Real Life

Meet the 89-year-old ice cream man that is melting the internet’s heart

In this cold, cruel world, sometimes all you need is a scoop of ice cream to make things a little sweeter... And one Chicago local is delivering joy by the bucket load!
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Joel Cervantes Macias unwittingly created a storm filled with positivity, and in it he changed one man’s life.

As he drove through Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood last Thursday, he spotted an elderly street vendor, known as the paleta man, struggling to push his frozen ice-block cart.

Heartbroken by what he saw, Joel took to Facebook, sharing a photo of the man.

“It broke my heart seeing this man that should be enjoying retirement still working at this age,” he recalled.

Adding, “I bought 20 paletas [ice blocks] and gave him a $50 and said may God bless him and drove away.”

The response to the image was incredible, so much so that Joel’s friend Joe Loera encouraged him to start a GoFundMe page for the ice-cream vendor.

The incredible photo that broke the internet’s heart.

Joel is the ultimate example of a random act of kindness.

Through the fundraiser, we learned so much more about him.

“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.”

“We’re trying to raise money to help him with whatever we can. Anything helps. Let’s all pitch in and help make life a little easier and brighten both of their day.”

In three days over 11,200 people have and still are donating.

Smashing their goal of reaching $3000, the site has raised over $247,711.

Gustavo Gutiérrez is the man that supplies Fidencio his cart.

Speaking to DNAinfo, he revealed that the 89-year-old learned of the money that was raised for his during a church service.

“He’s taking it with a lot of love,” Gustavo said.

He explained that the Mexican native retired two months ago but returned to work after his daughter died.

Watch the incredible moment he receives the money! Article continues…

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People took to Twitter to share how they were touched by Fedencio’s story.

“He’s a really hardworking gentleman,” he mused.

“He’s always giving. He already got the advice from everybody to take it easy and stop doing it. He just doesn’t want to. He’s like a little kid. He wants to get going.”

Mr Sanchez spoke to Univisión Chicago that he hopes to share the money with his churches in Chicago and in Mexico, as well as his grandchildren.

With all the money raised, you’d expect the 89-year-old to stop pushing the ice-block cart.

Mr Sanchez has moved so many with his story.

When asked if he will keep working he quickly responded, “I don’t think so!”

A moment later he changed his mind, saying, “But on the other hand, yes, because I need go out in the fresh air. I like it a lot and it helps me a lot.”

Were guessing he’s going to have A LOT of customers queuing up for him.

For more on Fedencio Sanchez, check out the video in the player at the beginning of the article!

To see how you can help, head to the GoFundMe page here

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