Have you ever wondered what would happen if you combine the power of the Internet with charitable souls? Here, we list some of the moments when the Internet made us believe in humanity again. Ranging from virtual strangers sending each other gifts to netizens saving blind stray dogs, these occurrences are proof that kindness is so contagious, it can go viral!
10. Good Cop Goes Viral
Although this wasn’t the product of charitable causes on the Internet, we included this act of kindness simply because it went viral on the Web. NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo, 25 years old, was filmed on camera by Jennifer Foster. The resulting video erupted and became a viral sensation, with more than 77,000 shares, 322,000 likes and 20,000 comments within 2 days of posting. The video contained no police brutality scandal, but rather the opposite- a simple act of kindness. Foster was about to approach a shoeless homeless man in Times Square, when DePrimo bent, put on new socks and boots on the man, explained politely what he was doing, and left. Unbeknownst to him, all of this was captured on film. As a member of law enforcement, Foster says “It is important…for all of us to remember the real reason we are in this line of work.” Indeed, in any line of work, human kindness goes a long way.
9. Netizens Raise Funds for Cancer Patients Travel Bucket List
On Father’s Day in 2011, Surrey resident Jake Villanueva was diagnosed with terminal kidney cancer. This came out of the blue for the 23-year-old and his family. Suddenly given 6 months to live even after doctors had removed one of his kidneys, he took to Reddit. Putting up an “Ask-Me-Anything” post, Villanueva desperately sought human interaction. The next day, overwhelmed with support, he did his best to respond to all the comments, going so far as to mention his desire to vacation together with his family. Redditor Lindsay Minar set up an online fund in his name, raising $30,000 within a day. Villanueva was floored by the sheer generosity of strangers, astounded by the fact that he could now travel with his family. Upon meeting his Reddit supporters on the way, many tears will surely be shed!
8. The Kenyan Orphanage with a Badass Custodian
What would you do if you woke to three machete-armed men looming over your bed? Anthony Omari, custodian of Faraja Children’s Home in Kenya, took a leaf out of Thor’s book and reached under his bed for his trusty hammer. Somehow, Omari forced them all the way out into the yard. His last act before passing out from the machete wound to his face was to lock the door, ensuring the children were safe. Intern Ben Hardwick heard about this tale of badassery and called Reddit for help. “I was sitting on the floor just watching the donations come in. I just couldn’t believe it – $83,000 is what it’s at now. I still get chills just thinking about it, and it’s only been five or six days.” Don’t underestimate the Internet, and never underestimate what a man will do to protect the children he loves- especially if he has a hammer in his hand!
7. Caine’s Arcade
In the summer of 2011, 9-year-old Caine Monroy built an entire arcade in his father’s garage with some discarded boxes. Not only designing and building these by himself, he integrated business concepts beyond his years, like a ticket-prize system, discount passes and the like. One day, LA-based filmmaker Nirvan Mullick stopped by. Inspired at the youngster’s creativity, Mullick played all the games without knowing he was the first customer. When he found out after talking to Caine’s father, Mullick organised a flash mob to visit arcade and made a short film documentary out of it. It was a huge success, the video went viral, and Internet users contributed over $239,000 to fund Caine’s college education. The Internet exposure also led to a steady stream of customers excited to see the young boy’s arcade, which now features some actual machines to add to his homemade games.
6. Redditors Grant Terminally Ill Man’s Wish
Another Reddit kindness overload! When Sean O’Connor posted to the site about his uncle, the online community once again showed how generous people can be. Sean’s uncle named Scott Widak was a terminally ill patient with Down syndrome, bedridden and lonely. The loving nephew posted that his uncle loved opening mail, and asked for a few simple notes to be sent over. Within the next few days, Reddit users mailed over a hundred letters to Scott. Not only that, the 47-year-old received numerous gifts and heartfelt notes, much to his delight and gratitude. Sean and his family profusely thanked the online community, and posted a thank-you note to Reddit following Scott’s death in July. A short post and some kind souls can help a lonely man face death!
5. Internet to a Blind Poodle’s Rescue
Eldad Hagar and his wife Audrey were on a leisurely stroll home when they found the unexpected- a Poodle in a trash heap. Fiona is a blind, flea-infested, loveable little mutt who can restore your belief in humanity. Little did the couple expect to find a dog on their way home that day. Even more so, they didn’t expect the nationwide fundraising effort that erupted after posting about it on the Internet. Dog-lovers and kind souls all over the world contributed to raise a whopping $4,000 for Fiona’s eye surgery. The vets were able to restore visibility in one eye because of this, and Fiona has been adopted by a wonderfully caring family.
4. Reddit Users Send Over 100 Cards to 5-Year Old in Hospital
When you combine the powerful social network Reddit with charitable causes, you get some pretty interesting results. Alexis Blackburn is living proof of this. As a 3-year old, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. In 2012, her condition worsened, leading up to an eventual surgery to remove her colon. Her father Kyle posted her picture on Reddit, boasting how Alexis found the strength to walk to the playroom after days of recovery. One comment asking whether she liked pizza or drawings led to Redditors sending over 136 cards the next day. Alexis’ case even inspired Reddit to start a thread to find sick children in need of some generosity. Such astounding kindness from veritable strangers!
3. 5-Year old with Brain Cancer Receives Gifts from Netizens
Danny Nickerson was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer this year. That’s hardly one of the biggest things that defines this bright little blondie, though. He’s 5 years old, likes Supermario and as an example to the rest of his generation, loves receiving mail the old fashioned way. For Danny’s birthday, his mother put up a flyer requesting mailed cards for the young boy. They received 40 letters that Danny happily pulled out of the mailbox. When the flyer showed up on Reddit, the number rocketed skywards with netizens even sending gifts to the family. For all the cold ways of the Internet, seems like we’ve got a lot of softies on here after all!
2. The Dogecoin Community Sends Pizza to a Homeless Shelter
It looks like the Dogecoin community has more than a few charitable souls. It all began with a post by myniga562 who explained how he used Dogecoins to buy 9 medium pizzas. Before you start judging his appetite- these weren’t for him, but for a homeless shelter. Dogecoin-ers swarmed to help out, giving whatever amount they could spare. It seems that the only thing better than giving surprise pizza is receiving it! Both the staff and homeless over at the shelter were astounded as 75 pizzas arrived to provide for the less fortunate. Through donations both large and small, the Internet was able to put smiles on faces and pizza in hungry stomachs.
1. Dogecoins Send the Jamaican Bobsled Team to the 2014 Winter Olympics
Despite qualifying for the 2014 Winter Olympics, the Jamaican Bobsled team’s chance to see Sochi looked bleak than Russia in winter. With little to no funding for their flight, they turned to crowd-funding. When bobsledders call, netizens answer- Dogecoin in particular! The community behind the crypto-currency banded together with their electronic fundraising campaign called Dogesled. Dogecoin Foundation head Liam Butler put up the fund, sent out a few emails, and within 12 hours, the fund reached an astounding $25,000. The targeted $30,000 was raised quicker than you can say, Cool Runnings!