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Coffee Shop run by disabled staff criticised for accepting money raised by controversial fundraiser

children with their faces blurred out licking adult's toes

A coffee shop in Oklahoma run by a team of staff living with physical disabilities has been criticised for accepting donations from a school fundraiser where students licked adult’s toes.

Tim Herbel opened Not Your Joe in 2019 to remember his nephew, who had cerebral palsy and passed away at the age of 11.

But the café has been slammed after they accepted money raised by the annual ‘Wonderful Week of Fundraising’ event run by Deer Creek High School which included a strange activity where students licked peanut butter off adult’s toes.

The fundraiser involved volunteers sitting down with their feet spread out as children started licking their feet.

After a video, taken at the fundraiser, went viral a number of viewers expressed their concern calling for people to boycott the coffee shop.

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

The event raised $152,830.38 for Not Your Joe which will go towards hiring more disabled staff and opening a second shop.

But it has also caused a whole heap of trouble for Herbel and his workers.

'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,’ he explained.

Oklahoma Superintendent of Schools Ryan Walters has pledged to launch an enquiry into the controversial fundraiser after it was condemned by conservatives such as Senator Ted Cruz, who compared it to ‘child abuse’.

Reacting to the charity event Walters said: 'This is disgusting. We are cleaning up this filth in Oklahoma schools. Our agency is investigating.' 

The school picked Not Your Average Joe as their chosen charity this year, but because of the fundraiser everything has backfired.

Herbel said: 'The kids did the best they could and this one thing didn't go the way they expected.

‘The kids meant well and that's the people who are ultimately hurting right now.’

A spokesperson for Deer Creek High School said: ‘We want to stress to our community that much of the information accompanying this video is inaccurate.

'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.' 

[ Toe licking can bring sexual pleasure because we have a number of nerve endings at the end of our feet. ]

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