During Father’s Day, 70-year-old Rosario Del Real still showed up to work. He sold ice pops despite the heat, pushing his ice cream cart through the east side of Chicago. That is until one family decided that he would end his shift early.

He reminded them of their fathers

@miklo_98

Buying all the paletas from the ##PaletaMan so he can go home and relax on Father’s Day 🥺 ##vivalaraza ##MakeSomeoneSmile ##essential

♬ Baraja de Oro – Chalino Sánchez

Rosario’s shift took him to Oscar Gonzalez and Victor Dominguez; the two men and their families were having a Father’s Day barbecue party. The two men got into a conversation with Rosario and decided to buy all his ice pops so he could go home that day.

One of the guests, the boyfriend of Karen Gonzalez, Oscar’s daughter, decided to record the moment and share it on Tik Tok. Karen revealed to Chicago Tribune that both Oscar and Victor had lost their dads.

He reminded them of their fathers, so talking to Don Rosario and learning of his background really touched them.

Karen Gonzalez to Chicago Tribune

They raised over $50 000 for Don Rosario

Rosario revealed that he had suffered an injury, which had made it impossible for him to continue his previous work as a carpenter. So he found another way to keep himself busy.

I don’t like to sit at home doing nothing and without a purpose. I have to thank God I’m still able to work, but I don’t have enough to ever be able to thank (the family) who have done this for me, it has made me so happy.

Don Rosario to Chicago Tribune

Karen Gonzalez’ boyfriend, Michaelangelo Mosqueda posted the TikTok video, which went viral. He then decided to set up GoFundMe to help Don Rosario retire, after a whole life of labor. In one day, they managed to raise $40 000. Now, they have over $50 000 raised for the wholesome old man.

Don Rosario was shocked by the gesture and brought to tears by the news. “I don’t deserve this,” he kept repeating in Spanish.

He had come to America for a better life

Back in 1969, Don Rosario emigrated to the United States from his native town of Zatacetas in Mexico. He became an official citizen in 1979. At the time, all they wanted was to be able to survive with his family.

When I first decided to immigrate to the U.S., my only wish was that my family and I could eat once a day, at least. We were very poor.

Don Rosario

For years, he picked fruits and vegetables, starting in California and moving to Texas and then Oregon.“I’ve had countless jobs,” Don Rosario told the Chicago Tribune.

In Chicago, he started his family and bought a house to raise his three children with his wife’s help. It wasn’t until 2015 that he had finished paying the mortgage and could start slowing down.

“He refuses to stop working,” Lucero Del Real, one of Don Rosario’s daughters told Chicago Tribune. “I’m still in shock and extremely grateful for the family, and all the people that have changed my father’s life from one day to another.”

When Don Rosario got injured, he reached out to Carlos Serrano, the owner of an ice cream shop called Las Tres Abeja, to ask for a paleta cart. While Serrano was reluctant to agree, because Don Rosario was too old to be doing this kind of work during the pandemic, he inevitably caved in as he understood the plight of fellow Latino men when it came to earning money.

But on a good day, Serrano said that the pay would be $50 to $70 a day. “It made me happy to see Don Rosario so joyful when someone bought all of his paletas,” Serrano said.

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. He deserves this.

Karen Gonzalez

Never underestimate your impact

When Oscar and Victor decided to buy all of Don Rosario’s stock, little did they know that they would end up helping him retire comfortably. Their (relatively) little gesture triggered a chain reaction that led to an incredible gift for the hardworking old man.

You might think that your act of kindness may seem futile or insignificant in the grand scheme of things but the truth is, it holds the power to change a person’s life.

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