Good Samaritan Raises More Than $84,000 To Help 94-Year-Old Street Vendor

A beautiful act of generosity done by a total stranger brought a 94-year-old tamale vendor in Santa Ana to tears.

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Jose Villa Ochoa, or “Don Joel” said he cried because he felt truly appreciated at first, the gift was a simple torta (a Mexican sandwich) and some cash.

Don Joel told 28-year-old Kenia Barragan, that because of his age, no one would hire him.

As a result, he has had to work selling tamales for a woman who gives him money at the end of each day.

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“I felt for him, my parents are older and I would hate to see my dad out selling tamales for somebody and barely making ends meet,” Barragan said.

She took to social media to describe her encounter with the 94-year-old vendor in hopes of getting him a little help and ended up raising more than $80,000.

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Barragan also purchased Don Joel a new wheelchair and got him a new pair of shiny black shoes. Don Joel described the gift as “life-changing,” and so does Barragan.

She said, “Definitely! I’ve always wanted a purpose in my life and I wanted to help people. This was the starting point for me.”

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Kenia Barragan

“I hope people take care of our community. We need to take care of each other. Even if you can’t give money — donate a prayer, give something back, take the time to get to know someone,” said Barragan.

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This heartwarming story has brought a smile on the faces of thousands of people across the country, share the story with someone you know who needs to see it.

Verse of the Day

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. — Colossians 4:5-6 (NIV)

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