March 2, 2021 by Cathy Stack
Robert has been purchasing cartloads of tamales from Chicago vendors for weeks as the temperature began to plummet into the single digits. “I’m going out every morning and buying out tamale vendors, so they can go home and get out of the cold for the day,” Robert said. After he rescues the vendors from the frigid weather, he then donates the delicious tamales to either homeless encampments or shelters. Robert also uses his purchases to stock Love Fridges, which are fridges around his city where people can either donate or grab fresh vegetables and cooked meals.
Robert said his idea was sparked spontaneously. “I was driving past Humboldt Park and saw a tamale vendor out, and she looked like she was dressed to be in Antarctica,” he recalled. “I pulled over and asked her if I bought all of her tamales, would she go home for the day and get out of the cold? She said, ‘Of course, absolutely, yes.’ I guess it just started from there,” he explained. Robert also provides the vendors with a generous tip. Street vendors have been hit hard by the pandemic as the pedestrian population has shrunk by as much as half in the city. The hard-working vendors are grateful for Robert’s kindness as well as all the community support they have received.
“Well, I feel really happy. The man is like an angel,” said tamale vendor Javier Hernandez.
Robert’s ingenious idea took off on social media and he immediately began receiving donations from the community. Robert plans to continue buying out street vendors all winter with the help of donations from kind strangers who have joined him on his compassionate mission.
The good Samaritan said he also plans to extend an offer of employment to some of the vendors whom he admires. Robert is no stranger to helping others. Throughout the pandemic, he started a movement with other local restaurants called the West Town Feeds to help their community. Together they provide hundreds of free hot meals to those experiencing homelessness. Robert said he is not trying to save the world, rather just trying to help neighbors in need.
Passiton believes that Robert Magiet’s action is a great example of the value of helping others. He witnessed his fellow community members struggling, some from the bitter cold and others from hunger, and found a unique way in which he could help them. His compassionate action is providing hope to those who need it most. Please help us honor this community hero by sharing his heartwarming story.
Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/DsObCJTYtz4
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