Fundraiser for Elderly Frozen Treat Seller Tops $250,000

Associated Press/KMOX

CHICAGO (AP/KMOX) – 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 $250,000 in just four days.

Joel Cervantes Macias launched the online fundraiser on GoFundMe for “Fidencio the paleta man” Friday with a goal of $3,000. A paleta is Mexican treat similar to a Popsicle. The fundraising page shows more than a quarter-million dollars raised from more than 11,000 people as of early Tuesday morning.

The story Macias posted on the GoFundMe page says the elderly man was selling the treats to cover his family’s expenses.

“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,” Macias writes.

Fidencio Sanchez told the Chicago Tribune through a translator Monday the money means his paleta-selling days may be over and that he “will be able to rest more at home.”

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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