The next time any geezer brings up how selfish millennials are and how the Internet is leading to the degradation of society, you can kindly remind them of the time an online community raised more than $350,000 to help a lowly old paleta vendor in Little Village.
Last Thursday, a GoFundMe page was created for 89-year-old paleta man Fidencio Sanchez, showing a picture of Sanchez hunched over, wearing geriatric sandals, and determinedly pushing his “Poncho Paletas” cart through the streets of Little Village. It’s hard not to love him a little… and to want him as your grandpa. Sanchez and his wife, Eladia, had recently lost their only daughter and have each taken turns selling paletas to help cover bills, so the fundraiser's organizer, Joel Cervantes Macias, set the campaign at $3,000 to help the retirees.
Since then, the page has gone cat-meme-level viral, far surpassing the initial goal and quickly becoming the most successful GoFundMe of all time in Illinois.
“He’s a powerful man. A powerful paleta man,” chuckles Gustavo Pedraza, the owner of family-owned Paleteria Poncho in Little Village.