Chinese Good Samaritan helps pay cost of street cleaner’s lost wages three hours after appeal

Worker, 70, dropped 3,360 yuan in envelope on his way home, but businessman on trip to Binzhou soon hands over sum after call for help on social media

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 2:12pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 2:12pm

An elderly street cleaner in eastern China who lost three months’ wages from his pocket, has received the money back – from a Good Samaritan who pretended he had found the envelope containing the cash, mainland media reported.

The road sweeper, 70, from Binzhou, in Shandong province, was given the money totalling 3,360 yuan (HK$3,780) last Thursday and he put it into an envelope in his shirt pocket, the Qilu Evening News reported.

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However, upon returning home, he found the envelope missing and failed to find it even after retracing his steps.

The next morning, the owner of a food stall where the road sweeper takes his breaks appealed to the public on the WeChat instant messaging service to return the envelope with the cash if they found it, the report said.

“The money is payment for the elderly man’s work for the whole winter,” the message read.

“He has no children and is counting on the money to celebrate the forthcoming Lunar New Year. Please don’t keep the money or your conscience will haunt you.”

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The stall owner left her telephone number with her message, urging anyone with information to contact her.

Only three hours after she posted the appeal on social media, an anonymous Good Samaritan in his 30s drove up in a car next to her food stall and handed over an envelope clearly marked with the street sweeper’s name and the numbers 3360, the report said.

He declined to pose for a photograph with the road sweeper and then drove off.

It was only after the man had left that the street cleaner realised that the words on the envelope were not written with the same kind of pen used on his missing envelope.

Please don’t keep the money or your conscience will haunt you
WeChat appeal to public

A reporter later tracked down the Good Samaritan, who said he was on a business trip in Binzhou and social media users had asked him to help pay the lost money to the road sweeper.

The man had contributed 1,800 yuan, with the rest donated by other internet users, the reporter said.

The stall owner said two other people had also come to her stall and left 600 yuan for the road sweeper without leaving their names.

The street cleaner’s original envelope of cash was still missing, the report said.