Fidencio Sanchez, 89, pushed an ice cream cart for 23 years before retiring. However, after his only child died and his grandchildren were left in his care, he had to return to work. A humble immigrant from Mexico, Sanchez slowly walked his cart full of paletas, or popsicles, and adorned with bells from early morning until 8 at night. “It’s really hard working out here in the streets.... Even in bad weather I still had to go out and sell,” Sanchez explained.
A customer was moved. “I just felt like he looked really tired and needed a day off. The world came together and gave him a bunch of days off,” said the Good Samaritan who bought 20 paletas before driving away and setting up a GoFundMe campaign to help Sanchez. More than 15,000 people in 60 countries donated over $380,000 in two weeks. An attorney is working pro bono for the couple, setting up a trust to protect and manage the money. “No more work. I worked because I had to, but my body is no longer strong enough,” says Sanchez, overwhelmed with gratitude.
This story ended happily. Sanchez has financial security and the opportunity to rest — thanks to the generosity of strangers. However, the powerful picture of an elderly man struggling to push an ice cream cart down the street gives all of us a glimpse of how hundreds of thousands of people his age are still working in America, trying to make ends meet.
Good New Counts,
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