Teenage 7/11 Worker Fired for Giving Homeless Man Free Coffee


Nick Glennon


Convenience store 7/11 faced controversy this week when news broke that a teenage worker was fired because she gave free coffee to a homeless man.

Ava Lins, 19, was working at a 7/11 in Salem, Massachusetts on Thursday when she engaged in a conversation with a homeless man. The man looked extremely tattered and claimed he had nowhere to sleep that night. Lins has had a rough life and was even homeless herself once so she could relate the man’s story. She felt extremely sympathetic so she gave the man a small cup of coffee – free of charge.

A very heartwarming gesture; but things would go downhill from there. When store manager Romany Youseff arrived he saw the man outside and became suspicious. He confronted the poor homeless man and demanded to know whether he paid for that coffee. Lins lied to the boss and insisted that he paid for it. However, Youseff confronted her again the next day and she confessed to giving away the coffee for free. Lins would pay the $1 price for the cup of coffee but Youseff was enraged and supposedly fired her on the spot.

Ava Lins was out of work and nearly out of money. So she got on social media and contacted several news stations hoping to share her story. Ava’s unique story has quickly become a viral hit. There have been several Facebook pages created to honor Lins and declare the cruelty of the 7/11 manager. Twitter has also been buzzing for Lins. On top of the frenzy of social media attention, Lins has also been presented with dozens of different jobs by stores all across the state. Citizens for Adequate Housing in Peabody, Massachusetts messaged her on Facebook and within days she got a job there.

My opinion on the controversy is that it was an extremely kind gesture and that it was unfair of the manager to fire her. Homeless people are people too. They’re health and safety is just as important as ours. It’s painful to see people on the highway begging for change. You feel sorrow for them and want to help. Lins was just doing one small kind thing; it’s not like she gave him a whole bag of food for free. She gave him one small cup of coffee that cost only a dollar. The manager completely overreacted in my opinion. It’s never right to lie to your boss or give things away for free but this was clearly a unique circumstance.

What’s your stance on the controversy? Leave your opinion in the comments.