This is why social media rocks.

October 13, 20104 Comments
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I’ve recently come across a brilliant story which captures perfectly the essence of why social media empowers us. This isn’t your average Starbucks marketing campaign, forget your whistles and bells Skittles homepage takeover. It’s a human story, with an outcome that has blown me away personally.

Via Fox Detroit

7-year-old Kathleen Edward is in the final stages of a degenerative brain disorder diagnosed as Huntington’s Disease - the same disease which killed her mother, Laura Edward, when she was only 24.  Neighbors Jennifer and Scott Petkov, who have been feuding with the family, admitted to posting grim depictions of Laura and Kathleen on Facebook.  One photo depicts Laura in the arms of the grim reaper, while the other features Kathleen’s face as part of  a “skull and crossbone.”

A disturbing, hate filled, cruel and disgusting story, that is hard to fathom. Full coverage here on Fox who broke the story Monday.

The story was picked up on the social news Reddit,  who asked the simple question ‘What can we do to make this little girl’s day awesome‘ – a message that as well as restoring faith in good over evil – reached the home page, rallying pretty much the entire Reddit community. One of the first threads which gained exposure was posted from a business owner in the Trenton region, who owned a toy store near Kathleen’s home. A paypal donation site was setup via TreeTown’s website, to collect donations for toys from the community, which far in excess surpassed anything that the community could have imagined.  Donations started to flow, momentum spread. Multiple other Reddit threads got behind the movement, and so far, thousands of dollars have been raised from Redditors and the wider web community. Pledges have been received from around the world, as far away as Tokyo and  Australia, and the message of hope and kindness continues to spread across the web in a viral fashion.  An awesome response to a horrible situation that so far, has resulted in this proposal for 7 year old Kathleen:

Having a limo pick her up at her house (a local limo company offered their services)
Giving her a private shopping experience unlike anything she’s ever seen.
Let her also pick out toys for other terminal kids in the hospital nearby (with the scale of the response, seemed like a great cause)
Get her home, happy and with lots of toys
Hope it helps her have an incredible day
Raising over $12,124.54 for sick kids.

If a smile is worth a thousand words, then this pretty much says it all. Well done Reddit, and all of you who helped to turn an awful story into a positive one. This is why social media rocks.

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About the Author ()

Paul is a regular 30 year old web bloke / programmer with a penchant for online marketing. This blog is a personal outlet, with an eclectic mix of articles.

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  1. Blog Posts to Read Week of October 28, 2010 | October 28, 2010
  1. Wow, what a truly great story about how social media can be used in a positive manner. Although when I started reading it, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor, because I couldn’t believe the disgusting acts by the neighbors.

  2. Paul Anthony says:

    Totally agree Nick. Horrible to read how cruel some folks can be. But was great how a negative story was turned into a positive one through social media.

  3. Alex Lee says:

    Wow, great story! Who knew Reddit could be used for good.

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