In just about the most depressing Children’s Day story imaginable, a mother in Nanjing was caught shoplifting on Tuesday, stealing a chicken drumstick and a couple of children’s books to give to her daughter as a present.
The mother, Liu Jinxia, has twin daughters that both suffer from kidney diseases. Recently, she brought one of her seven-year-old daughters to Nanjing from their home in Shandong for better medical treatment. However, treatment is expensive and Liu was only able to pull together 3,000 yuan for the entire trip.
In Shandong, Liu works as a waste collector, earning just 50 yuan a day. Her husband divorced her years ago, because of the heavy financial burden that the twins were placing on the family’s life. To save on money while in Nanjing, the mother and daughter have been living in a two-square-meter room and spending very little extra money. However, before Children’s Day, Liu’s daughter mentioned that she wished she could have a chicken drumstick.
So, the day before Children’s Day, Liu walked into a local supermarket to buy some grain, but when she saw the chicken drumsticks on sale, she couldn’t resist snatching one of them to give to her daughter as a gift. Both her daughters also needed a book for school, so she grabbed a couple of those too and made for the exit, but was caught when leaving the store, NetEase reports.
However, this sad story might actually have a happy ending. The police officer who responded to the call was moved by what Liu had done for her daughters. He posted her story to his WeChat and asked his friends if they could help. In no time, he had raised 10,000 yuan for Liu and her twin daughters.
But that was just the beginning. “The most tragic Children’s Day gift” story went viral on the Chinese internet and warmhearted netizens from across China have responded by donating over 300,000 yuan to Liu’s family, Sina reports.
That’s enough money to cover the family’s medical expenses and the page has been shut down. But the story has provoked more than just charity. As the world celebrated Children’s Day yesterday, the Liu’s theft became one of the most talked about issues on Chinese social media, with many netizens speaking out against China’s widening wealth gap and lack of welfare for the poor and sick.
“This woman is not guilty. For this kind of crime it is the whole society that is to blame,” wrote one netizen.
“The poor really can’t afford to get sick. A single illness can devastate a home,” commented another.
“More of our taxes should go into helping families like this. It is appalling that this is allowed to happen,” responded another.
Well, looks like Children’s Day is good for something after all.
[Images via NetEase]