Good Neighbors

You Won’t Believe What A Family Did For Their Neighborhood’s Beloved Popsicle Man

After a video of their act of kindness went viral, they started a GoFundMe so that he could stop working for good.

For most of the country, temps have been rising in recent days, giving us the first real taste of summer – and the sticky blanket of humidity that comes with it.

For Rosario Del Real, the heat can be a blessing, especially when it comes to doing his job.

Known by his community as Don Rosario, the 70-year-old man from Zacatecas, Mexico sells paletas, or Mexican popsicles, in the East Side neighborhood of Chicago. On Father's Day, Rosario was pushing his cart when he was approached by Michaelangelo Mosqueda and his girlfriend Karen Gonzalez.

The family wanted to do something kind for the beloved "palatero," so they bought all of his ice pops so that he could go home and celebrate the holiday with his family. Del Real, who was wearing a Western vaquero suit and cowboy hat, was moved to tears by the gesture.

Gonzalez captured the sweet (pun intended!) moment and later shared it in a TikTok video. The clip quickly went viral and was shared over a hundred thousand times on various social media platforms.

Surprised by how many people were moved by the video, the couple decided to start a GoFundMe account to raise money to help Don Rosario retire for good. They originally hoped to raise $10,000, however the fundraiser quickly exceeded that goal and has now been paused at just over $60,000.

Don Rosario was moved to tears when the couple bought out his paleta cart. TikTok

Mosqueda and Gonzalez got to reunite with Don Rosario a few days ago to let him know about the money, and they expect to give him a check next week.

Don Rosario's signature smile quickly turned to happy tears when he heard what the family did for him. Without the words to express his emotions, Don Rosario started singing the song, "El Muchacho Alegre," a Mexican ballad about a joyful young man.

Turns out, Don Rosario only recently started pushing the paletero cart after he was injured and could no longer work as a carpenter. The ice cream shop owner who employs him was hesitant to send him out with the cart with the threat of Covid-19, however he recognized it might be the only way for Don Rosario to make money for his family.

Don Rosario started working as a paletero after he suffered an injury and could no longer work as a carpenter. @LAURA_N_ROD

"Don Rosario is not only a paletero, he reminds us of our fathers, our abuelos, who despite any hardships, age or health issues, they choose to keep working to earn money in a very honest way," Gonzalez told the Chicago Tribune. "He deserves this."

The story of Don Rosario is an example of what truly makes our country great. Like so many others, he came to America with the dream of making a better life for himself and his family. Kudos to everyone who pitched in to make all of his hard work and sacrifice worthwhile!

How can you start something good?

While it appears that the GoFundMe for Don Rosario's retirement has been paused, you can keep up-to-date with the fundraiser by clicking here.

Also, be sure to support the small businesses in your community as they continue to struggle during the pandemic. Order takeout, buy gift cards, shop online - these are just a few ideas for how to help your favorite local shops, vendors and restaurants stay afloat. Check out this list that has even more ways to keep your support going.

Let's #StartSomethingGood together!

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