Aussie mental health activist praised for buying all of Bali street seller’s toys in uplifting video

Australian mental health activist Samuel Weidenhofer’s TikTok wins Internet’s hearts. Photo: Screengrab.
Australian mental health activist Samuel Weidenhofer’s TikTok wins Internet’s hearts. Photo: Screengrab.

A video of an Australian social media personality buying up toys from a local seller in Bali recently went viral with many praising the act of kindness.

Self-described mental health activist Samuel Weidenhofer won the Internet’s hearts after uploading the video last week on both his Instagram and TikTok accounts. In the clip, Weidenhofer was shown approaching a local man on an unnamed street and asking him how much a toy costs.

“IDR30,000 [US$1.93],” said the Indonesian.

Weidenhofer then said he intended to buy all of the seller’s toys, to which the latter said they would cost IDR440,000 (US$28.27). Weidenhofer went beyond the asking price and gave the seller IDR3 million (US$192.78) for all the toys. 

The seller smiled from ear to ear and laughed before hugging Weidenhofer and repeatedly thanked him. Weidenhofer, who was also all smiles, hugged him back. The clip ended with the toys being distributed to what appears to be a local orphanage.

In other clips, Weidenhofer was shown conducting social experiments that end with him thanking locals with cash. In one scenario, he sat down at a local warung (eatery) and told the seller that he had just lost his wallet and had had a rough day but he needed to eat. 

After the seller told Weidenhofer that he could eat there for free, he gave her IDR5 million (US$321) for her kindness. The lady initially declined the offer before later tearfully and gratefully accepted the money. Weidenhofer asked her how much she makes a month and she answered IDR1 million (US$64.26).

Weidenhofer seems to be on a crusade to help locals in Bali. Fully aware how severely the pandemic has battered the tourism-reliant island, he set up a GoFundMe account as a fundraiser, citing plans to help restaurant owners, students, and others.

Many netizens praised Weidenhofer in his videos, appreciating the kindness he shares and wishing him good luck for his future endeavors.

Weidenhofer’s deeds mirror what Zachery Dereniowski did in August, when he pretended to have sprained his ankle to an unassuming Balinese woman in Pandawa Beach. She helped him without expecting any reward and was surprised when he gave her IDR5 million in cash.

“I’ve never been to Bali… where people are so loving, caring and compassionate, and I want to be able to showcase it [through the video],” Dereniowski told Coconuts at the time.

Interestingly, Dereniowski and Weidenhofer follow each other on Instagram.

Coconuts has reached out to Weidenhofer for comment.

While some might roll their eyes and quickly judge these clips to be perpetuating white savior complex, the overwhelming reaction to them has been positive as people generally appreciate the effort to spread kindness regardless of race.

Weidenhofer’s clips are certainly a breath of fresh air compared to viral videos of foreigners doing dumb things in Bali that have been widely reported by the media (not just us, by the way). At the end of the day, these acts of kindness must be commended.

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