A Starbucks supervisor is getting ready to buy a new car, thanks to her coworkers and an entire college campus. Karen Collinsworth, 65, has been living near the Marshall University campus in Huntington, West Virginia, for decades, and working for a Starbucks location near the campus for many of those years as well.
Collinsworth’s coworkers knew she frequently had issues with her 2004 Kia that she didn’t like to talk about. But when she told them someone had stolen the catalytic converter on top of the already existing issues, her co workers wanted to help. Collingsworth’s reputation for kindness prompted a campus to come to her aid when her car was running on its last legs.
Co-workers Jaiden Horn and Cassie Gray, both sophomores at Marshall, said everyone loves working with Collinsworth. After personal items were stolen when her car was broken just days after the catalytic converter was stolen, the two, along with several other baristas, talked about possibly setting up a GoFundMe after one of them saw an anonymous post from someone wishing they could donate money to help Collinsworth.
Gray says “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.”
The GoFundMe “We Love You Karen” was started with the original goal of $10,000 to “help her buy a working car and ensure she wouldn’t have to worry about monthly bills.” To date, the fundraiser has raised over $40,000 for Collinsworth. Horn says her co-workers all shared the fundraiser on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Yik Yak, and that goal was met in the first 24 hours.
There are big donations, the highest being a $5,000 donation from Marshall University president Brad Smith, but most of the more than 1,200 donations were just $5. A thankful Collinsworth said “All the $5 donations meant more to me than $1,000 or $3,000 ones. It was just precious coming from these college kids that can’t afford a cup of coffee. Just goes to show you their kindness. I know those kids love me and that’s what makes my life worthwhile,” says Karen Collinsworth, who considers herself a “Starbucks mom” to her 19-year-old co-workers.