Well-wishers help elderly ice-cream seller by raising more than $115,000 in just two days

Macias spotted the man in Chicago and decided to help him. Photo / Facebook / Joel Cervantes Macias
Macias spotted the man in Chicago and decided to help him. Photo / Facebook / Joel Cervantes Macias

A good Samaritan who was determined to help an elderly man he saw struggling with his task of selling ice cream has raised more than $115,000 (NZ$156,000) in two days.

Joel Cervantes Macias spotted the man hunched over his trolley on a street in Chicago. The ice-cream-seller, Fidencio Sanchez, is 89 years old and makes around $50 (NZ$68) a day.

Macias stopped his car and bought 20 paletas, or ice lollies, from Mr Sanchez for $50 before driving away.

However, he kept thinking about the man and decided to set up a GoFundMe page, so people could donate and help the stricken family.

It later transpired that the vendor had just lost his only daughter, and his wife had recently become ill.

Sanchez had been retired for two months, after years of selling ice cream, but he was forced to return to work in order to pay the medical bills.

The GoFundMe page says: "As I was driving down 26th st in the Little Village area in Chicago where I was born and raised. I saw this elderly man struggling to push is paleta cart (popsicle cart). It broke my heart seeing this man that should be enjoying retirement still working at this age.

"I had to pull over and took this picture. I then bought 20 paletas and gave him a $50 and said may God bless him and drove away. I posted this picture on Fb and since then, I've gotten a huge response.

"That's when Joe Loera came up with a great idea to start this campaign. Mr Fedencio Sanchez and his wife recently lost their only daughter and are still heartbroken about the situation.

"His elderly wife was selling paletas also to help pay bills, but she fell ill and can't work anymore. We're trying to raise money to help him with whatever we can. Anything helps. Let's all pitch in and help make life a little easier and brighten both of their day."

Well-wishers managed to raise $115,000 (NZ$156,000) in two days, and at last count have raised $135,000 (NZ$183,000).

- Daily Telegraph UK

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