A group of college students at China West Normal University in Nanchong, Sichuan Province, created a fundraising campaign to buy a smartphone for a sanitation worker who lost his own near the school.
The 63-year-old Ren Xingyu had misplaced his phone while sweeping the streets outside of the university last Tuesday, so the students put up posters on the street and shared information online about his device.
But when that did not work out, two kindhearted students, surnamed Xia and Zhang, launched a crowdfunding page for Ren to help him purchase a new phone, which costs 699 yuan (about $101), according to CGTN.
The goal was to collect 800 yuan ($115), but they ended up raising 817.24 yuan (about $118) within four hours after 100 students decided to contribute.
The shop assistants at China Telecom were so touched by the story that they also donated an extra 100 yuan.
The amount of money left over was used to buy T-shirts and shoes for the elderly man.
Ren rejected the gift at first when the students handed him a new cellphone on Thursday.
“You students have no money in your own pockets, how can I accept such a thing from you!” he said.
To convince him to take the gift, the students told Ren a white lie, saying that the phone was a giveaway from a commercial campaign and cost them nothing.
“I don’t know how to repay their kindness. The only thing I can do is to sweep the streets cleaner for them,” the elderly man said.