Fidencio Sanchez selling paletas

How Crowdfunding changed the life of an 89-year-old Popsicle Seller

I want you to take a moment to Imagine this scenario. You’re 89 years old and for the past 23 years you have been selling popsicles out of a hand propelled street cart in your local neighbourhood. You’re unable to retire because you just can’t afford it, yet old age and health issues mean that you simply can’t continue on in the job. So, after much agonising, you decide to close your small business down and hope that you will somehow be able to make ends meet. Then, just 2 months into your retirement, your only daughter passes away leaving her children behind with nobody to care for them, nobody except you.

This was the plight that Fidencio Sanchez – an 89-year-old Chicago based ice popsicle vendor – found himself in earlier this year. Even though he had retired just 2 months earlier, 89-year-old Fidencio was left with no choice but to once again start pushing his cart to work and back, working from dusk till dawn in an attempt to support his grandchildren and ailing wife.

So, where does crowdfunding come into this story? Well, here comes a heart-warming story that not only shows the power of crowdfunding, but also shows that there is still a lot of good left in the hearts of people when they see a fellow human in genuine plight.

A passer-by and a $200,000 windfall

Recently, a Mexican restaurant owner was driving through his old neighbourhood and noticed Fidencio struggling to push his cart. He felt so much compassion and respect for the man that he pulled over and bought 20 paletas from him at a cost of $50. Mr Macias (The restaurant owner) also took a picture of Fidencio and posted it on Facebook. The huge response to the image gave Mr Macias the idea setting up an online fundraiser this past Friday via internet crowdfunding site GoFundMe, with the aim of raising a total of $3000 for Fidencio. What Mr Machias didn’t expect is that the $3000 he was hoping to raise would be funded in less than an hour, and that by Monday evening the page would have raised upwards of $200,000! This figure is still rising.

Fidencio Sanchez pushing his popsicle cart

Incredibly, Fidencio has said that he will still continue to work despite receiving the windfall. Whether he chooses to follow through with this decision or not only time will tell, but at least he will now have the funds to upgrade his cart – if he wants to – and make the journey to and from work a little less strenuous.

This story really goes to show how powerful crowdfunding can be and what an amazing innovation it has been. It also shows that human beings are still able to come together in the most amazing way when they want to, in order to help someone out who is obviously in need and really deserves it! So, the next time you see somebody who seems to be in a desperate plight, maybe there is something that you can do after all.

If you would like to keep an eye on the progress of the GoFundMe page for Fidencio Sanchez, then you can find the page here.

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