Local buyers gave a great holiday gift to a popular San Antonio newspaper seller, surprising him with $1,500 in cash. The newspaper hawker, named Bill, who sells papers near Loop 1604 and U.S. 281 on Sundays, is known for his cheerful attitude.
Pierce Caldwell and his wife Amy Mueller-Caldwell, San Antonio North Side residents, were responsible for the holiday bonus. Bill lives in a shelter and doesn’t have a lot of material possessions. But he always smiles and has a cheerful attitude. Caldwell said he just wanted to do something for Bill after seeing him sell papers on the corner for years.
Caldwell set up a GoFundMe page for the “sweet newspaper man”. They were only hoping to raise $100 as a holiday gift. But they smashed their goal, with 80 donations. On Sunday, they gave Bill an envelope full of $1,500 cash.
Bill is among several dozen “hawkers” who sell the San Antonio Express-News on Sundays for profit. The paper sells a number of copies at a discounted price to a couple different agencies. These agencies in turn distribute the papers to individuals to sell.
The hawkers work at safe, high-traffic intersections throughout the city. They sell the paper for no more than $4 each, the same price it sells for in stores and newsstands. They also can accept tips from any purchaser. The program used to be larger in San Antonio. Hawkers sold papers seven days a week. Now, they only work Sundays and major holidays, but they still sell between 500-700 papers each week.
Bill was shocked by the kind gesture, which was captured on video. Caldwell did not ask the newspaper hawker how he would spend the money. However, later Bill was spotted at H-E-B with a cart full of groceries.