Internet Comes Together, Raises $18K for Mentally Ill Homeless Man Bullied at Dunkin’ Donuts

in news •  13 days ago

 Syracuse, NY — Jeremy Dufresne — a mentally ill homeless man who  suffers from schizophrenia — was in a Dunkin’ Donuts last week charging  his phone so he could call his mom to tell her good night. While sitting  there, harming no one, two employees filled a pitcher with cold water  and dumped it on his head. One dumped the water while the other filmed  it. 

The video went viral and and the internet reacted with outrage. As the video shows, Dufresne has his head on the table as the two  employees sneak up behind him and then pour the water out. Dufresne  immediately jumps up and looks back at the two bullies laughing at him. “How many times I’ve got to tell you to stop sleeping in here?” the  employee tells Dufresne in the video as the pair laughs. “You’re here  all day.” 

The video was uploaded to Facebook and subsequently went viral, receiving over 4.5 million views.    After the video went viral, the owner of the Dunkin’ Donuts responded  by firing the two employees as they should have and then issued an  apology. On Monday, Dunkin’ franchisee Kimberly Wolak issued a statement  condemning the employees who did it:  

“Dunkin’ has been a part of the Syracuse community for  many years, and as the franchisees who own and operate the North Salina  Street location, we were extremely disturbed by the behavior of our  employees captured in the video. “It not only violated our written policies, but goes against our core  values as an organization―which include creating a welcoming and  hospitable environment and treating everyone with dignity and respect.  The employees involved in the incident have been terminated, and we will  be contacting the individual in the video to apologize for the negative  experience. “We also intend to work with local advocates to make sure that our  employees are better educated as to how to engage with homeless  individuals and where to direct them in the community for appropriate  assistance.”

But this was only the beginning of the story that would actually turn  out to have a happy ending. Dufresne would later be interviewed by Syracuse.com and show the world what kind of person he is. 

“He probably had some personal problems of his own and needed someone to talk to,” Dufresne said of the worker. “And he took it out on someone else, like me.”

In response to the video and Dufresne’s ability to empathize with the men who bullied him, the internet raised him over $18,000. Dufresne,  who is schizophrenic and sleeps outside most nights, is now reportedly  reuniting with his family who says they plan to use the money to help  him get back on his feet. 

Samuel Breazeale, who uploaded the video to Facebook—explaining that  he did not take it—was the person behind the GoFundMe account. He was  merely attempting to raise $150 just to get him a “new set of clothes  and a meal and phone charger” because the water ruined Dufresne’s. 

This  goal has been far surpassed now, however, and he’ll be able to get much  more than just a phone charger. In a world that often times seems full of hate and chaos, stories  like Jeremy Dufresne’s serve to restore faith in humanity and show us  that despite all the differences the mainstream media uses to divide us, most of us are kind people who want to do good in this world. If you’d like to donate to Dufresne, you can do so at this GoFundMe link. 

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If it's comments on YouTube where people voice truth with sensebilty, veracity and wit (which is why almost all media sites and online magazines and publications have no comment section or it's simply disabled) or something incredible like this, regardless of those few bullies, the internet wins.

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My eyes just leaked a little. Good to see some good people who will do good in the world for a change.