92-year-old street food vendor in South Korea donates over S$736,000 of life savings to charity

"Nothing feels better than sharing," she said.

Jean Chien Tay | January 05, 2022, 10:31 AM

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A 92-year-old woman who sold street food for a living all her life, has donated her life savings of 650 million won (S$736,529) to charity, South Korean media YTN reported.

Screenshot via 대한민국청와대/Youtube.

Her kind gesture was lauded by both social media users and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

The elderly woman, Park Chun-ja, donated her income from selling kimbap -- a Korean dish that's made from cooked rice, stuffings, and wrapped with seaweed -- to the "Green Umbrella Children's Foundation".

The organisation is an international charity that supports the welfare of children in South Korea.

Praised by South Korean president and first lady

Park was invited to the presidential residence by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife, Kim Jung-sook, on Dec. 3, 2021, for a ceremony that celebrated major donors in South Korea for giving back to the public, YTN reported.

Subsequently, social media users took notice of Park's kind act when an ambassador of the Green Umbrella Children's Foundation -- Namgoong In -- shared Park's story in a Facebook post on Jan. 2.

In a video shared by the Blue House (the South Korean president's office and residence), the president and his wife can be seen on stage with Park.

Moon and Kim appeared to be assisting the elderly woman in putting her donation into a donation box.

Thereafter, the first lady, Kim Jung-sook, and another personnel helped Park to her seat.

Park was moved to tears.

According to Namgoong, Park felt touched because when the first lady held her hand at the ceremony, she was reminded of how her father used to do the same in the past.

Upon hearing that, the first lady, Kim teared up as well.

"Nothing feels better than sharing"

Namgoong said in his post that Park shared her experiences at the ceremony, where she recounted her childhood without her mother.

Living with her father, Park said they were poor and often did not have enough food to go around.

That prompted her to begin selling kimbap from the age of 10, so she could earn some money to buy food.

Park said she felt happy when she was able to feed herself using the money she earned, and wanted to share the joy with others.

The elderly woman added that "nothing feels better than sharing", and she was willing to donate to others as long as she was able to do so.

Additionally, since the age of 40, Park had volunteered at an organisation that tended to people with disabilities, and she once took in a person who was abandoned, Taiwanese media The Liberty Times reported.

Praised by commenters

Commenters under Namgoong's post said they were touched by Park's gesture and praised Park for her generosity.

"I was surprised that I cried so much after reading the post. Thank you for your heart-warming posts."

"I couldn't stop crying while reading this article. It's really noble, I will not forget (Park)."

"I love the saying, nothing feels better than sharing."

"I bow (to Park) because this is so wonderful. I think she's definitely a selfless saint. Thank you for the post."

Namgoong's post has since garnered over 5,000 "likes" and shared over 1,300 times.

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Top image via 대한민국청와대/Youtube