This heartbreaking photo of an 89-year-old man struggling to push his ice-cream trolley through the streets of Chicago has gone viral, resulting in an outpouring of support and fundraising to the tune of US$350,000.
Joel Cervantes Macias spotted the elderly gentleman enduring the midday heat and pulled over to buy 20 of the ice-creams and give him $50.
It was then he learned that the man, Fedencio Sanchez, had had to return to his gruelling job selling paletas – a type of popsicle – in order to pay off the outstanding bill from his only daughter’s funeral.
His frail wife had also been helping, but had fallen ill and was unable to work alongside her husband.
Mr Cervantes Macias posted Mr Sanchez’s story to Facebook, and was stunned by the emotional response to the poor couple’s plight; he then decided to set-up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for them, to “pitch in and help make life a little easier and brighten both of their day.”
However even he couldn’t have been prepared for the $3000 target to be smashed – well and truly – with donations exceeding $100,000 in three days.
Currently, the total money raised stands at $345,738.
“I am overwhelmed on all the support we are receiving. It’s amazing how people are responding,” Mr Cervantes Macias wrote, before revealing that even more supporters had asked how to contact Mr Sanchez directly to help him in any way they could.
The kind Samaritan has kept donators updated throughout the process, and is planning to do a video livestream of the moment he presents the life-changing sum of money to the Sanchezs.
“$300,000!! From 52 countries all over the world!! The outpouring for Mr Fidencio has been amazing!!” Mr Cervantes Macias continued.
“Thank you to all who have donated.”
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