Shi Hemiao (left) tries to return money he was given by Xia Dexing 53 years ago when they were finally reunited on Thursday, January 24, 2019. (Photo: GT)
A man in the city of Zhuji in east China's Zhejiang Province has been reunited with a man who helped him at a time of need 53 years ago, giving him the opportunity to thank the long-lost stranger in person.
As a Global Times story on Friday explained, it was in 1966 that 10-year-old Shi Hemiao lost the money he was carrying to buy medicine for his mother. When he realized what had happened, he burst into tears in front of the drugstore.
Xia Dexing was a blacksmith working next to the store. Seeing the boy upset, he lent him five yuan to buy medicine. It was around 10 percent of the blacksmith's monthly salary, equivalent to at least 1,000 yuan today.
After about 10 years, Shi Hemiao returned to the blacksmith's store to pay back the money, but he learned that Xia Dexing had moved away. But he never forgot the favor, and hoped that one day he would find his good Samaritan and thank him in person.
After recently sharing this story online, he received news about the whereabouts of Xia Dexing on Wednesday. Based on information provided by a netizen, he was able to track down the old blacksmith at his home, where the pair was reunited on Thursday.
Shi Hemiao shared his heartfelt gratitude for Xia Dexing's help, and for Xia Dexing never coming to his family to ask for the money back, despite knowing where the boy lived. He offered 2,000 yuan to Xia Dexing as a thank you, but was turned down. The money was instead donated to a charity in Xia's name with the hope that others could share in the spirit of honesty and be equally willing to help others.