Internet raises thousands for 89-year-old ‘popsicle man’

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An 89-year-old grandfather has been working tirelessly to support his family. But thanks to the Internet, he’ll now get some time to relax.

A man who happened to be at the right place at the right time snapped a photo of Fidencio Sanchez as he sold “paletas” or fruit popsicles in Chicago’s Little Village.

GoFundMe: Relief for Fidencio the paleta man

“I saw this elderly man struggling to push his paleta cart,” Joel Cervantes Macias wrote on GoFundMe. “It broke my heart to see this man that should be enjoying retirement still working at this age.”

Macias said he bought 20 paletas from Sanchez and gave him $50.

“[I] said may God bless [you] and drove away,” Macias wrote.

After posting the photo of Sanchez online, someone recommended starting a GoFundMe page to help the grandfather raise money to pay his family’s bills.

According to CBS News, Sanchez lost his one and only daughter in July. His elderly wife is ill and can’t work anymore, so it’s been up to him to support his grandchildren.

“Let’s all pitch in and make life a little easier [for Sanchez],” Macias wrote.

The GoFundMe campaign easily surpassed its $3,000 goal in a matter of days. By Monday night, strangers donated over $230,000 to Sanchez and his family.

“God sent it at the time we needed it the most,” Sanchez’s granddaughter said.

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