Ice cream shop owner shares passionate note defending teen workers harassed over mask policy

As more and more videos of adults throwing tantrums over being asked to wear masks go viral, one has to feel for the employees on the receiving end of such behavior. It's hard enough to have to work serving the public during a pandemic. Having to politely but firmly deal with irate customers taking their angst out on you, especially when you have no control over policies or legal mandates, must be endlessly frustrating.

One might assume that grown-ups would rise above the urge to harass teenagers who are just trying to do their job serving them in the safest way possible, but that's unfortunately not always the case.

The owner of Mootown Creamery, an ice cream shop in Ohio, called out the folks who have been attacking her young female employees. Angela Brooks wrote on the shop's Facebook page:


I've been trying not to say anything, but it is getting out of control. 🛑 STOP!!! 🛑 Stop yelling at these young girls. Stop slamming doors. Stop swearing at them and making a scene. STOP!!! These girls are wearing masks for YOUR protection. They are required by the state to wear them, and they do so with a smile because they care about you and your safety. In order to protect them and our other guests, I made the decision to require face masks in our store. I made that decision, not them!

Do you know how hard it is to work a summer rush in a face mask? With a line of customers to the door, some waiting outside, online orders dinging on a tablet, the phone ringing off the hook -- and then have a customer throw a temper tantrum in the store calling the girls "paranoid" or "anti-american" or even worse - CUSS AT THEM! (Does it feel good to make a 16 year old girl cry in the bathroom? Or sob on her way home from work? Does that make you feel better about Covid? How would you feel if someone did this to your child?)

Knock it off!!!!!! I get it. This sucks. Covid is one of the most awful things many of us have experienced in our lifetime. Our lives are flipped upside down. Businesses are closing. Some of us are still out of work. We are stressed out, worried, and frustrated. However that is no excuse to take out your frustrations on teenage kids serving ice cream! (Most of which this is their first job!) Are you serious?! What control do they possibly have over the situation?

You are not welcome here if you have that little respect for us. It is not about the sales. Go somewhere else if you want to behave that way. The customers who are respectful, loving, understanding and kind are welcome at Mootown. We serve ice cream and smiles. If going out for ice cream puts you in that much of a bad mood, stay home!! You are not going to ruin the experience for everyone else.

We offer curbside pickup, outdoor ordering, online ordering, delivery to your home, phone orders -- there are a dozen different ways for you to place an order and still maintain your rights to not wear a mask. If you don't have a mask or don't believe in social distancing - we respect that. We'll take your order in any of those several ways, or understand if you don't come back until after Covid. But you don't get to walk in the store and yell at the girls. THAT STOPS NOW!!!

To those of you who haven't been absolute monsters during all of this -- THANK YOU!!!! We love you, appreciate you, and look forward to seeing you soon! 🐮🍦

Brooks set up a "virtual tip jar" for the girls through GoFundMe, which she said would be split evenly between the 16 part-time employees, many of whom are working to pay for college or saving to buy a car. Though the initial goal was $500, people have donated nearly $10,000 in a week.

In addition to the money, people have left supportive messages on the GoFundMe page, which hopefully help balance out the terrible treatment these girls have had to endure.

"Consider us buying virtual ice cream with a smile on our faces. Yum! These are exceptional times and we all have to be more generous and thoughtful and caring with each other to get through them. Thank you all for doing the right thing!"

"These young people deserve it. Bullying a bunch of teenagers just trying to do a job and save money is despicable. I hope this shows them that there are good people out here who recognize the difficulties they face just trying work a job to save money."

"Thank you for standing on the side of sanity and the health of the community!"

"I donated because the owner stood up for her employees. And the owner is a valued member of the Berea, Ohio community. She is providing first jobs to young ladies and these LADIES need to know they are appreciated."

Even in all of the madness and mayhem of the moment, it's heartening to see people rally around those who are following public health recommendations and doing what needs to be done to protect everyone—even those who may not appreciate it.


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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

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Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

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Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

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Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

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Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

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Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

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L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

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Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

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All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

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Joe Biden's inauguration was haunted by the specter of the failed insurrection that occurred just two weeks before at the Capitol building. The Capitol steps may have been adorned with beautiful banners, but it was hard to shake the images of broken windows and rampaging Trump supporters recently burned into the country's collective subconscious.

The Inauguration wasn't just the beginning of a new era in American politics, it was a symbol of the resilience of our democracy. One person whose bravery helped preserve the American way of life during the insurrection was honored at the proceedings and his name should never be forgotten: Eugene Goodman.

Officer Goodman's quick thinking and bravery on January 6 allowed for the narrow escape of countless Congressman and Vice President Mike Pence.


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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.