Inspiring story about “The Candy Man” and how Birmingham gives back

Birmingham Alabama
“The Candy Man” Donnie Goodin in front of Western Supermarket – photo from GoFundMe

If you live in Birmingham, you have met Donnie Goodin, aka “The Candy Man.”

It may have been in front of the Western Market on Highland Avenue or beside The Fish Market near UAB. If you work downtown, you’ve seen him near the Chick -fil-A on 5th Avenue North.

He is one of Birmingham’s most inspirational and hardest working citizens.

Last year, Donnie’s longtime friend, Johnsey Ruggerio helped start a GoFundMe campaign to purchase a specially equipped van (built by High Tech Mobility from Hueytown)  to transport Donnie to the many locations he sells candy.  The old van was on its last legs.

Birmingham Alabama
Photo from
Birmingham gives back

The fund took a few months to get traction, but once word spread about the fundraiser for Donnie on local social media, contributions started to pour in.

Now, almost exactly a year since the GoFundMe campaign was launched, 538 people have raised $19,140, enough funds to purchase a used van and a little bit of money set aside for some living expenses.

Birmingham Alabama

The new and improved van will help Donnie provide candy all over town.

GoFundMe Campaign is now for living expenses (participate here)

Donnie and his friends are very grateful to all the donors and supporters.

He still needs some help.

Donnie’s GoFundMe campaign has now been turned into a “living expenses” campaign.  The monies raised will provide funds to cover the costs  of his caregivers, which enables him to work everyday selling his candy all over town.

Here is the description from the GoFundMe page about Donnie, his expenses and the updated campaign.

“Donnie, aka “The CandyMan” has been selling candy on the streets of Birmingham for over 40 years. Although he receives government assistance it isn’t enough to cover the almost 24/7 caregiver costs he has.
Donnie is 63, has no family in the Birmingham area and pays caregivers to take care of him. This is the main reason you see him out practically 7 days a week working and riding the streets.

Donnie just raised $18,000 through so many gracious givers for a used handicap van. What a blessing that was since his old van was on it’s last leg. Donnie would now like to convert his GoFundMe account to help pay for his living expenses, namely his caregivers. It’s an avenue for people to help him electronically.

All funds are deposited directly into Donnie’s bank account as it is tied to his GoFundMe account.

On behalf of Donnie, thank you and God bless!!!”

Want to make a difference in the life of someone who inspires us all? Support Donnie Goodin – the Candy Man.  Visit his GoFundMe page and share it with your friends.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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