Coffee shop run by developmentally disabled adults is bombarded with protestors and angry reviews after viral video of fundraiser where high school students licked toes for charity

Coffee shop run by developmentally disabled adults is bombarded with protestors and angry reviews after viral video of fundraiser where high school students licked toes for charity

  • Not Your Average Joe was founded in Oklahoma City by Tim Herbel in 2019 to celebrate his nephew, who had cerebral palsy 
  • They’ve run into controversy after accepting funds from Deer Creek High School, which hold an annual fundraiser that included a bizarre event 
  • The video was swiftly attacked by many, including conservatives like Senator Ted Cruz, who called it ‘child abuse’ 

An Oklahoma coffee shop built to employ developmentally disabled adults has faced backlash after accepting donations from a high school fundraiser where students licked adults’ toes.

Not Your Average Joe was founded in Oklahoma City by Tim Herbel in 2019 to celebrate his nephew, who had cerebral palsy and died at the age of 11. 

They’ve run into controversy after accepting funds from Deer Creek High School, which holds an annual ‘Wonderful Week of Fundraising’ event that included a bizarre activity that appeared to show students licking peanut butter off the toes of adults.

In the video, half of the participants sat down with their feet splayed out in front of them while the other half of less fortunate kids lay on the floor of the school gymnasium and licked their peers’ feet.

Video from the event went viral, and that has led to backlash against the coffee shops and harassing phone calls to the employees.

‘They call our stores and our friends with special needs usually answer the phones and they are being cussed out and called pedophiles,’ Herbel told The Oklahoman

An Oklahoma coffee shop built to employ developmentally disabled adults has been facing backlash after unknowingly accepting donations from a high school fundraiser where students licked adults' toes

An Oklahoma coffee shop built to employ developmentally disabled adults has been facing backlash after unknowingly accepting donations from a high school fundraiser where students licked adults’ toes

Not Your Average Joe was founded in Oklahoma City by Tim Herbel in 2019 to celebrate his nephew, who had cerebral palsy and died at the age of 11

Not Your Average Joe was founded in Oklahoma City by Tim Herbel in 2019 to celebrate his nephew, who had cerebral palsy and died at the age of 11

Ultimately, the school raised $152,830.38 for the coffee shop, part of which will go to hire more developmentally disabled employees and open up a second location, but the backlash against the shop has been tough for Herbel. 

‘One star reviews from all over the country. We’re not this well-funded machine that has all these dollars. We’re getting beat up. The kids are getting beat up.’ 

.

The video was swiftly attacked by many, including conservatives like Senator Ted Cruz, who called it ‘child abuse.’

Oklahoma Superintendent of Schools Ryan Walters promised that they would get to the bottom of the situation. The district has pledged that the clash will end. 

‘This is disgusting,’ Walters said in a statement. ‘We are cleaning up this filth in Oklahoma schools. Our agency is investigating.’ 

The students had chosen Not Your Average Joe as their benefactor for the year, which has led outrage toward the shop.

The coffee shop has run into controversy after accepting funds from Deer Creek High School, which holds an annual 'Wonderful Week of Fundraising' event that included a bizarre activity, which appeared to show students licking peanut butter off the toes of adults

The coffee shop has run into controversy after accepting funds from Deer Creek High School, which holds an annual ‘Wonderful Week of Fundraising’ event that included a bizarre activity, which appeared to show students licking peanut butter off the toes of adults

'One star reviews from all over the country. We're not this well-funded machine that has all these dollars. We're getting beat up. The kids are getting beat up,' founder Herbel (pictured) has said about he backlash

‘One star reviews from all over the country. We’re not this well-funded machine that has all these dollars. We’re getting beat up. The kids are getting beat up,’ founder Herbel (pictured) has said about he backlash 

In a statement, the Oklahoma school district claimed the video was part of a 'Clash of Classes' event students paid to attend to raise money. Officials said that no school faculty or staff participated, though they did not clarify who did beyond students

In a statement, the Oklahoma school district claimed the video was part of a ‘Clash of Classes’ event students paid to attend to raise money. Officials said that no school faculty or staff participated, though they did not clarify who did beyond students 

‘The kids did the best they could and this one thing didn’t go the way they expected,’ he said. The kids meant well and that’s the people who are ultimately hurting right now,’ Herbel said. 

The school district disputed some of the claims being made online about the event and toe-licking activity. 

‘We want to stress to our community that much of the information accompanying this video is inaccurate,’ they said. 

‘However, through this specific game we failed to uphold the dignity of our students and the proud image of our community. We have a responsibility to protect our Antlers and showcase them in a positive light. In regards to this one particular activity, we fell short and for that we greatly apologize.’