A barista in San Deigo, who declined to serve a woman because she was not wearing a mask, received praise from Internet users and whopping USD 32,000 in tips.
Lenin Gutierrez, working a barista in Starbucks in San Deigo, gathered praise when the woman--Amber Lynn Gilles-- posted about him on Facebook with an aim criticize him for not serving coffee because she was not wearing a mask, the Washington Post reported.
"Meet Lenin 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," she posted.
The post backfired. Many Facebook users defended Guiterrez and chided Gilles. It has over 1,00,000 reactions and comments and 50,000 shares.
One Facebook user wrote: "There's no reason to publicly shame a kid who's trying to work his shift like any other day." Another said: "I don't blame the kid behind the counter. They need to follow the rules that they are given."
San Deigo County issued a notice on May 1 requiring residents to wear face-covering in most public settings, including when shopping in a store or picking up food at a restaurant.
Many people expressed their desire to tip Guiterrez.
That's when Matt Cowan, a man who does not know Guiterrez but stumbled upon the post, decide to start a virtual tip jar on GoFundMe.
Cowan called the donation page "Tips for Lenin Standing Up To A San Diego Karen." In the description, he wrote, "Raising money for Lenin for his honourable effort standing his ground when faced with a Karen in the wild."
In three days, the total amount is more than USD32,000, and it continues to increase by the hour.
"Everybody is rallying around somebody for doing what they're supposed to do and trying to protect everyone else," Cowan said in an interview with KGTV. "It just goes to show you there are a lot of good people out there and that outweighs the bad."
On Facebook, Lenin Gutierrez said he already has big plans for his unexpected tips. Lenin Gutierrez, who is an aspiring dancer, said he plans to use the money to fuel his passion and to teach others the art of dance.
"With this donation that everyone provided me on GoFundMe, I can make these dreams a reality," he said. "From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much."