Qin Xiaoliang, 29, a migrant worker in Shanghai, lost his life savings when he fell off his moped. He watched most of the 17,600 yuan ($2,809 CAD) he had on him get snatched up by passersby. Only 700 yuan were returned to him.
Qin, who's annual salary is only about 18,000 yuan, had been rushing to the bank to deposit the cash. He was planning to use the money to return to his hometown for the Spring Festival. Some of the money was the earnings of his brother and 83-year-old father, a street sweeper.
His story was widely reported by the Chinese press, enough so that over 7,000 yuan was returned by guilt-ridden passersby who initially took it from him.
Thanks to donations from generous good Samaritans, that amount rose to 22,450 yuan ($2,583 CAD).
"He (Qin) came to help us develop the city, now he is in trouble, and we should help him enjoy a happy Spring Festival," said a donor surnamed Zheng.
"The nice people of the city really surprised me. If I accepted the entire donation the number would have reached tens of thousands," said Qin. "I don't want to accept any more donations as I have already recovered what I had lost."
With the money, Qin bought a bus ticket to his hometown in Anhui. He plans to return to Shanghai with his family after the Spring Festival to thank the city for its generosity — and to donate the extra money to charity.
"I need to say thank you with my family and donate the extra 4,850 yuan," he told the Shanghai Daily.