For all the sweeping injustices embedded in the foster care system—my colleague Julia Lurie’s investigation is invaluable—take a moment for this boost. A children’s charity site nearly crashed with record-breaking donations after a Reddit chat drove traffic, causing what the small nonprofit, One Simple Wish, called an “avalanche of support.”
The thread was titled “What is something you’ve done purely out of the goodness of your heart, but have never told anyone?” A commenter said they’d bought a bike for an 11-year-old through the wish site. Hundreds of replies poured in. Tens of thousands of upvotes immediately followed, and small donations reached almost $100,000.
“We’re a small team with big hearts and…are truly about the kids first, so I am just so proud the world is hearing about us,” said founder Danielle Gletow, a children’s rights activist, adding that the donations met every wish on the site’s list before overloading it. The site was “not able to handle all the attention.”
The galvanizing power and long arm of Reddit cut both ways—for good and ill, sometimes called the Reddit Hug or the Hug of Death, when the large site links to a smaller one and spikes it. For its part, Reddit is both hero and villain—and supervillain. Take your cheer where you can. And then read Julia’s investigation.