An overworked, overtired delivery driver in Taiwan fell asleep at the wheel behind a budget Mitsubishi car. It's not the sort of automobile that you'd have up on your wall as a child (unless you were a very particular kind of kid), but it was enough for Lin Chin-hsiang to help bring money home for him and his mother. That was, until Lin accidentally crashed the car into several parked Ferraris owned by a group of wealthy gearheads.
Lin works nights at a barbecue restaurant in addition to helping run his family's incense and gold paper burning store (the items are used for religious practices). The 20-year-old was forced to drop out of college to assist his mother with the store in New Taipei City. Sadly, his father passed away some years earlier and the two have been working tirelessly to make ends meet and save a little something for themselves.
After wrapping up work at the restaurant at 3:00am, he came back home to find his mother feeling sick. Problem was, she had a delivery to make to a temple for a ceremony, and the order needed to be fulfilled or they would risk losing a big client. So Lin did what any good son would do and told his mother to take it easy — he'd deliver the gold paper money and incense.
It was around 5:40am when he fell asleep at the wheel and the worst happened.
The damage to the vehicles cost more than Lin and his mother could ever dream of paring: $12 million Taiwan dollars, which is roughly $390,000 US Dollars.
To put it into perspective, the cost for repairs would take Lin, at his current earning power, some 28 years to fully pay off.
The young man was devastated after the event, and the saddest part? He just felt bad for his mother:
I thought: 'Oh no, I've gotten myself into a big mess.' I was really worried about bringing trouble to my mother and having to pay so much money. I wanted to help her, but made things worse," the BBC reported.
Lin's driving record was immaculate and after police ran tests on the young man, they found no traces of drugs or alcohol in his system. He was simply exhausted from trying to make ends meet.
Although life can be cruel sometimes, something Lin and his mother understand very well, it can also be surprisingly amazing.
As it turns out, there's a growing wealth disparity gap in Taiwan, with a number of people becoming increasingly upset about the fact that most of the country's money is being controlled by a small segment of the population. Meanwhile, opportunities for hard workers like Lin are few and far between.
Lin's story must've hit a collective social nerve, and people decided the young man shouldn't have to front the cost of the Ferraris all alone. So people from all over the country, donating as little as $4 each, people chipped in. Even folks who Lin describes as "not in [a] good situation" still gave money.
As of now, more than 100 separate donations have been made, with $24,000 raised for the young man. Local authorities are directing those who want to help Lin to send their money to an official account, but a large number of people are seeking out the young man in person.
The ones who did find him at his home were greeted with a metal shack. That's right, despite all of their work, Lin, his mother, his older brother (who also works), and sister, all live in a home made out of sheet metal.
Some other good news to come out of the unfortunate accident: the College Lin was forced to drop out of invited him to come back, so he has a chance to finish school and perhaps become eligible for better-paying positions. He certainly has earned a reputation as a hard worker: the man almost died to fulfill an order. Hard to find many employees who are as dedicated as that.
There are social media users who are also calling on the Ferrari owners to forgive Lin's debt entirely.
Lin isn't a fan of the idea: he says that he intends to pay the owners back what they are owed:
"I'm really sorry to have hit their cars, really sorry. It wasn't intentional… Even though it will take a long time, I committed a wrong. I should still pay for it," he said.
The owners are willing to work with Lin and see what portion of their insurance companies will pay for the car, so it may be that he'll only have to cover the deductible. One car owner insists that he wants to be paid because they worked hard for their car.
You may be wondering why Lin's car insurance isn't covering the cost of the car's damages, but the only plan that he and his family could afford is one that covers only injuries to drivers, not damage to their vehicles.
The young man has a message for everyone who's come to help him and his family in this trying time:
"I'm really grateful to everyone who has offered to help and who has come here to encourage me. Some people even drove up from central Taiwan and asked me where they can donate money. Some spent a long time looking for our shop, some are not in good situation, but they still gave money."
It's not the first time people came together to do something awesome for "the little guy."
In 2014, Wilson's, a beloved local clothing store in Wickford, Rhode Island owed $148,000 to their vendors. When word got out that the spot was in danger of being shut down, fans of the family-owned and operated business immediately responded to a crowdfunding campaign, saving the business in the nick of time.
Then there was the story of Jenny Baker and a man named Michael, who left his native Jamaica to live with his mother in England in the hopes of finding a better life.
At 64 years old, Michael found himself out of options. His mother had passed away, and he was homeless. After Jenny started chatting with the sweet man and offered him some money, he turned the offer down and said if she wanted to get him something, she could hook him up with a ginger beer.
So she did, and added a sandwich to it, too. They got to talking and the man said he didn't want anything more than to return to Jamaica, but he couldn't afford a ticket home. That's when Jenny decided to use social media. She snapped a selfie with the man and uploaded it with the following message:
"He told me that all he wants more than anything in the world is to go back to Jamaica where he says he will be fine and happy again. I have promised this man that this time next year he will be back in Jamaica and that I will make it my personal mission to make it happen. Anyway, let's #getmichaelhome spread the love, thank you xxx."
Jenny raised more than enough money to get the man home, but after finding him and letting him know that his dream was now a reality, Michael changed his mind. He didn't even want to take the money either.
Shocked, Jenny returned all of the money back to everyone who donated. Which goes to show that, while some people take advantage and appreciate all of the help they are given, others aren't ready for it, for whatever reason.
Doesn't change the fact that there are some awesome people out there who are willing to help those who need it at the drop of a hat, however.