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GoFundMe for ice cream shop employee who quit after being harassed by customers nears $40,000

Mark Lawrence, who closed his Massachussets ice cream shop one day after reopening due to customers disobeying social distancing measures, speaks to CNN's Brianna Keilar about his staff's experiences.

Posted: May 13, 2020 3:59 AM


A teenage ice cream shop employee who quit after she was bullied by customers in the coronavirus pandemic just got some sweet news.

Mark Lawrence, owner of the Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour in Mashpee, Massachusetts, launched a GoFundMe on her behalf and it's already raised nearly $40,000.

The ice cream shop was forced to close its doors just one day after reopening on Saturday because its customers refused to follow social distancing rules. Some even harassed employees for making them wait -- one of them, a 17-year-old girl, quit.

"This past Friday, our opening night of the year, she was met with an unyielding verbal assault with some of the most vulgar and disgusting words hurled at her, these shouldn't be heard in a men's locker room, never mind directed to a teenager," Lawrence said.

"In spite of this, she continued to work until the last ice cream was served and then turned in her apron. Asked why she didn't tell me sooner of this behavior, she simply said she didn't want to disappoint me or our loyal fans."

"No one deserves this kind of abuse, especially a 17-year-old young girl, in a time when we as a country should stand united," he said.

But after sharing the shop's story on Facebook, Lawrence and his employees received an outpouring of support. By Sunday, Lawrence had reopened. Now, customers were following the rules.

But Lawrence knew he had one more thing to do -- take care of the employee.

"She is a 17-year-old young lady who has worked for me for the past three years and has always been one of the most hardworking, kindhearted employees and a favourite of many of our regulars," Lawrence said, adding she was planning to work as much as possible and save money earned for college this fall.

So that's where the money will go -- all donations will go directly towards the employee's college fund.

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