Payin’ It Forward With Pumpkin #AJO

It's Pumpkin Season at Dunkin (coffee, iced pumpkin coffee, and pumpkin donut)

~ Photo Provided by Dunkin Donuts through Tilson PR~

Nothing quite says fall like Pumpkin!  So I was super pumped when my friend Teresa over at Making It All Work invited me as her plus one to sample some delicious and fabulous fall treats at Dunkin’ Donuts this past Tuesday!  I have to tell you it didn’t take much persuasion as I’m a lover of all things pumpkin and it turns out pumpkin is what was on the menu!

We arrived and were greeted by  Maru who asked us if we’d downloaded the Dunkin’ Donuts app yet?

Um… but of course!


Apps rock!

Especially when they give away free stuff and this particular app does just that! Not only does this app give you special offers, it also helps you find the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts!  AND it doesn’t stop there…  you can also buy a Dunkin’ Card and pay for your purchases and/or buy gift cards to send to your family and friends for the holidays!  How cool is that?!

I know very cool right!

After we discussed the app we met Maria the store manager!  I was so impressed to learn that Dunkin’ Donuts actually allows its staff the creativity to come up with a donut of their own.  Maria’s particular store, located at 4012 Armenia Ave in Tampa, came up with a Latin infused Guava filled donut topped with a vanilla cream icing and toasted coconut.  I’m not a huge fan of Guava, but I have to say it was really good!


My mouth was watering and my taste buds were dancing when Maria started bringing out all of the pumpkin items.

First we sampled their new Pumpkin Pie Donut

Pumpkin Pie Donut & Coffee

~Picture provided by Dunkin’ Donuts through Tilson PR~

This was one of my favorites donuts, filled with a pumpkin pie flavored buttercream and then topped with a white icing and sprinkled with graham crackers!

Next we sampled the pumpkin donut and their little pumpkin counter parts the munchkins!


I was begged to bring home some of the pumpkin munchkins by my little one who informed me I was “The BEST mom EVAH!” as she sat and ate them!


Oh wait…

Did I tell you we also got to try their different pumpkin coffees?

Pumpkin Beverage Line Horizontal Lifestyle

~Picture provided by Dunkin’ Donuts through Tilson PR~

I couldn’t make up my mind which was my favorite:  The Pumpkin Iced Coffee or the Pumpkin White Chocolate Latte!  I guess, because the weather can run hot and cold a little further into the season I could go with the Latte on the cooler mornings and the Iced Coffee when it gets sunny and hot!

My all time favorite thing pumpkin is Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Muffin!

Pumpkin Muffin

~Picture provided by Dunkin’ Donuts through Tilson PR~

I must have one of these bad boys every year when pumpkin season rolls around!  As a matter of fact I may end up going out and getting another one today!

If for some reason you’re not in a pumpkin kind of mood, but you want something a bit more hearty for breakfast Dunkin’ Donuts also offers the Angus Steak Big N Toasty!

Angus Steak Big N' Toasted

~Picture provided by Dunkin’ Donuts through Tilson PR~

We were given samples of this sandwich and I can tell you a few of us took a second sample because they were really tasty!

We chatted with Mura about the things we liked the best and then thanked her for the opportunity!  As thank you for coming out she handed us each a swag bag with a lb of coffee, a cute DD mug and a $20 gift card inside!

I didn’t think much about the swag bag till later that night when a friend sent me a link to an article about a young girl name Alyssa O’neill!  My heart ached for her family and as I read on I couldn’t hold back my emotions when I learned Alyssa had suffered a sudden seizure which had ultimately taken her life. SUDEP (sudden unexplained death in epilepsy) is a fear of mine and a fear for most parents of children with epilepsy, but  for this family it had become a reality.

The day before Alyssa passed her parents had received a text from their daughter about wanting to try a Pumpkin Spiced Latte and unfortunately it never came to pass, but in an effort to remember their daughter they bought and paid for 40 Spiced Lattes which were given out to strangers.  They only asked that #AJO (Alyssa’s initials) be written on the cups and that they tell the people who received them about Alyssa’s story.  Moved by this others began to pay it forward and #AJO went viral.

Immediately after reading the article I thought of the gift card I’d received and the next morning I headed out to my local Dunkin’ Donuts.  I pulled the manager aside, shared Alyssa’s story, and asked if I added a little money to the gift card could they mark it with #AJO, retell Alyssa’s story and pay it forward.  The manager agreed, I thanked her and headed home feeling like I had helped Alyssa’s family in some small way tell the world about their daughter!


I am deeply, deeply  sorry for the O’neill’s loss as no parent should ever have to bury their child, but I’m also thankful for their simple act of kindness!  People, including myself, were moved by Alyssa’s story and began sharing pictures on twitter and Facebook.  Now a simple act of kindness to remember their daughter has become a movement!   #AJO pay it forward has gone global and attracted the attention of news networks, talk shows and celebrities.  Your daughter can never be replaced, but her memory will help so many others including my own daughter, by bringing attention to Epilepsy and SUDEP!

~While I was invited to sample these products, the review and opinions on them are my own.~

2 thoughts on “Payin’ It Forward With Pumpkin #AJO

    1. Unfortunately sudep has become a reality for so many families and there needs to be more awareness! It always feels good to pay it forward and if you can educate just one person… it’s a double win!


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