Joel Cervantes was driving through Chicago's Little Village when he saw 89-year-old Fedencio Sanchez struggling to push his Popsicle cart down the sidewalk.
Cervantes, the co-owner of El Rio Grande Mexican restaurant in Stoughton for the past 13 years, knew he had to do something.
So Cervantes took Sanchez' picture and shared it on Facebook.
"Well, since we're both in the service industry, I felt bad for him. At 89 years old, I saw him struggling and I felt terrible," Cervantes said. "A man at that age should be in his retirement, enjoying his retirement."
People who knew Sanchez started messaging Cervantes, who had decided with a friend to set up a GoFundMe page to help Sanchez.
Cervantes hoped to raise $3,000. That goal was broken in less than an hour, he said.
"It really took off. The next morning, it was up to $35,000, and then $50,000, and then $100,000, and then it just spiraled out of control," Cervantes said.
The GoFundMe page has raised more than $371,000 as of Friday afternoon. Nearly 17,000 people have donated to the page, including people from more than 60 countries, Cervantes said.
Cervantes said he is working with attorneys and financial advisors to help Sanchez figure out what to do with the money.
The day after taking the photo, Cervantes met Sanchez and told him about the GoFundMe page.
"His wife and him started crying, and he thanked me," Cervantes said.
Cervantes learned Sanchez' daughter, who was the family's main breadwinner, had died a few months ago.
Now, with the money he raised, Cervantes hopes Sanchez can stop working.
"I hope he puts the Popsicle cart away and enjoys his retirement," Cervantes said.