89-year-old ice cream man flooded with donations

  • 14/09/2016

Timing is everything - especially for 89-year-old Fidencio Sanchez.

He knows that walking down the right street in Little Village and stopping at the right corner means he'll sell more "paletas", or fruit popsicles.

Timing is also the reason why he's now making headlines across the city and the country.

"People started telling us, 'Hey, your grandpa's picture is up, and we were trying to figure out where'," Mr Sanchez's granddaughter Dulce Perez said.

The picture was on Facebook - a man who happened to be at the right place and at the right time saw Mr Sanchez do his everyday job, and felt compelled to begin a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for him.

"It was very surprising. I was like, 'Is this for real?'" Ms Perez said.

It was real, and in a matter of days, random strangers donated more than US$120,000 (NZ$165,500) - an amount which has now risen to nearly $300,000 (NZ$413,700).

Sanchez received the money at the moment he needed it most, after his one and only daughter died in July this year.

"She was the main support in the family. After my mum's passing, I felt that they felt more burdened to not miss any days," Perez explained.

So his reason for working at 89-years-old was to pay the bills to survive - but now he has the opportunity to rest, thanks to the generosity of strangers.

"It's just amazing the power of many people can be so big. I'm just very thankful that people had the compassion," said Perez.

CBS News