Julie Weiss has run 52 marathons in 52 weeks and raised more than $179,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (her father died in 2010 from the disease).
A kid asked me for $5, so I gave it to him.
In Slate, Seth Stevenson takes a look at why people tend to band together on the Internet to donate massive amounts of money to individuals like Karen Klein, the bus monitor who was infamously bullied on video:
Reicher attributes the giving frenzy, in part, to concretization. “For an abstract idea to affect us,” he says, “it often helps if it’s turned into something concrete and embodied. To say lots of people are suffering is an abstract concept. To see this one woman suffering, and be able to help her, is more concrete.”
Reicher suggests that the “archetypal elements” involved here played a role as well. As we watch the video, we might flash back to moments when we were bullied on a school bus. Or feel guilt about having bullied others. The video also pits strongly defined, archetypal personas in opposition to each other—brash youth versus wise elder. (Max Sidorov thinks it’s this juxtaposition of foulmouthed little kids and a weeping older woman that really screws with people’s emotions.)
The Internet raised about $700,000 for Klein to give her “the vacation of a lifetime.” Media coverage and Reddit also played a huge role. The Internet also banded together to raise $60,000 for a woman who needed surgery after she was brutally raped and beaten, but didn’t have the same massive publicity that Klein did. Last week, I donated $20 to Harper High school after listening to the two-part episode on This American Life about the school’s struggle with gun violence—the conversation about that episode on the Internet helped persuade me to do that too.
Last week, I learned on Twitter that Coulton’s arrangement and cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” was basically stolen by Fox for a musical number on the show Glee.
A mysterious and wealthy good Samaritan visited the most devastated regions hit by Sandy and started handing out $100 bills!
In 2003, Julieann Najar’s son Dennis was deployed to Iraq, and when she went to Fort Riley, Kansas to say goodbye to him, she met another young man who didn’t have any family there to see him off. She asked the young man if she could “adopt” him and send him care packages while he was away, and soon “adopted” more soldiers under her wing. And so began A Soldier’s Wish List, a non-profit organization based out of Najar’s hometown of Granite City, Ill. that sends care packages to troops serving in combat zones.
I have never read a single book by Nora Roberts, but I admire her ever the same.