Last week the website Reddit played host to an extraordinary story of compassion and charity, a distant cry from its usual front page collection of “rage comics”, Keanu Reaves Memes, and pictures of cats who want cheeseburgers.
A user posted a submission that his girlfriend’s sister’s family couldn’t afford a much-needed operation for her three-year-old son Lucas who has a “1 in 1 million” disease affecting his immune system. The goal was to raise $50,000 and members of Reddit helped them to achieve that contributing over $30,000 in less than 12 hours. Needless to say Lucas’ family were blown away by this amazing act of goodwill: “thank you all again SO SO much for what you did,” wrote “redditor” ironyx, the original submitter of Lucas’ plight, “We still can’t believe it.”
This is not the first time members of Reddit have pulled together to make something amazing happen for someone out there. In June earlier this year, Alice Pyne, a fifteen-year-old with terminal cancer from the UK had her “bucket list” posted on the website and redditors everywhere helped her fulfill many of those things, from designing an Emma Bridgewater mug to sell for charity, to meeting Take That.
Both these and other stories of charitable giving which are posted each day on Reddit’s altruistic communities (r/randomactsofkindness and r/assistance) demonstrate the power of people when gathered as one and the amazing things that can subsequently be achieved. Lucas’ dad describes why this happens on sites like Reddit: “I guess the biggest surprise or thing I didnt realize was what a strong sense of community there is on reddit. I consider it a place now, rather than just a website.”
Many will see the likes of Warren Buffet or Bill Gates giving billions of dollars to charitable causes and say to themselves “well, whatever I give, it’s not going to make a darned bit of difference in comparison”. It doesn’t have to be a billion dollars which brings positive change to someone’s life – it could be five bucks or even a slice of pizza (see r/randomactsofpizza). Stories like Lucas’ highlight the difference we can make together, regardless of the material size of our individual contribution, and whilst the amount raised for Lucas may not have been a million bucks, it certainly felt like it.
Lucas’ Website: http://loveforlucas.com/
Register to be a bone marrow donor today and save others like Lucas at: www.bethematch.org.