Long Island Now

Sound Beach man’s Starbucks kindness honors late son

On Pay it Forward Day, April 24, 2014,

As soon as Starbucks at the Stony Brook University Medical Center opened at 6:30 a.m., Rich Specht handed employees $500 in Starbucks gift cards to give out to customers.

Thursday was international Pay It Forward Day, the perfect day to spread some kindness.

Specht, whose Sound Beach family lost their 22-month-old son Richie — nicknamed Rees — on Oct. 27, 2012 after he drowned in a pond in his backyard, has been spreading acts of kindness in his son’s name.

Specht gave the employees 100 $5 Starbucks gift cards along with business-size cards with information about his son and his family’s mission to pay it forward, in hopes that they too pass along the kindness.

“We decided to have it here because this is where Rees was born,” said Specht, 39, an eighth-grade

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I am at a place now where I can mostly remember the happy times with Rees and smile in remembrance of him.  My morning routine of looking at his collage of pictures is met with less sadness and more smiles on a daily basis.  I can talk about Rees, openly, and fondly with others without tears welling up in my eyes anymore.  I smile thinking back to day he was born, and the utter joy I felt knowing I had a little boy to share the Father and Son relationship with.  The sadness I used to feel at the realization I will never have that with him is not as acute anymore.  The kindness that I hear about people performing in his name conjures images of him smiling above me and it puts me at ease.  I mostly now smile when thinking of him, a welcome change from the flood … Read More