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McDonald's launching 'McCafé It Forward' with three-day pay-it-forward giveaway

Kelly Tyko

McDonald’s has seen its customers pay it forward by buying cups of coffee and meals for others time after time.

The fast food giant wants to start "the ripple effect of kindness" with a three-day pay-it-forward giveaway of McCafé coffee Wednesday through Friday.

To mark the 10-year anniversary of its McCafé brand, McDonald’s is distributing 500 McCafé It Forward cards to coffee fans and “individuals known for doing good in their communities,” McDonald’s announced Tuesday.

“We know McCafé customers are already sharing acts of kindness every day, and McCafé It Forward is a chance for us to amplify what they’re doing on a larger scale and prove good is truly brewing around every corner,” said Elina Veksler, McDonald’s senior director of brand and menu innovation strategy, in a statement.

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McCafé coffees have been on McDonald's American menu since 2009. Last year, U.S. locations served about 822 million cups of hot McCafé coffee, equal to almost 1,600 cups per minute.

Starting Wednesday, cardholders can get a free small cup of McCafé hot or iced coffee and then pass along the card to a friend, someone who has done good in their life or a stranger. The cards can be passed on and used until 11:59 p.m. ET Friday.

McDonald’s said the “human kindness social experiment” can be watched in real time at BeABrewGooder.com.

There also is the McCafé Be A Brew-Gooder sweepstakes. Starting Aug. 26 through Sept. 29, nominate someone who “has done something good big or small” for a chance to win McCafé for Life for yourself and your nominee.

Five pairs will win by random drawing, and each prize is worth $14,872, based on two coffees per week for 50 years, according to the fine print.

Nominations can be submitted through Twitter, Instagram or an entry form on the McDonald’s app or BeABrewGooder.com.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: McDonald's McCafé It Forward: Chain celebrating 10 years with giveaway