The good grandparents of China have often been known to go to incredible lengths to support their descendants-in-need, that is why when Hangzhou residents read a viral internet post about the tragic story of one local granny selling shoe inserts on the freezing streets in order to support her paralyzed son, they rushed out to help support this incredible woman.
The 93-year-old grandma was completely overwhelmed by the assistance provided by the philanthropic citizens who flocked to her roadside stall last Friday. Residents tried to purchase her shoe pads at five to ten times their selling price, with many just offering her money as a gift.
According to iFeng, Granny racked up around 8,000 yuan in just half an hour.
But strangely enough, she kept trying to return the money given to her and refused to give out her name or address to those asking to make further donations. Eventually, she simply fled the scene.
An investigation by local Hangzhou newspaper City Express exposed the truth. The internet post was nothing more than a hoax. There was no “paralyzed son.” The grandmother had a perfectly healthy son and daughter, not to mention a 3,000 yuan pension. The shoe insole stall was merely her hobby.
The source of the viral post is not yet known. It’s unclear if this grandma was truly a criminal mastermind who began to have second thoughts after witnessing the incredible generosity of strangers, or if she was merely a pawn in a bigger game to play with people’s emotions.
While Chinese social networks have been used to do good in the past, netizens called for people to not believe everything they read online. “Though the post is a hoax, we shouldn’t blame the kindhearted people offering help at her stall. But still we need to show our benevolence in a more sensible way in the future,” one netizen wrote in.
These people are going to feel so dumb when they find out that they just helped a regular old lady.
By Emily Lam
[Images via CCTV News]