There’s no way of knowing how long it would’ve taken Fidencio Sanchez to sell 90,000 paletas, or Mexican ice pops, for $1.50 each from the paleteria he pushes around Little Village.
But online donors saved the 89-year-old man the trouble of finding out. Through $5 to $2,000 donations, 6,300-plus people collectively raised more than $135,000 - the equivalent of 90,000 paleta sales - for Sanchez in a GoFundMe campaign started by a stranger wanting to offer the older man a little relief from pushing his cart.
Crediting friend Joe Loera with coming up with the idea to start an online fundraiser, Joel Cervantes said in this case it took a village – Little Village – to make all the difference to Sanchez and his wife, Eladia.
Eladia Sanchez also used to sell paletas but now sells Mexican candies because pushing the heavy cart became too physically demanding and hurt her arm, according to the Sanchez' granddaughter, Dulce Perez. Fidencio Sanchez has been pushing his cart in the area about 23 years, Perez said.