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Mesa salesman giving back this Thanksgiving to Mexican merchants

Sebastian Ibañez had stopped selling goods on Mesa streets after a new job, but that meant the people who sold him the items took a financial hit.

MESA, Ariz. — On a cloudy Thanksgiving Day, Sebastian Ibañez was back at work in Mesa.

He was back at the corner where his entrepreneurial journey first began, on McKellips Road and Mesa Drive.

Ibañez was back not by necessity, but to give back to those who helped him get his start.

“It’s absolutely a blessing to be able to help others,” he told 12News on Thursday.

12News first told you about Ibañez in February, after the van he used to store and move his goods was wrecked. The community rallied behind him at the time. That support landed him one of his dream jobs: a car salesman.

But selling cars meant the blind Mexican merchants he’d purchase his goods from, took a hit.

“They were struggling to get some of their essentials because they were not selling as much as they did when I was working,” Ibañez said.

To lend a hand, he purchased all of their inventory—the same brooms, mops, and blankets he first began selling in 2015, when he said no one would hire him because he’s legally blind and partially deaf.

“I depended on them when I started because they gave me credit,” Ibañez said. “For so many years [they] were helping me and this year I was able to give back, some, of a lot of the help I’ve gotten over the years.”

For him, life is like a cake, he said. It’s better to share it with others than for the cake to go bad trying to keep it for yourself.

That’s why this Thanksgiving, he was back where it all started. In the corner where life gave him opportunities, he’s back giving thanks and sharing the blessings sent his way.

“I would ask people to believe in miracles because they do happen,” Ibañez said. “I am a test to that.”

Ibañez will be selling mops, brooms, and blankets all weekend long at this location. He will be moving to different locations after that, while still working as a car salesman at Brown Brothers Automotive.

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