When we first heard the story about Fidencio Sanchez, a GoFundMe campaign created by a stranger for his benefit, and the viral response to said campaign, we have to say we were skeptical. I mean, more skeptical than usual. This has been done before, sometimes with disastrous or at least unnecessarily complicated results.
For example, the endless back and forth surrounding the Success for Fred campaign; or the Detroit Walking Man, who had to leave the only home he’d ever known after threats, and put on a significant amount of weight after he was no longer walking over 20 miles a day.
On September 9, campaign organizer Joel Cervantes Macias wrote on the GoFundMe campaign:
As I was driving down 26th st in the Little Village area in Chicago where I was born and raised. I saw this elderly man struggling to push is paleta cart (Popsicle cart). It broke my heart seeing this man that should be enjoying retirement still working at this age. I had to pull over and took this picture. I then bought 20 paletas and gave him a $50 and said may God bless him and drove away. I posted this picture on Fb and since then, I’ve gotten a huge response. That’s when Joe Loera came up with a great idea to start this campaign.
Fidencio Sanchez, the 89-year-old gentleman in the photo, was listed as the beneficiary of the campaign, meaning Macias could not withdraw the money raised on his own. He originally set out to raise $3000, but the story quickly went crazy. To date, it’s the most successful campaign in the state of Illinois ever.
This afternoon, Sanchez was presented with a comically-oversized check in the amount of $384,290. Coincidentally, that’s exactly how much the campaign for him raised before it was closed to donations this past Monday. Obviously, someone ‘forgot’ to subtract GoFundMe fees before writing out that giant check.
By our math (as always, please double-check because eff math amiright), the actual total should be:
GoFundMe’s cut of 5% = $19,214.50
WePay’s cut of 2.9% = $11,144.41
WePay transaction fee of 30 cents x 17,447 donations = $5234.11
Grand Total of fees = $35,593.01
SO, that means the check should have actually been made out for $348,696.99 — perhaps I’m splitting hairs here but a $36,000 hair is worth splitting.
Anyway, that’s still $348,696.99 he didn’t have less than two weeks ago when a random dude snapped a photo of him pushing his cart.
This is pretty much how these crazy viral campaigns should go. Raise a bunch of money, make the person you’re raising money for the direct beneficiary, close the campaign after plenty of money is quickly raised, and then hand the freaking person a comically-oversized check. Done.
Props to the campaign organizer for doing a kick ass job on this one. See? I can be nice. Have a great life, Don Fidencio!