Good Samaritan Raises $85,000 For Hardworking 94-Year-Old Tamale Vendor In a Wheelchair [Video]


  • Kenia Barragan was doing some errands one day when she met Mr. Joel, a 94-year-old street vendor selling tamales.
  • He was unable to get a regular job because of his age and he has been struggling to make ends meet with the little money he gets for selling tamales on the street.
  • Determined to help, Kenia set up a GoFundMe page for him and has since collected $85,000 donations from strangers.

Earlier this month, Kenia Barragan was out doing some errands one day when she encountered a street vendor selling tamales. Knowing that the vendor struggles in life, she gave him a little help in cash and then they started talking to each other.

She learned that 94-year-old Jose Villa Ochoa, or Joel as he is fondly called, was unable to get a regular job because of, obviously, his age. With a lack of opportunities, he started selling tamales for someone and gets paid after every end of day. Kenia was moved by Joel’s story so she set out, determined to help him.

“He can barely afford to buy his coffee and bread in the morning to eat, and doesn’t have money to pay for a phone, let alone his medication,” 28-year-old Kenia shared on Instagram.

In a video that shows Kenia giving Joel some food and a $50 donation from someone, his emotional reaction was captured — and since then Kenia made it her mission to help him get into a better situation.

Photo Credit: @kenia714 (Instagram)

“I felt for him,” she said. “My parents are older, and I would hate to see my dad out selling tamales for somebody and barely making ends meet.”

She set up a GoFundMe page for Joel and amazingly, donations poured in to help the elderly man. 

As soon as the word about him spread throughout the community, help was coming in on different forms. Someone even gave Joel a new wheelchair which is of course, much better than the old one he was using. 

Photo Credit: @kenia714 (Instagram)

The GoFundMe campaign that Kenia launched has collected more than $85,000 donations from complete strangers! She will then work with Joel’s daughter to transfer the money to him. The money will be used for “power wheelchair, burial services, tombstone, casket (in case anything [were] to happen to him), clothes, dental work, and full medical checkup and medications.”

All of these ripples of goodness happened because Kenia took a little time to talk to a stranger one day. That reminds us to always look out for one another and give help in whatever way we can!

Source: Inspire More



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