Schoolgirl Supports Family by Collecting Waste, Netizens Moved

The collection of waste cardboard boxes is a sight usually associated with an older Korean generation who finds it hard for ends to meet – receiving a minimal monetary reward in exchange of their collected waste.

Recently though, a heart warming story of a middle-school girl collecting scrap paper and boxes has been trending on HumorUniv. The stills are from an SBS human interest story called “Yoon-mi’s Winter Tale,” which gave an insight into Yoon-mi’s life, from her ill grandmother to her unique way of supporting her family.

Aside from the expected name calling, netizens reacted positively were moved by her home life and enlivened by her spirit.

From HumorUniv:

Discovery: A cart loaded with waste paper!

Kim Yun-mi and her cart, together attracting much attention online.

16 year-old Yoon-mi’s winter tale.

Kim, mid-interview with SBS.

Litter collecting middle-school girl Kim Yoon-mi (16): It’s not too hard. Unless there’s a lot to do.

Yun-mi explains her motivation.

Because my grandmother is so ill, I get so uneasy if I stay at home.

Yun-mi turns the tables and starts grilling the interviewers.

(Asks producers) Do you know any celebrities?

Despairing at the responses

(Producers) Erm.. There’s Park Mi-sun Lim Sung-hoon Pak So-hyeon. The celebrities our production team knew.

Looking saddened by the results

Yun-mi reveals some of her sad back story.

I’d like to just hang around and play, but because of my grandmother’s illness I must help.

Rice, you know rice right?

Dinner is Served!

Enjoying some cooking with the family.

Noodles, that is all.

Encouraging people to drink.

Just drink, I beg you…

Some dinner table chat.

Among ourselves (Yoon-mi and her sister) we usually only cook one pack of ramyeon

The family meal.

Home-based interview

Kim Yoon-ji, her 18 year-old sister: Collecting boxes makes my hands feel cold, that’s probably why I was given these gloves.

Doing a bit of make-up.

A Mirror Princess, according to SBS.

Yoon-mi: Mirror princess!

Working away and studying dilligently, no doubt.

A quick chat with a classmate.

A classmate: Mum says I should be half as good as Yoon-mi…

Getting back to work.

I’m quite busy today, so I plan to work quickly…

A heavily laden cart of recyclables.

A trip to the shops.

It’s my first time, but I’ll give it a go

Making food together as a family.

Just at the tricky bit.

Some final words on her grandmother.

I’ve never lived separately with my grandmother so I really want see as much of her as I can.

Yun-mi's family, an idyllic image.

The grandmother in question, and an idyllic image of the family together.

Comments from HumorUniv:




I’m the national sexy mother symbol of Korea.


The guardian of peace, defender of justice, the reserve military security protecting the school grounds ~! Every time I make the first comment, it picks up my mood! Haha! [user was presumably the first commenter]


(in response to 민국엄마) 민국엄마님 you must be new here, posting such crap on this website is an open invitation for a ‘down-vote’.


Ah, an angel from heaven….


Personally, I’d really like to say something naughty and provocative about this article, but I’ll refrain myself.


Volunteers, rise up! Go and help her!


You guys must marry good girls like her.


(In response to 까리하나) Yeah, brother!


(In response to 까리하나) Yeah, stepdad!


(In response to 얼룩호랭이) Yeah, Sister!


(In response to 지랄발기) Yeah, Grandad!


(In response to 까리하나, 지랄발기 and 얼룩호랭이) Have you thought of marriage from the girl’s point of view? People seeing this kind of girl and saying she should marry to one of HumorUniv members seem so cruel ㅠㅠ.


Yeah, brother.


Ne [ne means ‘yes’ in Korean] ne, chicken! [Ne-ne chicken is a Korean chicken franchise]






It’s so cold her cheeks have reddened… I feel proud of her and sorry for her; there’re millions of feelings and thoughts criss-crossing in my heart. 


If I say ‘I would rather date a girl like her than one of those boseuls, even though it’s not going to be easy,’ then do I get arrested under the Child and Youth Protection Act?

Share This Article
Help us maintain a vibrant and dynamic discussion section that is accessible and enjoyable to the majority of our readers. Please review our Comment Policy »
Personals @ chinaSMACK - Meet people, make friends, find lovers? Don't be so serious!»