More than $50,000 has been raised for a Clairemont Starbucks employee targeted by a local woman in an online post over the store’s COVID-19 mask policy.
The woman, identified through Facebook as Amber Lynn Gilles, on Monday posted a since-deleted picture of the barista.
In it, Gilles complained that the barista, Lenin Gutierrez, would not serve her unless she donned a mask.
“Meet lenen (sic) 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,” the post read.
Since then, a GoFundMe page created by Gutierrez’s friend, Matt Cowan, has garnered him widespread attention and financial support.
More than 4,300 donors have offered up nearly $55,000 for Gutierrez, exceeding the initial goal.
A masked Gutierrez appeared in a video on Cowan’s YouTube page earlier this week after donations reached $10,000.
“Everyone, I just want to say thank you for all the love and support,” he said in the 17-second video.
“What everyone is doing is an honor to see all this happen, but I just want to remind everyone to be kind to one another and to love each other, and always remember to wear a mask.”
Gilles, who told NBC San Diego that she’s received thousands of death threats since she posted the picture, said she never threatened Gutierrez.
“I was denied and discriminated against,” she said in an interview. “I didn’t harass anyone. I called them out because I’m frustrated.”
– City News Service