CHICAGO — 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.
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."
If you're doing the math at home, he would have needed to sell more than 166,000 of the frozen treats at $1.50 a pop to make that much money.
Sanchez has been operating his cart in the neighborhood for more than 23 years, according to the newspaper.
He says he's considering parking his cart for good.