A Starbucks barista in San Diego who confronted a woman who refused to serve without a mask is now receiving his own service, with more than $ 21,000 in donations.
A GoFundMe page created for the Starbucks employee, identified as Lenin Gutiérrez, has raised more than $ 21,029 from nearly 2,000 donors as of Thursday.
“Raising money for Lenin for his honorable effort to stay steadfast when confronted by a Karen in the wild,” says the fundraiser, using Internet jargon for eligible white women, usually middle-aged.
Irvine’s Matt Cowan said he started the effort online after seeing comments in support of Gutierrez after his encounter with Amber Lynn Gilles at a Starbucks on Genesee Avenue in San Diego.
“I put it at $ 1,000, thinking it was a scope, and we’d be lucky if we hit $ 250,” Cowan told KGTV. “And when we hit $ 100, I was overwhelmed by that.”
Cowan said he was surprised at how people “gather around someone for doing what they are supposed to do” and try to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“It just shows that there are a lot of good people out there, and that outweighs the bad,” Cowan said.
Gilles, of San Diego, included a photo of Gutiérrez in a Facebook post Monday detailing his visit.
“You know Lenen from Starbucks who refused to serve me because I’m not wearing a mask,” Gilles wrote. “Next time, I’ll wait for the police and file a medical exemption.”
The post, which has been shared more than 47,000 times, generated more than 133,000 comments, including one that accused her of being a “privileged disaster” and others who suggested that she direct her anger elsewhere.
“I hate the whole mask, but I don’t blame the boy behind the counter,” read one comment. “They must follow the rules their supervisors give them … supervisors also don’t want to get into trouble.”
Meanwhile, a Starbucks representative told KGTV in a statement that the company wants “everyone to feel welcome” at their locations.
“We respectfully request customers to follow the social distancing and safety protocols recommended by public health officials, including the use of a face covering when visiting our stores,” the statement read.
San Diego County residents must wear masks in public, but a county spokesperson told KGTV that there is no official rule to enforce the policy. Those with pre-existing health conditions are not required to show evidence, the spokesperson said.