Thieves Vandalize 65-Year-Old Starbucks Barista’s Car – So Fellow Employees Take Matters Into Their Own Hands
Starbucks employees rallied for one of their own.
It’s no secret that people LOVE coffee. But for students and faculty at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, what they love even more than their daily caffeine fix is the person who serves it.
For the past 13 years, Karen Collinsworth, 65, has been a supervisor and barista at the Starbucks on campus. Affectionately dubbed “Starbucks mom” by her youthful staff and customers, she dishes out so much more than just coffee; she pours out love.
So, karma being what it is when Karen needed a helping hand, an army of coffee (and Karen) lovers had her back.
Starbucks Employees Rally the Troops
Karen’s car, a 2004 Kia Amanti, was already on its last legs. She struggled to get it started and often had to rely on neighbors to give her a boost. Then a thief stole her catalytic converter — a part worth hundreds of dollars on the black market.
To make matters worse, days later, it was broken into and several items were stolen from its interior.
Upon learning about their colleague’s latest car misfortunes, Karen’s coworkers decided it was time to take action.
“Us baristas were talking, and we decided it would be amazing to try to get Karen a reliable vehicle,” Jaiden Horn, 19, a sophomore and fellow Starbucks employee told the Washington Post.
What began as a casual conversation about helping her get back on her feet quickly evolved into a full-fledged fundraising campaign.
The “Anonymous Baristas” started a GoFundMe campaign, simply calling it “We love you Karen.”
They were hoping that people would donate the cost of a venti latte or two.
In the description, they wrote:
“Beloved Starbucks supervisor, Karen, deserves all the love and happiness in the world! If everyone donated $5-10, even $1, we could help her buy a working car and ensure she wouldn’t have to worry about monthly bills. This way, she can continue doing what she loves (connecting with Starbucks customers) without worrying about monthly expenses :)”
The original goal was set at $10,000.
In just days, it reached four times that amount.
GoFundMe Campaign for Starbucks Employee Skyrockets
More than 1,200 people donated an impressive $40,115 before the organizers disabled the campaign.
Karen’s coworkers believe that it was so successful due to “the amount of people she has touched throughout her entire life.”
And based on the comments on the GoFundMe and the university’s Facebook page, this definitely rings true.
“We’ve known Karen for years,” wrote one person who contributed $50. “… She always took care of us. She ‘mothered’ Lauren and Kelly while they worked at Starbucks. She’s an angel!”
“Karen always made me smile when I came into Starbucks everyday! She knew my name and my order by heart,” another person wrote. “She really cared about everyone who came through the doors.”
“I remember Karen. I remember when I graduated in 2013 and I was going to the campus Starbucks for a final latte and to say goodbye and she gave me a great hug across the counter.”
Commenter after commenter praised Karen for her kindness and for making a difference in their day.
“Karen is the BEST woman ever!!!!! She always brightens my day“
“KAREN at the campus Starbucks literally was the kindest soul I’ve ever met. She made my college experience so much better. So many early morning conversations and ice coffees in that Starbucks while I studied.”
The Best Way to Get Love Is to Give It
As for Karen’s response to the outpouring of love?
“I was taken aback when I found out. It was very overwhelming. I knew these kids loved me because I love them,” Karen, who has one daughter, said. “But for them to be 19-year-old college students … They have so much going on in their life, but then to take care of their Starbucks mom, Karen. That’s just how big their hearts are.”
But her colleagues say when it comes to big hearts, there’s no heart bigger than Karen’s.
Initially, Karen planned to fix her car with the money but now, with the help of her daughter Lindsay, she’s the proud new owner of a Kia Sportage!
“She has made me realize that just being kind to somebody can really change their entire day.”Jaiden Horn
When it comes to good karma, there’s a saying “The best way to get love is to give it.” Karen is the epitome of this truth. By showing love to all those around her, they showed her love right back.
And it doesn’t stop there. Her ripple of kindness has created a wave, inspiring others to spread their own positivity.
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