A fundraiser aimed to help an 89-year-old ice cream seller, who takes his cart through the streets of Chicago’s Little Village, has raised almost $150,000.
For 23 years, Fidencio Sanchez has been selling paletas, or popsicles, on the streets of Little Village. His wife Eladia would also sell paletas, but with the job becoming too physically strenuous, she now sells Mexican candies.
Fidencio Sanchez: Couple heartbroken over daughter’s death
“A lot of people knew [Fidencio Sanchez],” Joel Cervantes, who started the campaign, said. “After I put it on Facebook, people started inboxing me and they were like, ‘I know that gentleman, he’s always around town.’ I should’ve expected it because he sells all across the 26th Street area. If it touches me, I should’ve known it touches everybody else who sees him.”
As reported by ABC 7 Chicago Fidencio’s daughter passed away a few weeks ago, leaving behind Fidencio’s two grandchildren. Cervantes wrote in the fundraiser description that the couple are “still heartbroken about the situation.”
“[Fidencio’s] elderly wife was selling paletas also to help pay bills, but she fell ill and can’t work anymore,” Cervantes wrote. “We’re trying to raise money to help him with whatever we can.”
The GoFundMe page Cervantes set up had raised $141,000 – through donations of $5 to $2,000 from more than 63,000 people – as of Monday morning. The amount raised is the equivalent of the cumulative price of 90,000 paletas. The initial goal was $3,000.
Help Fidencio Sanchez
According to Chicago Tribune, the fundraiser had been shared as many as 59,000 times while still trending as of Monday morning.
Dulce Perez, Fidencio’s granddaughter, said on behalf of her grandfather that he was “very surprised.”
“I am very thankful for the men that thought of doing this. … I am very thankful for the favor,” he said through Perez. He further added, “Well, seems to me like it won’t be necessary anymore and I will be able to rest more at home. It means a lot, and the changes will be that there will be no need for me to work, and we will have help in all aspects; Like getting better clothes and things that will improve our life at home.”
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