South Side teen raises thousands of dollars for corn vendor who was robbed

CHICAGO (WLS) -- When a local street vendor was robbed in the South Side community of Ashburn, 15-year-old Ethan Godinez started thinking of ways to help.

"I think I've known him for most of my life honestly. I've lived in this neighborhood for all of my life and he would always sell here," said Godinez.

The 15-year-old's beloved street vendor, who will remain anonymous for safety reasons, was on his daily route two weeks ago when he was held at gunpoint. The vendor said he was robbed of every penny he had earned that day.

The vendor said he was robbed with two other customers, who have made a police report. He said it was the vendor's first time out since the stay-at-home order was declared in Chicago.

When Godinez heard of the news from a community page post on Facebook, he started brainstorming on how to help.

"I told my sister who was like, 'we should get him a gift card or something and try to repay him the money' and that's when I had the idea of like 'oh why don't go start a GoFundMe," said the 15-year-old.

In a week and a half, Godinez helped raise over $4,000. He said it was all a group effort from the community and beyond. Some neighbors even gave him a cash donation, separately.

Over the weekend, Godinez and his family gave their neighborhood corn vendor the money. He said they hope it lifts the burden off of his favorite elotero's shoulders.

"I think this shows that during tough times, people can come together to help one another, to keep them on their feet," said Godinez.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.