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These Fellow Starbucks Workers Raise Over $40K to Help a Co-Worker

After this woman's car was burglarized, her generous co-workers helped to raise over $40,000 to help her buy a new car!

By Matthew LundgrenPublished 6 months ago 3 min read
Image courtesy of Jaiden Horn

Most of us have had a bad day at work, or several if we are being honest! But usually we can rely on our car being there at the end of the day to help us get home and back to our friends and family. Unfortunately, this was not the case for Karen Collinsworth, a 65 year old supervisor at the Starbucks in Huntington, West Virginia.

Collinsworth has been in the food service since 1978 and says that it is her true passion in life. Being able to make that connection and provide great customer service is, according to her, what makes her job so meaningful. A resident of the West Virginia college town for almost 50 years, she has become quite the staple in the town and at their local Starbucks on the college campus.

Karen has been a delight for all of her customers over the years, and even more so for her co-workers. "I love coming into work knowing that she's gonna be there. I talk to her about literally everything" says Cassie Gray, a fellow Starbucks employee according to

Even though Karen has put so much positive energy out into the world with her kindness and dedication to her job, unfortunately bad things do seem to happen to good people.

One day Karen came into work a little more blue than usual. When her co-workers asked what was wrong, she explained that a thieve had stolen the catalytic converter out of her 2004 Kia, a car that was already plagued with problems. To make matters worse, after the first theft, another criminal broke into the car and stole multiple interior components and left the car quite a mess.

After hearing this, her co-workers knew that they had to do something to help out one of their favorite supervisors.

“We all just kind of talked about it and we floated around the idea of starting a fundraiser for her. After work when I got back to my dorm, I decided to just make it because I figured even if we couldn’t raise that much money, any amount would help her. It was just kind of like a spur of the moment (thing).” Cassie Gray explained.

While trying to figure out the best way to help out Karen, the college students saw a post on the social media app YikYak expressing interest in donating money to help the beloved member of the community.

After they saw this, the lightbulb went off! The college baristas started a GoFundMe campaign titled, "We Love You Karen."

With an original goal of raising $10,000 to allow Collinsworth to buy a new car, the college students set off on sharing the campaign and the heartbreaking story with everyone they could find. As word spread throughout the town and the campus, everyone joined together and made all the generous donations that they could (which is saying a lot for broke college kids). Within the first 24 hours, they met their initial goal!

To date, the fundraiser has raised over $40,000 to help Karen get back on her feet with a new car so she can continue to enjoy her Starbucks career without having to worry about how to get to and from work each day!

Along with many smaller donations made by college kids, the Marshall University president, Brad Smith, donated $5,000 personally to the campaign.

Even though this story started off with two horrible events that could make even the best day quite gloomy, by the end, it really showed the power of community and how generous and kind people can be.

Initially, Karen just wanted to fix up her old car. However, after seeing how much the community raised for her, she is looking at treating herself to a realiable new Subaru. Which I think just speaks even more to her character. She isn't looking at using the money for a down payment on a luxury car or anything like that. She is incredibly grateful for her community's outpouring of support, and she is just hoping to get a reliable car with the money so she can safely and reliably get to her favorite job in the world.

Even with all the bad that is going on in the world every day, there are so many stories like this one that make us remember that people are good, they just sometimes need a chance to show it.

This story was originally reported by, please click here to check out the original story!


About the Creator

Matthew Lundgren

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  • Alex H Mittelman 6 months ago

    Good for them for raising the money!

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