Meet Fidencio Sanchez, an elderly paleta vendor from the Little Village area of Chicago who is still working hard after retirement age. Sanchez’s story became a trending topic on the Internet after Chicago local, Joel Cervantes Macias, shared a heart-wrenching image of the older man struggling to push his paleta cart.
“It broke my heart seeing this man that should be enjoying retirement still working at this age,” said Joel in a GoFundMe page he created for Sanchez. “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,” he added.
Joel initially posted the photo on Facebook, where he received a huge response. Immediately, he and a friend launched a GoFundMe page to help Sanchez and his wife.
“Mr. Fidencio 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,” wrote Joel.
Sanchez’s story picked up so much traction, local news organizations came to interview him and his wife. Here they are talking about how they came to the U.S. from Mexico.
Posted by Joel Cervantes Macias on Saturday, September 10, 2016
The campaign, which was set at a $3,000 goal, has surpassed over $150,000 since it kicked off on September 9. The campaign is still trending.
And here he is still grinding.
Posted by Joel Cervantes Macias on Monday, September 12, 2016
“I’m just humbled and overwhelmed with all the incredible kindness from all the people of not only Little Village but nationwide,” Macias said in an interview with Gozamos.