Community raises funds to replace trike stolen from elderly Utahn who collects cans for a living

Posted at 6:47 AM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 08:47:43-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Don Silvino collects aluminum cans around Salt Lake City for a living. His trike is the 90-year-old man's only means of transportation, but over the weekend he watched helplessly as someone jumped onto his trike and rode off with it.

But one person's bad actions is bringing out the good in others.

He doesn't speak English, but Don Silvino's hands tell the story of a lifetime of hard work.

“Don Silvino is a little bit of a staple around downtown,” said Jorge Fierro.

The man is known for riding his trike up and down the sidewalks of Salt Lake City.

“He's been going around on a tricycle picking up aluminum cans just to make a buck,” Fierro said.

Saturday afternoon, Don was riding his rounds near Jordan Park.

“Don Sirvino was looking into a garbage can looking for some aluminum cans,” Fierro said.

While his back was turned, someone stole Don's trike. He watched as a woman took off with his only means of transportation.

“I couldn't believe someone would have the heart to do that to someone who is just trying to make a buck for a living,” Fierro said.

Don says he was upset and didn't know what he would do without his trike.

Jorge Fierro wanted to do more than wait for police to find it. He posted a picture to his Facebook page, hoping to get more people on the lookout. Share after share, Don's story touched the hearts of hundreds he had never met.

“You hear someone who is 90 years old who is trying to be self-sufficient, and for somebody to try and take away something he uses to utilize to make that happen, it hurt,” said Jorge Robles.

Robles set up a GoFundMe page with a goal to buy Don a trike and give him some money to make it through the winter.

“Within 48 hours we surpassed it, it was just incredible,” Robles said of their fundraising efforts.

More than a thousand dollars was donated, along with two trikes each worth more than $400.

Don says that he believes God will pay everybody for what they have done to help out.

The big reveal will be next week when they give Don the trikes and a check. Donations are still being accepted here.