Date
19 November 2017
People queue up for free ice cream in Wan Chai courtesy of an American woman who lives in the neighborhood and who was celebrating her birthday. Photo: HK House of Stories
People queue up for free ice cream in Wan Chai courtesy of an American woman who lives in the neighborhood and who was celebrating her birthday. Photo: HK House of Stories

American woman treats Wan Chai neighbors to free ice cream

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

A veterinarian in Wan Chai took to Facebook to thank a woman who gave out free ice cream to people on the street.

The vet heard that the woman had ordered an ice cream van in which everyone could get ice cream for free. She later found out that the generous woman was celebrating her birthday.

“I asked the lady where her dogs come from. She said she adopted one from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and met the other one in Shek O Beach,” the vet wrote.

“At that moment, I admired the lady even more. She is so kind that she puts trust in people and animals.”

The vet ended her Facebook post with a thoughtful reflection. “When terrorist attacks happened in London and Manchester, it seemed to me that the world lacked love, but the woman’s actions have melted my heart,” she wrote.

The woman is in fact an American named Jeanne Thornhill, who has been living in Hong Kong for 26 years, according to Ming Pao Daily.

She has offered free ice cream on Stone Nullah Lane since 2013.

Thornhill spent HK$5,800 in 2014 to hand out more than 500 free ice-cream cones within two and a half hours, but she said she gained rather than lost by sharing her happiness with her neighbors.

She said it is the hospitality of the Wan Chai community that makes the place adorable. Warm wishes from hundreds of neighbors and their smiling faces were her birthday gifts.

“Price doesn’t matter. It’s affordable to me,” she said. “Why not do something that can make other people smile?”

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