By Ivan Shi
Yueyue’s dad collecting her urn.
Yueyue’s ashes have been returned to her hometown in Shandong province after her cremation in Guangzhou on October 29. Her father Wang Chichang’s phone has been ringing off the hook with calls and texts from strangers, some requesting financial assistance, and others expressing doubts over his arrangement of donations he had received, accusing him of appropriating the money to himself. In a recent interview with state broadcaster CCTV, Wang said the donations he had received put him in a quandary.
Shortly after Yueyue’s story broke out in the media, donations poured in from all corners of China to the Wangs. Overwhelmed by the donations, Mr Wang had gone to the bank to open a special account to accept donations with a media entourage in tow. The cash he had received was counted in full view of journalists present, and established to be ¥270,100.45.
While Wang said he never had time to check on the incoming charitable contributions afterwards, he believed the amount must have gone far beyond ¥270,000. He made a public vow that the money would go to other children in need, in particular those in need of emergent medical attention. But still that didn’t appear to be enough for certain members of the public, who have since accused him of shenanigans.
“I’ve got nothing to say,” the young father said in a televised interview, “Actions speak louder than words. “But some people have said that I ran away with the money… this I can’t accept.”
Unable to bear the murmurs surrounding him, Wang decided to make a donation of ¥60,000 to a leukemia patient on October 31. Today, he donated another ¥30,000 to an aplastic anemia sufferer.
Earlier, Chen Xianmei, the scrap peddler who came to Yueyue’s rescue after the toddler was ignored by 18 bystanders, also gave away her donations to the Wangs after a barrage of criticisms was levelled at her for the reward money that she had received from government bodies, private companies and members of the public. The flood of donations and media attention eventually proved too much for her to bear, and she left Foshan to return to her village.
Check out Shanghaiist’s full coverage of Yueyue’s story here.