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I'd even try to turn the tide
May 15, 2012 12:38 PM   Subscribe

Scott Widak, 47, has Down syndrome and is terminally ill with liver disease. To cope with his uncle's challenging situation, Widak’s nephew, Sean O’Connor, turned to the Reddit community to see if anyone would be interested in sending a letter to his uncle. O’Connor then included a link to a news article about Widak and his art, along with two photos of him and his mother, a P.O. box address and a few things he’s interested in, like Johnny Cash. Following the post, Widak received hundreds of letters from all over the world. From Mashable: a story of random acts of kindness.
posted by Potomac Avenue (19 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
No matter how many times redditors have proven themselves to be thoughtful human beings, never forget that when it comes to trivia night they must be beaten back as the worthless curs that they are.
posted by Think_Long at 12:44 PM on May 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm actually doing this for a redditor as well. Her grandmother is terminally ill and she asked people to send letters. A lot of people wanted to do this. I hope that she is happy reading our letters. I know that writing the letter will feel great.

It's amazing how so many lives can connect together in such a way. Sites like Metafilter and Reddit help to create a community which I'm glad to be a part of.
posted by livinglearning at 12:46 PM on May 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


What a fantastic post. Most honor to you and to the folks who participated. Somewhere along the line, cynicism seems to tighten its grip on many people... things like this help to fight that urge...
posted by priested at 12:50 PM on May 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just hope this doesn't turn into an urban legend like the story of Craig Shergold, that eventually overwhelms what is otherwise a well-meaning gesture.
posted by briank at 12:57 PM on May 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


This hits me really hard for a really personal reason. All mentally handicapped persons deserve awesome days, awesome treatments, and [hopefully] awesome feelings like this. More so than a lot of other people walking around this world.

livinglearning: Have a link or memail me the address? I can spare some time from wedding planning to write to an aging lady, be damned if I can't.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:58 PM on May 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


I just hope this doesn't turn into an urban legend like the story of Craig Shergold

Eh, this story doesn't have the "dying wish to break a record" ingredient (thankfully). It's just people being awesome.

Of course, no matter how much awesome Reddit generates, it still won't sway the people who remain convinced that it's a morass of filth and hatred, sigh.
posted by Gator at 1:05 PM on May 15, 2012


man it's great when people are just fucking nice. it helps a lot.
posted by facetious at 1:40 PM on May 15, 2012 [7 favorites]


Gator, reddit is a big place. It can be a morass of filth and hatred at one point, and awesome at other points, just like Metafilter can be.
posted by garlic at 1:43 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's a nice story. I like the way he knows what he likes. Art, mail and Johnny Cash. It's great that people stepped up and sent awesome things.
posted by bquarters at 1:43 PM on May 15, 2012


Of course, no matter how much awesome Reddit generates, it still won't sway the people who remain convinced that it's a morass of filth and hatred, sigh.

A pile of shit with a diamonds in it is still a pile of shit. The infamous debacles with r/jailbait and then shortly thereafter with preteen_girls and the others where it was obvious the site operators only act if bad PR is hurting their image pushed my opinion of reddit from "kind of a shhitty, immature place" to "cesspool".


But reddit did a great thing here and deserves credit. This is a fantastic thing to do for this man and I'm glad so many people were willing to pitch in.
posted by Sangermaine at 2:09 PM on May 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


[A couple comments removed. I know that some people read reddit and some people read metafilter and some people read both and among those folks there are all sorts of different opinions about the two sites and whether and how and how often they should ever, like peas and potatoes on a plate, interact, but please try not to make a thing of it in random threads on the blue. If you really, really want to have another discussion about Reddit: Good Or Bad, go to Metatalk and do it there. Thank you.]
posted by cortex at 2:11 PM on May 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I often find the internet as a source for genuine kindness and support. I can honestly say it helped me in the past, including all of you on Metafilter.

But I guess when people Rick Roll you or send you Goatse, there went that idea.

Good show to Sean O'Connor.
posted by stormpooper at 2:12 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the lesson here, vis-a-vis its previous shitstorms, is that Reddit, as a corporate entity, has little to nothing in common with the inhabitants of any given forum on the site.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:42 PM on May 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


A pile of shit with a diamonds in it is still a pile of shit.

And a diamond with some shit on it is still a diamond. I prefer my glasses half full...
posted by Sourisnoire at 2:47 PM on May 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


...of shit? The suspense is killing us: what do you prefer your glasses to be half full of???
posted by item at 3:24 PM on May 15, 2012


I sent Scott a note! Thanks for posting this; I'd forgotten about it and it's great to know that so many people wrote to him.

Sometimes the only redemption a day offers you is the chance you get to make someone else's life a little lighter; writing to Scott was one of those opportunities.
posted by punchtothehead at 5:03 PM on May 15, 2012


[I think we were clear - want to talk about the reddit/Mefi line, please take it to MetaTalk]
posted by jessamyn at 5:49 PM on May 15, 2012


Wow. I thought if there could be one post about reddit where someone didn't spew bile this would be it.

Guess not.
posted by Bonzai at 10:22 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


...of shit? The suspense is killing us: what do you prefer your glasses to be half full of???

Reddit: Choking down a half-full glass of shit and diamonds.
posted by FatherDagon at 2:12 PM on May 16, 2012


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