MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) His name is Patrick, but most people in West Mobile know him simply as the “doughnut man”.
Patrick has sold water and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts by the dozen at the corner of Schillinger Road and Airport Boulevard since 2009, rarely if ever taking a day off. He works through the blazing hot Mobile summers and the coldest winter days.
While his face is familiar to many in West Mobile, his story is not. Patrick overcame a life of dealing drugs to start his modest business enterprise.
“It was a hard transformation from selling drugs because I did it for so many years,” Patrick told Our Southern Souls, a Facebook page dedicated to the stories of local people. “It was a relief when I stopped and straightened out my life. I was a loner, and realized I had to love myself and enjoy life.”
Patrick’s story was shared more than 6,000 times on Facebook and inspired a Go Fund Me account on his behalf. The creator of the account, Tori Salva, wanted to help him achieve his dream of buying an ice cream truck. In two days, donors had raised more than $10,000, surpassing the goal.
“I saw him but never thought twice about him,” wrote one person on Facebook. “What changes when we see someone with open eyes because we know their story,” wrote another.
“I have said ‘Thank you Lord’ over and over today. This kind of love is overwhelming,” Patrick told the author of the article on the Our Southern Souls page when she shared the success of the Go Fund Me account.