Starbucks employee receives more than $16K in tips after refusing to serve a customer who wasn’t wearing a mask

More than $16,000 has been raised for a Starbucks employee after a customer posted on Facebook that the barista refused to serve her at a San Diego location because she wasn’t wearing a mask. 

A GoFundMe set up for the barista, identified as Lenin Gutierrez, raised nearly $17,000 as of Wednesday — just days after it was posted online. 

“Raising money for Lenin for his honorable effort standing his ground when faced with a Karen in the wild,” the creator of the fundraiser, Matt Cowan, wrote in the description of the page.

All donations to the page are considered “personal gifts” to Gutierrez, Cowan wrote. 

The page was set up after a customer posted a picture of Gutierrez in his mask at a Starbucks complaining that she wasn’t served when she came in without a mask, defying the county’s guidelines. 

“Meet lenen from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I’m not wearing a mask. Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption,” Amber Lynn Gilles wrote in a Facebook post that’s been shared 46,000 times. 

As of May 1, San Diego County has required residents to wear face coverings in most public settings, including when picking up food at a restaurant. In its online notice, the county said that “everyone should help protect others by following health orders.” 

“We can’t expect law enforcement to make sure every person is wearing a face covering. But if you don’t wear one, you can be cited or not allowed into businesses, on transit or in other areas,” the county said. 

Cowan told KGTV he has been shocked to see how many people are donating. 

“I set it at $1,000 thinking that was a reach but we would be lucky if we hit like $250, and when we hit $100 I was overwhelmed by that,” he told the outlet. 

“Everybody is rallying around somebody for doing what they’re supposed to do and trying to protect everyone else,” he added. “It just goes to show you there are a lot of good people out there and that outweighs the bad.”

He said he plans to give all the money to Gutierrez and that it’s up to him to decide what he wants to do with it. He shared a screenshot of a conversation with Gutierrez and a picture of him on the GoFundMe to show he has been in contact with him. 

Gutierrez posted a video on Facebook on Tuesday thanking his donors. He said that his dream is to become a dancer and that he will use the funds to pursue that goal. 

“With this donation I can make these dreams a reality. I can fuel my passion even better now,” he said.

Tags California Coronavirus GoFundMe Lenin Gutierrez San Diego Social distancing Starbucks Starbucks

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