Rebecca Vineyard
September 12, 2016 4:25 pm
Chicago Tribune/Getty Images

Locals in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago recognize him: 89-year-old Fidencio Sanchez, who is typically seen pushing a cart of paletas, or Mexican ice pops. The elderly man works tirelessly: He’s been doing this job for 23 years. However, it occurred a few localsthat maybe, he didn’t have to.

The Chicago Tribune shared the story of the GoFundMe campaign Joel Cervantes created for Sanchez, after Cervantes’ friend, Joe Loera, came up with the idea that an online fundraiser might be a great way to help the man, who was clearly struggling to push the cart every day.

Chicago Tribune/Getty Images

Donors contributed amounts varying from five dollars to $2,000; over 6,300 people contributed to raise $135,000 for Sanchez at the time of the Tribune’s article – in case you’re wondering, that’s 90,000 paletas at their $1.50 cost. Since then, the donations have continued to pour in and now they’ve exceeded $170,000.

Before he started the campaign, Cervantes met Sanches for the first time: He bought 20 paletas, and intentionally overpaid. Cervantes then snapped a picture of the elderly man stooped over his cart.

Cervantes took Sanchez’s picture on Thursday, and by Sunday, he was able to visit the older man and tell him how much money they’d raised.

Said Sanchez, through his granddaughter Dulce Perez: “I was very surprised. I am very thankful for the men that thought of doing this…I am very thankful for the favor.”

We know we’re thankful, too. It’s amazing to see such goodness and generosity in the world.