Reddit's uncanny altruism

This roundup of the altruism exhibited by Reddit users is truly heart-warming; from a suicide-prevention hotline to silly, mass-scale Secret Santas to countless small and large acts of fundraising, technical assistance, and general niceness, the author makes a good case for Reddit as a kind of real world Callahan's Place, the bar featured in Spider Robinson's wonderful series about a science fictional bar where all problems are solved. What's clear to me from the article is that it's just as possible to build a society on social norms of mutual aid, compassion and whimsy as it is to build one on juvenile, meanspirited trolling and cynicism.

5-year-old Reece loved helping on his parents' produce store and sharing his ideas about running the business, and fruits and vegetables in general. One day in 2008, he told his parents about an idea he had to get his classmates more excited about trying new fruits and vegetables: to let them on the delivery truck and give them free samples of foods they wouldn't get to try at home.

Just a couple of months later, the family was involved in a devastating car accident that left Reece with a brain injury and unable to speak. Then, nearly two years later, while Reece struggled in therapy 5 days per week, the Pepsi Company announced their new Refresh Grant program, wherein the company would be awarding grants to fund projects that could benefit local communities.

Reece's dad, Redditor "stinkeye", immediately thought of his son's idea, and posted it on the grant application site. Stinkeye then posted the whole story on Reddit and asked the community to make his son's idea a reality by going to the Refresh Grant website and voting for Reece's idea. Within days the idea had jumped to the #1 place on the Pepsi site. It was subsequently approved by Pepsi and awarded a 25K grant to make it happen.

Reddit's Astonishing Altruism

(via Reddit)