Jesus Morales posts videos about raising money for California street vendors through TikTok.
Morales asks his followers for donations before presenting vendors with $1,000 in cash.
His videos of their reactions have been liked millions of times.
Jesus Morales, 24, says he is on a mission to support street vendors in Los Angeles and San Diego with the help of his one million TikTok followers.
Morales' videos of vendors receiving the donations have been liked by millions.
A child of Mexican immigrants, Morales told Insider that he wanted to do more for the Latinx community.
"Many of these street vendors are undocumented immigrants who came to this country to look for a better life for themselves and their family," he said. "Seeing the hardships that my parents faced as I was growing up has inspired me to help these street vendors who may be going through the same hardships my parents went through."
Morales gives vendors cash donations of $1,000 apiece two to three times a week, he said, though Insider could not independently verify how much he has raised and gifted.
In one of his most recent videos posted on April 30, Morales shares a recording of his conversation with a 19-year-old fruit vendor. When Morales approaches the vendor with $1,000 in cash, saying that it is a gift from his followers, the vendor asks: "Are you serious?"
"We don't make much out here," the vendor added, after accepting the donation. "Sometimes I just make enough to support my family and just something to be able to pay rent."
This conversation was particularly memorable for Morales, the TikToker told Insider.
"He's literally here all by himself, just trying to make a living. He works to be able to provide for his family over in Guatemala," Morales said of the vendor in his video. "I can only imagine how scary that is."
In another video posted on March 5, Morales has a conversation with a vendor who at first doesn't know how to react to the donation.
"I don't want to take it," she says. "I don't know if it's right."
After accepting the tip, the vendor tells Morales that she needed to send 20,000 pesos, or around $1,000, to her family in Mexico, and that the donation would help her do that.
"There's not a lot of business, rent is coming up... and my son passed away," she tells Morales. "I had to send money and now look at this."
Morales told Insider that vendors are often hesitant about accepting donations.
"It just goes to show that they're just not used to being handed anything in life and that they've worked so hard for their money, literally every single penny," he said.
Morales said that he was inspired to donate to street vendors by TikTokers @LexyLately and @Get.it.like.v, who ask for donations from their followers and leave large tips for people in their community.
"I thought it was incredible that people were able to use their platform to be able to help others, and I wanted to do the same with mine," he said.
Morales also sells T-shirts and hoodies on his website, which he said are designed by a friend. He said that 30% of the proceeds go towards donations to vendors. He said that he supports himself through social-media sponsorships and the TikTok creator fund and hopes to continue his street vendor donation project for as long as he can.
Read the original article on Insider