The Incredible Story of Fidencio the Paleta Man

It all started with a picture.

Joel Cervantes Macias was driving through the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago when he spotted Fidencio Sanchez pushing his paleta (popsicle) cart. Immediately moved, Joel took a photo of the 89-year-old man and then bought 20 paletas.

Later, when the picture he snapped started getting shared on Facebook, Joel’s friend Joe Loera came up with an idea: Why not start a GoFundMe campaign to give Fidencio a well-earned break?

No one could have predicted what happened next — more than 17,000 donors from around the world raised over $380,000 for Fidencio. The outpouring of support shocked and delighted Joel, Joe, and most of all, Fidencio.

Now that Fidencio has received the retirement gift of a lifetime, what to make of this incredible moment? Campaign organizer Joe Loera put it best: “None of us know each other, but we all came together to help someone we all felt needed it. This is a true example of people showing love for one another and how we can together accomplish something beautiful and greater than ourselves.”

Joel changed a stranger’s life forever on his daily drive. You could be someone’s hero, too.

Pay it forward: Start a GoFundMe campaign for someone in need.