'I'm touched by the kindness': Single mum left with $8 in bank account after losing wallet gets $1,300 in donations from strangers

'I'm touched by the kindness': Single mum left with $8 in bank account after losing wallet gets $1,300 in donations from strangers
Nguyen Thi Hai Yen (extreme right) speaking to reporters from Shin Min Daily News.
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News, Facebook/Nguyen Thi Hai Yen

She was left with $8 in her bank account after losing her wallet but has so far received $1,300 in donations from strangers who'd learned of her plight.

AsiaOne had earlier reported how Nguyen Thi Hai Yen, 30, had been having dinner with her 18-month-old daughter and nanny at White Sands in Pasir Ris at about 6.20pm on Tuesday (Jan 16) when the incident happened.

Nguyen only realised the next morning that her wallet was missing. CCTV footage provided by the restaurant, however, showed Nguyen still holding onto her wallet when she left the eatery. 

She told Sin Min Daily News: "I'm not sure when I lost it. It could have been left in the pram or it dropped when I was comforting my baby and putting her down."

The black purse contained about $650, which was meant to pay the month's rent. Her identification card, bank card and a gold necklace that she was safekeeping for her nanny were also inside. 

With her remaining $8, she used a portion of it to print five notices appealing for her wallet to be returned and also put up a post on Facebook.

Donations from strangers

Since then, Nguyen shared that she's received many encouraging messages from netizens, adding that four strangers had separately transferred $1,000, $200 and $50 to her, totalling $1,300.

She added that her friend had also loaned her $100 immediately following the incident for emergency use.

Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, she shared: "I'd only wished to find my wallet, but I didn't expect people to donate money."

Nguyen told Shin Min that the person who made the thousand-dollar donation wished to remain anonymous and did not leave their name, stating that they only wished to help tide her through this period.

Said Nguyen, who shared that she's from Vietnam and a Singapore permanent resident: "I've been very touched by the kindness of Singaporeans."

One donor whom Shin Min Daily News contacted said he'd transferred $200 after seeing the notice put up by Nguyen.

Said the 50-year-old man, surnamed Xie: "I don't know her and did not expect that my money will be returned. I just saw that she has a daughter to raise and so I donated."

He shared that at the time he did not worry about being scammed and simply hoped she would find her wallet soon.

Landlord did not chase her for rent

Not only have strangers shown kindness to Nguyen, the latter shared that her landlord has also shown her grace by not chasing her for the rent.

Nguyen, who works as a sous chef in a Western restaurant, told Shin Min Daily News that her salary is low and she had trouble forking out the rent for this month, which was due on Jan 10. Seeing this, her landlord allowed her to delay payment.

"I didn't dare to use the money and kept it in my wallet, but I didn't expect that I would lose it."

Nguyen thought she had to wait till her salary is out on Feb 5 before she would be able to pay the amount due.

She expressed gratitude for the help extended to her by strangers, which has temporarily resolved her financial troubles.

Nguyen told AsiaOne on Jan 21 that her purse has yet to be found.

READ ALSO: What to do if you lose your wallet or purse in Singapore?


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