SAN DIEGO — A San Diego Starbucks employee who recently gained viral fame got a special delivery this week – more than $100,000 in donations from a GoFundMe campaign.
According to KNSD, barista Lenin Gutierrez, 24, made headlines last month when a customer, Amber Lynn Gilles, posted his photo on social media, complaining that he had refused to serve her because she wasn't wearing a face mask.
"Meet lenen (sic) from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I'm not wearing a mask," she captioned the photo on Facebook. "Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption."
But her post appeared to backfire, with many people pointing out that the barista, later identified as Gutierrez, had been complying with a San Diego County public health order requiring masks inside businesses, KNSD reported.
A crowdfunding campaign quickly emerged for Gutierrez.
"Raising money for Lenin for his honorable effort standing his ground when faced with a Karen in the wild," organizer Matt Cowan wrote in the description of the GoFundMe campaign, which eventually raised more than $105,000.
"Thank you so much," Gutierrez said in the video, which has been viewed more than 11,000 times on YouTube. "This is so mind-blowing right now. I've never seen anything like this except in the movies."
Gutierrez, a dancer who taught children before the coronavirus pandemic forced lockdowns, said he will use the donated funds to further his career as a dance instructor, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
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