Watch CBS News

GoFundMe Raises Thousands For Gage Park Empanada Vendor Robbed Twice In Two Weeks

Chicago (CBS) -- Three times a week, 80-year-old Modesto Fuentes walks six miles around Gage Park, selling empanadas for $1.

He's raising money to retire in Mexico and, more importantly, put a new cross over his wife Juana's grave.

RELATED One Year Later, Retired Ice Cream Vendor, 90, Enjoying 'Gift Of Rest'

Fuentes says he's hoping to save up $15,000, but has encountered some unexpected obstacles. He's been robbed twice in the last two weeks.

"They took $40 and four empanadas," Fuentes said through a translator. "I just want to earn an honest living."

Little did Fuentes know, he had a close friend in one of his customers.

Tania Rangel says when she heard what happened, she couldn't keep it to herself.

"I just wanted to have people support him," Rangel said.

She took to Facebook to tell Fuentes' story.

"People were commenting, 'hey, start a GoFundMe for him'," Rangel said.

So, she did.

"I started with a goal of $1,000, just trying to help him," Rangel said. "And then it started raising and raising. People were like, 'add more, add more'."

As of Friday evening, almost 600 people have donated over $11,800 to the GoFundMe campaign.

"I see my dad in him and I wanted to do whatever I could for him," Rangel said.

Fuentes says he couldn't feel more thankful to call Rangel his customer and his friend.

To donate to the GoFundMe for Fuentes, visit

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.