Fundraiser for Chicago paleta man is largest GoFundMe campaign in Illinois

CHICAGO — What began as a small effort to help out an 89-year-old Chicago man who was spotted pushing a paleta cart and selling the frozen treats to help pay bills has brought in more than $322,000.

Fidencio Sanchez’s story went viral after a stranger snapped a photo of him pushing his popsicle cart through Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood.

Last Thursday, Joel Cervantes Macías was driving when he spotted Sanchez struggling to push his cart down the street. Macías pulled over and bought about $50 worth of popsicles from Sanchez, then snapped a picture of him and posted it to Facebook.

Once the picture hit social media, it quickly went viral. Good Samaritans created a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of raising $3,000 so Mr. Sanchez could take time off.  But it’s done so much more.

The GoFundMe campaign has now reached over $322,000, and donations continue to be made.

According to DNAinfo Chicago, this has become Illinois’ largest GoFundMe campaign — ever.

Nearly 15,000 people in 52 countries have donated.

Organizers are keeping the page up over the weekend and say they will give the money to Sanchez next week.

Click here to donate to the GoFundMe campaign