In a world that’s full of bad, stressful news, it’s important to highlight some feel-good neighborly acts of kindness. Seventy year old, Chicago native, Rosario Del Real was known for his cowboy boots and singing as he pushed his ice cream cart through the neighborhood streets of the city’s East Side. His fashion was immediately recognizable and he took great pride in his outfits, including the belt from his hometown in Zacatecas, Mexico.
On Father’s Day, Del Real got a wonderful surprise from a local family that wanted him to clock out early and enjoy the rest of the day at home. They bought all of his ice pops and sold out his cart to make sure the man could celebrate Father’s Day without having to work. The moment went viral on TikTok, which encouraged the family to extend their act of kindness to a new level. They raised more than $60,000 through a GoFundMe account, which they set up to ensure Del Real doesn’t have to work a day in his life again.
How it All Began
Rosario Del Real, affectionately known as Don Rosario, only started selling ice pops earlier that month after an injury forced him to retire from full-time carpentry work. He refused to stay at home and do nothing. On Father’s Day, he stopped by a home where Oscar Gonzalez and Victor Dominguez were having a barbecue with their families. They started talking to him and quickly bonded, as both men had lost their fathers. The 70-year-old Don Rosario reminded them of their dads. Gonzalez and Dominguez decided they would buy Rosario’s ice pops and allow him to go home for the day.
After they purchased his items, Rosario was absolutely speechless, repeatedly saying that he didn’t deserve it. But that wasn’t the end. Gonzalez and Dominguez got inspired and raised money for Don Rosario’s retirement fund. They successfully raised more than $60,000, which was enough to make sure Rosario could successfully retire. However, one of Don Rosario’s daughters stated that he still refuses to stop working.
Rosario’s Life Story
Don Rosario was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and immigrated to the US in 1969. However, he wasn’t a citizen until a decade later. He had to cross the border several times before he was officially allowed to stay. He revealed that his family was very poor at the time and his only wish was that they would be able to eat at least once per day. His first home was California, where he picked fruits and vegetables for work before getting jobs at various ranches and factories.
He held countless jobs and his hard work finally allowed him to buy a home in Chicago, where he was able to raise his three children. After working hard all his life, he was finally able to settle down and pay off his house in 2015. But in June 2020, he suffered an injury that stopped him from doing carpentry work at home. He asked the owner of a local ice cream shop to take out a cart and start selling ice pops. The owner was hesitant but eventually agreed, as he knew this was one of the few ways the elderly were able to make money during the Coronavirus pandemic.
After the heartwarming TikTok of Don Rosario went viral, the GoFundMe for his retirement fund reached an impressive number, which surpassed the initial goal of $10,000 by more than $50,000. A member of the family stated that “Don Rosario is not only a paletero [street vendor], he reminds us of our fathers, our abuelos, who despite any hardships, age or health issues, [chose] to keep working to earn money in a very honest way.”
@miklo_98Buying all the paletas from the ##PaletaMan so he can go home and relax on Father’s Day 🥺 ##vivalaraza ##MakeSomeoneSmile ##essential
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