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94-year-old street vendor brought to tears after random act of kindness by good Samaritan

Chron logo Chron 7/17/2020 Sonia Ramirez
a screen shot of a man: 94-year-old street vendor Don Joel from Santa Ana, California was brought to tears by the generosity shared from 28-year-old Kenia Barragan who raised more than $80,000 for the down-on-his-luck tamale vendor. © Screenshot FOX 7 Website

94-year-old street vendor Don Joel from Santa Ana, California was brought to tears by the generosity shared from 28-year-old Kenia Barragan who raised more than $80,000 for the down-on-his-luck tamale vendor.

Random acts of kindness still exist: One 94-year-old street vendor in Santa Ana, Calif. was brought to tears by the generosity of a good Samaritan.

Jose Villa Ochoa, also known as "Don Joel," was clearly emotional, as shown in a FOX11 video, as a result of the kindness shown by 28-year-old Kenia Barragan who took time out to listen to Ochoa's story.

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The down-on-his-luck street vendor shared with Barragan how he has to work selling tamales because no one would hire him due to his age.

"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," said Barragan through her Instagram post.

Barragan took to social media asking if anyone wanted to help Ochoa.

"We raised over $84k in just a week!!! My heart is touched. Thank you to everyone that donated, supported, and reached out," said Barragan in a Facebook post.

In addition to the money raised, "Barragan also purchased Don Joel a new wheelchair and got him a new pair of shiny black shoes," said Fox7 news. 

Barragan said in the video that she felt for Ochoa, having older parents herself and that she would hate to see her dad out selling tamales and barely making ends meet.

"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 to Fox11 news.

In a time where the country seems so divided, its stories like this that remind us of the goodness that still exists in this world, and how communities can come together to rally behind each other during these tough times and how your random acts of kindness can inspire a nation.

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