Money orders from the anonymous donor received by the Ningbo Charity Federation.[Photo/Yang Jingya, Wang Siqin](记者杨静雅王思勤文/摄)
NINGBO, Nov 24. (Ningbo Evening News)— On November 24, Ningbo Charity Federation received money orders worth 1.05 million RMB ($164,304) from an anonymous donor. Going by the Chinese four-character idiom “shun qi zi ran” (meaning “let nature take its course”), the mysterious donor has been giving money to charity while concealing their real identity for 23 consecutive years. Each winter, the federation has received money orders from this anonymous donor. And this year, the amount of the donation sets a record high. So far, “shun qi zi ran” has donated a total of 13.63 million RMB ($2,131,732) to the federation.
Last week, 107 slips of money orders — no more than 10,000 yuan each — were delivered through the Postal Savings Bank of China (Gulou (Drum Tower) branch, PSBC) and the Business Center of Postal Administration Building; both branch offices sit in Haishu District. These orders, according to their signatures, were sent by “Shun qi” (first half of “shun qi zi ran”) from a coined site, “No.1, Zhongshan Road”.
The remittance pattern — money orders sent from a non-existent site by a mysterious donor — has been established ever since the first donation in 1999. Chen Haiying, associate director of the federation, still has a vivid memory of the first time. On 6th December 1999, the mysterious donor sent a money order worth 50,000 RMB to the federation, with an attached slip reading “by shun qi zi ran, from No.1, Jiangdong Road”. Upon receipt, Chen tried to reach out to the donor through the address. But she soon figured out that the site did not exist. Since then, the federation has regularly received funds from the anonymous donor in November or December. The signature usually reads “shun qi zi ran” or its familiar forms, including “shun shun” or “shun qi”. And the amount of donation varies from 50,000 to 1,050,000 RMB.
“As a citizen of the Chinese society, I would like to play my part in extending a little love.” “Neither practice evil deeds nor hype benevolent acts. Just let it be, and nature will take its course.” It was only during the first three years that the donor used to write to the federation. With brief words, this quoted letter demonstrates their willingness to remain unrecognized. The federation has respected these wishes and has given up trying to identify the person or persons. In 2008, to stay anonymous, the donor started to split the donation into batches, each worth less than 10,000 RMB. Otherwise, the money order must be signed with the donor’s real name according to bank rules.
He Shijia, a female staff member at PSBC, has provided service to the mysterious donor several times. She revealed that most of the time, a lady would come to handle the remittance, while some other times a man would. Based on the rough sketch of Ms. He, our mysterious donor could be an affluent lady or gentleman with a warm heart and a low profile.
According to Chen Yunjin, director of the federation, all the money donated has been used for educational purposes, including funding over 2,000 students in need. Thanks to the extended impact of this anonymous donation, over 5,000 people in Ningbo for the past 23 years have followed the example of “shun qi zi ran” and donated a total of more than 50 million RMB to the federation.
The legendary donor “shun qi zi ran” highlights the quality of helping others and an inborn preference for common prosperity among people in Zhejiang province. On behalf of the Ningbo Charity Federation, Director Chen promises that such donations will be ethically utilized and encourages more people to care for philanthropy and support Zhejiang Common Prosperity Demonstration Zone.
Dear audience, have you ever done an act of unconditional goodwill, like “shun qi zi ran”?
By Yang Jingya, Wang Siqin
Translator: Pan Wenjie
Proofreaders: Huang Dawang, Puyang Rong, Jason Mowbray