Bestsellers Books and Coffee Company in Mason joined more than 800 cafes across the United States in a weekend fundraiser for the American Civil Liberties Union.
Since President Donald Trump’s executive order banning the immigration and travel from seven Muslim majority countries, the ACLU has been fighting to protect those affected by the ban, which include students, workers, tourists, immigrants and refugees. The ACLU said it received more than $24 million in donations in the weekend after the ban. The ACLU usually receives around $4 million in donations per year.
Bestsellers owner Jamie Robinson matched the first $200 in donations Feb. 3-5 and $413 was raised.
Members of the community showed support, one person writing on Facebook “Wish I could be in Mason this weekend. Thank you for your kindness,” and another writing, “I’ll be in Tuesday to make my donation … AND order a latte! A Valentine’s sort.”
Jordan Bloom, a 27-year-old employee from Mason, said “None of the employees, including me, nor the owners, support the ban. This is our way of expressing our views. It was a collaborative effort, and a lot of people in Mason were very excited about it. Some even came in specifically to donate.” said Bloom.
There was a jar on the counter and a sign on the register advertising the cause. On the jar, it said, “DONATIONS: Proceeds will go to the ACLU to help REFUGEES”. Bloom thought it wasn’t directly bashing the ban, but rather wanting to help those in need.
“I don’t support the whole fight (against the ban)…but anytime you need to raise money to help people, I think it’s a great thing,” said Travis Spitzley, a 22-year-old employee from Mason.
Spitzley said he talked to a few customers about the fundraiser and saw comments on Facebook about coming in to donate.
“Overall,” said Spitzley, “it was a very great and positive experience.”
Although she doesn’t support the ACLU, Sam Spitzley, a 20-year-old employee, said it’s a good thing to support the cause.
“I support who it’s going toward, not who’s getting it.” said Spitzley. She said that people were super supportive and many came in specifically to donate to the ACLU.