Elderly popsicle vendor to receive $380,000 check after GoFundMe campaign

WLS logo
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Money raised for ice cream vendor
Fidencio Sanchez, 89, has been selling ice cream on the streets of Little Village for about 20 years.

CHICAGO -- A generous gift will be given today to an elderly Chicago man who has gained worldwide recognition for his work ethic and unwavering dedication to his family.

Fidencio Sanchez, an 89-year old paleta vendor, has been selling popsicles in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood for more than 20 years.

Sanchez had intended to retire. But when his daughter suddenly died a few weeks ago, he and his wife became the sole supporters of their two grandsons. So they went back to work.

"We thought, 'What are we going to do? We have to pay the bills,'" Sanchez said.

A man who saw Sanchez pushing his cart through the neighborhood started a GoFundMe campaign to help him pay his bills. The original goal was $3,000. As of Monday afternoon, more than 17,000 donors had raised more than $382,000.

Sanchez said he and his wife were a bit overwhelmed by all the generous people in Chicago and around the world.

The campaign ended on Monday. Sanchez will be presented with a check at a special ceremony Wednesday afternoon.