope you can read this to the people who listen your Station. This is what happened to me. I decided to pay for someone at the DriveT, it was around Dinner Time and can you guys believed that NO ONE was there to get food??? I waited and waited for 20 minutes and NO ONE came. I could not believed it!!!, because that restaurant in Annandale VA is always busy at that Time. Then I decided to leave, at that moment I felt discourage, like I did not what to try again, However at that moment I realized IT WAS the DEVIL who wanted me to feel like this, that’s when GOD talked to me and said to me TRY again my child, and that’s what I did, I came back the next day at the same time and when I told the cashier that I wanted to pay for the lady behind me, you should it see her FACE , she gave me a look, like ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THAT?????? Ha ha ha ha To see her expression MADE my day !!! Because I felt made a BIG difference by doing something small, and Yes the DEVIL loss again and he will always LOSE. GOD bless you all, including my Hispanic Community!! 8-))

    25. MJ says:

      I participate at the Starbucks drive-thru every Wednesday. One time in particular the car behind followed me for about 5 minutes onto the highway to say thank-you. That really made my day to know someone cared enough to say thank-you.

    26. Siaj Won says:

      Yesterday in Shoppers, Germantown MD I was embarrassed by God’s blessing through a man who paid for my groceries. I had not been a faithful tither in the past because I struggled to make ends meet on my current paycheck. However this month I decided to ask God for forgiveness and claim the blessings of the widow with the meagre flour and oil who hearkened to the voice of the Prophet. I only had 50 dollars in my account but my grocery total was 55 dollars. My card kept declining while my 9 year old daughter looked on. Then this man came to whisper in my ear that he would like to pay for my groceries. I declined out of embarrassment but he insisted. He paid for my groceries and I was embarrassed with God’s goodness. I thank God and I continue to trust my Jehovah Jireh!

    27. Jen says:

      For the last few weeks, I’ve been on an extremely tight budget, haven’t been able to go food shopping and have gone back to living mostly on PB&J, as I did in college. Tonight, I was able to go grocery shopping for the first time in many weeks. With my shopping complete, on the way home, I decided to treat myself to a sandwich as I was too tired to cook when I got home. I pulled into a drive through and placed my order. While sitting in line to pay, I thought about gratitude, humility and Jesus. God knows we all have needs. I’m grateful that despite difficult financial times and struggle, my basic needs have been met. Not everyone in this world has their basic needs met and even though we may not be able to help others financially, we can still reach out to others and let them know that they are not alone. Compassion is one of Christ’s greatest gifts. I wished to share in that gratitude. I looked in the rear view mirror of my car and wondered how the person behind me was. How had their day been? Even though things have been tough for me lately, perhaps they needed a bit of compassion too. I started to wonder if that was a moment I should practice an act of sharing and the clear answer was that compassion is never wasted. I met my resolve. God’s love is infinite and meant to be shared, even though a simple sandwich at the drive through. I pulled up to the window, and requested to pay for both my meal and that of the young man behind my car. The cashier smiled a knowing smile and said she would pass the simple blessing along. I don’t know if it made a difference to this person, but that’s alright. God’s love isn’t about waiting for a reaction, it’s about the active sharing, connection and compassion. Through simple acts of kindness and love the world does shine a bit brighter and we are made to be part of that.

      Thank you for sharing stories about the drive through difference program. The stories and actions mean a great deal and on a personal note, really pack quite a valuable lesson. :) Also, thank you for all that you do at this station!!

    28. Makkda says:

      Someone just paid for me and I have 6 kids, plus my husband at IHOP. The bill was sixty dollars!

    29. patricia says:

      I am thankful and grateful for a young woman who had a ten month old baby in line behind me at the Harris Teeters in Alexandria Va around 5 pm to day she stepped up and asked me if I would mind if you paid my grocer bill of $35.00 as my debit card would not accept payment. I said yes and thank you bless you. I just want to say thank you for your kindness where ever you are and I too will pay it forward.

    30. Elsie says:

      I am extremely grateful to Pat who paid for my Chik Fila order in Manassas, Virginia (Liberia Ave) on 06/07/2013. God bless you abundantly. It was definitely an awesome surprise and I wish you success and God’s abundant blessings in all your endeavors!

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