GoFundMe donors have raised over $27,000 in the past month to support beloved Santa Barbara waitress, Barbara Dutra, as she battles stage four colon cancer.
Ms. Dutra has been a waitress in the Santa Barbara area for over a decade. She began serving as a waitress at the Montecito Cafe 15 years ago and joined the staff at Jane’s in Goleta a few years later.
Ms. Dutra was recently diagnosed with cancer, and during the second COVID-19 lockdown in December, she was laid off alongside the rest of the staff at Jane’s.
With her chemotherapy treatments starting this month, the staff at Jane’s knew Ms. Dutra would not be able to safely return to work when the restaurant could reopen. In an effort to help offset the cost of Ms. Dutra’s rent, bills, food and medical expenses, the staff at Jane’s began a GoFundMe page at the end of January.
“Our goal is to raise enough money for Barbara and her daughter so that all she has to do is concentrate on her care,” Arielle Chang, GoFundMe organizer, wrote on the fundraising page.
So far, donors have raised $27,750 for Ms. Dutra in the past four weeks. Ms. Chang and other organizers have set a goal to raise $200,000 in support of Ms. Dutra.
Margaret Huston, owner of the Jane’s restaurants, said Ms. Dutra is a loved member of the staff and very well-known among members of the community. She is the kind of person who “has a smile on her face every day,” Ms. Huston told the News-Press.
As donations are pouring in, Ms. Dutra is “overwhelmed” by the support, Ms. Huston said.
“She has a wonderful attitude of gratitude, and she’s always had that attitude,” Ms. Huston said. “Even with this devastating situation she’s in, she’s still positive.”