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Good Samaritan raises over $84k for 94-year-old street vendor

/ 06:45 PM July 18, 2020
good samaritan

Jose Villa Ochoa or “Don Joel” (Image: Instagram/@kenia714)

A Good Samaritan has forever changed the life of a 94-year-old street vendor after being able to raise over $84,000 for him in California, USA.

Kenia Barragan, 28, first encountered Jose Villa Ochoa, who goes by “Don Joel,” when she noticed the latter selling tamales on the street.

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“He was selling tamales, so I approached him and gave him the cash I had and told him to keep the tamales for someone else. I started talking to him, and he told me that because he’s old, no one will hire him, so he sells tamales for a lady, and then she gives him money at the end of the day,” she shared on Instagram on July 6.

“He was selling tamales, so I approached him and gave him the cash I had and told him to keep the tamales for someone else. I started talking to him, and he told me that because he’s old, no one will hire him, so he sells tamales for a lady, and then she gives him money at the end of the day,” Barragan said.

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Came to Chase earlier and noticed this man. He was selling tamales, so I approached him and gave him the cash I had and told him to keep the tamales for someone else. I started talking to him, and he told me that because he’s old, no one will hire him, so he sells tamales for a lady, and then she gives him money at the end of the day. His name is Joel, he’s 94 years old and uses a wheelchair to get around. He can barley afford to buy his coffee and bread in the morning to eat, and doesn’t have money to pay for a phone, let alone his medication. I found all this out, just by taking a few minutes out of my day to acknowledge a stranger. I gave him my phone number, and told him to call me whenever he needs anything… this breaks my heart. If anyone wants to help him out, please reach out to me. Second video is me giving him $50 that someone donated to him and a Torta Ahogada I bought for him. He said he’s gonna go to church tomorrow and pray for me. 😭

A post shared by 🔅𝓚𝓮𝓷𝓲𝓪 𝓑𝓪𝓻𝓻𝓪𝓰𝓪𝓷🔅 (@kenia714) on

The post came with a photo and a video of Ochoa shedding tears after being handed $50 by Barragan, who said the money was donated by a stranger. She also gave Ochoa food, other than her own money.

“He can barely afford to buy his coffee and bread in the morning to eat, and doesn’t have money to pay for a phone, let alone his medication. I found all this out, just by taking a few minutes out of my day to acknowledge a stranger,” she said.

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Ochoa, meanwhile, promised Barragan that he would be going to church the next day and pray for her.

Barragan also asked anyone who wants to help to reach out to her, which has since proven to be successful after donations poured in for the 94-year-old.

Through Barragan’s GoFundMe page for Ochoa, which has been closed earlier this week, over $84,000 was raised, as per KTTV on July 15.

“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 was quoted as saying.

Ochoa now has a brand-new wheelchair and a fresh pair of black shoes after what the two describe as a “life-changing” encounter.

Barragan, who said she had always wanted to find purpose in life and help people, then emphasized that she hopes people will take care of their own 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,” Barragan was quoted as saying. Ian Biong /ra

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TAGS: California, Charity, donations, elderly, Good Samaritan, street vendor, United States
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