Connect with us

Happy Tears

Heartwarming Surprise: Starbucks Team Helps Beloved Barista Buy New Car



Quick Smiles:

  • Campus Love: Karen Collinsworth isn’t just a barista but the comforting mother-figure to students: “She’s like my mom when I’m away from home and can’t talk to my mom.”
  • Community Support: The fundraising initiative took off, raising an impressive $40,000 by September 15th, with a remarkable donation of $5,000 from the president of Marshall University.
  • New Wheels on the Horizon: With the generous funds, Karen is now considering new Subarus, embracing the love from decades of serving coffee with a smile.

There’s a heartwarming buzz brewing at the Starbucks located on the Marshall University Campus in Huntington, West Virginia. It’s not a new coffee blend, but an outpouring of kindness for a very special barista who’s been through a rough patch.

Karen Collinsworth, 65, isn’t just any barista; she’s the comforting, motherly figure that the students and staff have come to love over her decades of service. Young workers like Cassie Gray, a sophomore at Marshall, have formed a unique bond with her.

Gray shared her sentiments with TODAY: “I love coming into work knowing that she’s gonna be there. I talk to her about literally everything,” adding, “She’s like my mom when I’m away from home and can’t talk to my mom.”

However, recently, misfortune struck when Collinsworth’s old 2004 Kia, already infamous for its issues, suffered another blow. Not one, but two burglaries left her car stripped of its catalytic converter and various interior components.

Aware of Karen’s continuous car troubles, her team, led by Gray, decided it was time to rally around their beloved supervisor.

Gray recalled the moments that led to the fundraising idea, noting, “We all just kind of talked about it and we floated around the idea of starting a fundraiser for her.”

Without much delay, a fundraiser was set up, and the power of social media did the rest.


The campaign went viral. In what seemed like a blink of an eye, an astounding $40,000 was raised for Collinsworth’s new car, with a generous $5,000 coming from the president of Marshall University. The overwhelming support led to a little slip-up when Collinsworth’s neighbor let the surprise out of the bag a tad early.

Currently, Collinsworth is browsing new Subarus, a choice symbolizing her journey from hardship to an overwhelming display of community love.