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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