A woman in eastern China is being applauded on social media for keeping a years-long promise to the public of paying back a $44,000 debt to crowdfunders.
Zhang Hailin, who currently lives in Shanghai, searched for donations in June 2015 after her father, a truck driver, had knocked down a stranger.
The accident occurred at a time when Zhang’s mother had been confined to the hospital due to a cerebral hemorrhage.
“The man [my father hit] was in critical condition. We had to hide the accident from my mother so that her rehabilitation won’t be affected,” she told Pear Video, according to the South China Morning Post.
In a post on WeChat, Zhang sought 300 donations of 1,000 yuan ($148) to cover compensation fees her father must pay for the accident. She promised to pay back lenders in five years.
To her surprise — and relief — exactly 300 people fulfilled the amount of 300,000 yuan ($44,620) in one night. Most of them were complete strangers.
According to Zhang, her father planned to escape if they failed to afford the compensation. She told him that she would not let that happen.
In her appeal, she specified that five lenders will be repaid each month, totaling to 60 people a year.
Zhang changed jobs six times in the last three years, one of which had to do with the company going bankrupt. Fortunately, her salary increased over time, Dahe Daily reported.
But paying her debts did not always go smoothly, as many lenders forgot about her over time. Still, she reached out and reminded each of them of their kind gesture.
By July 2018 — two years ahead of her deadline — Zhang managed to clear herself of all debts. Her story, which Chinese news outlets reported this week, touched people’s hearts, with some claiming that it restored their trust in society.
Weibo users commented:
“Now this is real credibility.”
“This only shows that people can still be trusted.”
“If this goes to your social credit score, girl, you are so getting five stars!”