A simple encounter with Langley’s “hot dog guy” is one reason a local woman launched an online fundraiser to help him.

Jodi Marsh ordered a dog from Miguel, owner of Gypsy Bite outside of the Langley Real Canadian Superstore.

She didn’t realize she didn’t have any cash until he’d made the order.

As she apologized, Miguel just cheerfully said he’d trust her to pay him the next time – which she did.

“Every time I would go to Superstore, I would hear him laugh and see him smile,” Marsh said.

Though she didn’t buy from his stand often, she always appreciated his presence, as did many other customers.

But Miguel’s Gypsy Bite stand has been closed since June, as he deals with health issues.

Marsh was talking online to friends the evening of July 27, and they were tossing around ideas for how to help him out. With his store closed, they worried he might have financial problems.

By 11 p.m., Marsh had set up a gofundme campaign. By Friday morning, it had already raised $875 of its $6,000 goal.

Miguel has many fans and regular customers – since his stand closed, its exterior has been plastered with get-well notices.

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This is the second time public support has overflowed for Miguel. When Superstore considered closing his independent stand over a change in company polices several years back, a groundswell of local support kept Gypsy Bite open.

Now Marsh is making sure she can get every dollar collected directly to Miguel.

“Funds will absolutely not be withdrawn out of the account until I have a way to get the money to him,” Marsh said.

She’s hoping to meet with Superstore’s manager to reach him and set up a transfer.