Chicago Man Tries to Raise 3K for Local Paleta Man: People Give More Than 136K in 2 Days

Sep 12, 2016
8:29 AM

UPDATE: The money raised is now over $300,000.

This local story from Chicago first reported by our friends at Gozamos is yet another example that in the end, yes, we still have hope for humanity.

On September 9, Joel Cervantes Macías posted a GoFundMe campaign to share the story of Fedencio Sánchez, a local paleta man from Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. Macías posted the following photo and description of why he started the campaign:


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.

Macías set a goal of $3,000. As of the morning of September 12, the campaign had raised $136,213 from more than 6,300 donors, and donations are still coming in by the minute. (36 hours later, it is over $300,000.) The response has been so overwhelming that Macías posted this update on Sunday:

Just so people know. We are not dispersing the funds till later in the week. We will let everyone know. We are leaving it up for a few more days because people still seem to be donating. The Sanchez family really appreciates all the love and support that they are receiving from people from all around the world. Joe Loera and myself appreciate all the kind words that we are receiving. It was all a team effort. I’m really trying to respond to every single kind message that I am receiving in my inbox and on Facebook. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you to all the people who tag me and have nice things to say. I wish I can respond to every single one of you. I’m trying. Lol! GOD IS GOOD.

On September 13, Macías posted the latest update:

$300,000.00!! From 52 countries all over the world!! People are asking when we will disburse the funds. We originally thought Thursday or Friday, but we’re going to keep going over the weekend. We still have a lot of legalities we have to take care of. We never thought it would get this big so we really have to cross our T’s and dot our I’s. The outpouring support for Mr Fidencio has been amazing! We will let everyone know the platform we will be using to broadcast the presentation of the funds. Thank you to all who have donated.

On Saturday, Macías posted a video of the Sánchez family. (FYI, The campaign is still open, so if you want to give, you can click here)