Dreaming of Disney World: South Bend uncle helping nieces raise money for trip

Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 8:11 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - It’s a story that began with a picture as it made its rounds on social media during last week’s heatwave.

It showed a young girl selling candy at an intersection on South Bend’s northwest side.

Joshua Short went there to check it out, only to find her 18-year-old uncle, who was eager to explain the sweet reason behind why he and his nieces are out in the heat.

(Forestine Blake Jackson)

There’s a hustle happening on South Bend’s northwest side, where an 18-year-old is working hard to take his nieces on a trip this summer.

Last week, Kody Mathis endured a heatwave while selling candy and snow cones at the intersection of Humboldt Street and Elmer Street.

It’s a job without a big payday, but the gig comes with huge benefits.

“Disney World,” Mathis said. “They want to go to Disney World this summer.”

Disney World, where dreams come true. But they’ve got their work cut out for them.

“I stay on the corner, and I see him over here, so why not help him out?” one neighbor said. “He’s a kid in the neighborhood.”

A neighborhood that’s become familiar with violence, which has touched every corner of this city. The intersection is home to District 2, where there have been at least 12 shooting victims so far this year and 51 in all last year. It’s a cold reality that not even a heatwave can counteract.

But it isn’t stopping Mathis or his nieces, as they hustle toward their goal.

“We were out here for about four or five hours making money, selling candy,” Mathis said.

And hopefully, making their dream come true.

Mathis said he’s got close to 10 nieces. He said Disney World is the goal, but no matter what happens, he’s aiming for a trip somewhere this summer with all his nieces.

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