April 1, 2002
10:30 PM   Subscribe

Witness a random act of kindness: modestneeds.com.
posted by brittney (19 comments total)
 
wow.. if that's for real, he's either a really stupid, or really nice guy.
posted by lotsofno at 11:01 PM on April 1, 2002


I think it's a nice gesture, just hope no one abuses his trust and vice a versa.
posted by riffola at 11:06 PM on April 1, 2002


he's either a really stupid, or really nice guy.

I fail to see the stupid. If it is for real, I'd go with nice guy.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:06 PM on April 1, 2002


Poor guy. There may be an immodest number of hits on his webcounter in the morning. It is a spare site, so data transfer should be minimal.
posted by crasspastor at 11:10 PM on April 1, 2002


If it is for real

Maybe I'm just getting really cynical, but a service like that started on April Fools Day doesn't inspire me with confidence in its reality.
posted by Lionfire at 11:14 PM on April 1, 2002


It didn't start on April Fools Day, it started a little over a week ago.

I assure you that his aim is true.
posted by brittney at 11:16 PM on April 1, 2002


Actually, according to the site, it seems to have started earlier than April Fools.

It would seem to have been a very ineffective April Fool's Day attempt if you consider that the URL isn't really (or wasn't until now) public in any way.

But then I'm naive, wide-eyed and childishly believing that way.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:17 PM on April 1, 2002


Well good luck to him. I hope he/it doesn't get abused like I think it will.
posted by ajbattrick at 11:28 PM on April 1, 2002


This reminds me of an article that used to, or probably still does, get printed in an all classifieds newpaper in the suburbs. A millionare would read your story and tell you why he is or isn't sending you the cash. Most people asked for something like $50 on average and he got his chance give them a good old fashioned 'the virtues of being moral' speech or award them the money. He only gave away a couple hundred, if that, a week.

At least modestneeds isn't going to publically shame you to get local paper syndication. I really don't like that smarmy millionare. Heh, maybe this will put him out of business.
posted by skallas at 11:55 PM on April 1, 2002


Sounds vaguely like Percy Ross' Thanks a Million column you're describing right there. (If so, the column stopped being published in late 2000, and Ross passed away about a year afterwards.)
posted by youhas at 1:29 AM on April 2, 2002


Its a really nice attempt at doing some good in your own small way, I would be interested to see if it works out well or whether some sleazebags will eventually derail the effort by screwing with him.
posted by bittennails at 5:58 AM on April 2, 2002


Brittney, you know this guy, right? Is this just a lame April Fool's joke? The domain was registered March 19, so I suspect so.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:41 AM on April 2, 2002


My posting this on April 1 was my poor planning, but no. It is neither lame nor an April Fools joke.

The webmaster is not only not stupid, he is quite smart and one of the most kind, caring and optimistic people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.

I, too, had my doubts when he mentioned the idea to me, but he truly believes that either people will a) not abuse the system or b) he will be able to determine a false request when he sees it.

Those with modest needs email him personally--there is no form to fill out--and so, perhaps he will be able to decipher which requests are legitimate.
posted by brittney at 8:31 AM on April 2, 2002


hmmm, this is a far better moral answer than "tithing", or donating to aggregate "managed" charities. If everyone did this, the world would be a nicer place. Certainly more effective than handing someone the loose change out of your pocket. And being on the recieving end of personal, direct, need-based charity has got to at least give you the feeling that there are human beings left in the world.
posted by jkaczor at 9:04 AM on April 2, 2002


I wrote the site owner. He was very nice, very polite. And he said he could help me. I've sent him the information he requested and he says he'll help me out.

I explained to him my need, and he agreed to assist. This was just one of those months where the bills got away from us. I think what he's doing is great and I thank you brittney for posting this link.

I get very cynical and bitter about people in this world; finding someone like him really makes my heart feel warm.
posted by calyirose at 10:44 AM on April 2, 2002


I just got an email from the owner of modestneeds.com, and he is overwhelmed by the reponses he has recieved. Several dozen people wrote to him, not for assistance, but to offer their heartfelt approval and in some cases, money.

He isn't accepting donations just yet, because he wants to assure donors that their money will be used properly. However, this and a network of people interested in giving more is underway.

He says he expects to update the FAQ and News pages later this evening.
posted by brittney at 11:36 AM on April 2, 2002 [1 favorite]


I don't see why people are so cynical about this person and what he's trying to do. Three cheers to him, I say!

I occasionally run into LiveJournal users who need help myself and do things to assist them. There was the "Adopt a Petfish" campaign that raised over $400, and I'm raising funds for someone right now who basically needs to move out of an abusive situation and find a job. (Perhaps one of you would like to help her out a bit, too.)

The idea of helping people via the Internet is hardly a new one - I was reading "The Virtual Community" the other day where it talked about the history of The WELL and of Elly, a member of The WELL who was in a hospital in New Delhi with severe hepatitis and liver damage. They gathered funds from the users and flew her to a hospital in San Francisco where she made a full recovery. That community of people probably saved her life, and they did this online a decade ago... before the web was even out there.

I don't have a lot of money - most indie web developers don't these days. However, what I do have is access to a large, caring community. All of you do too. It is a poisonous and fatal attitude to walk this world believing that you cannot make a difference in people's lives. If someone needs help out there, now, more than ever, the tools are within your power to assist them.
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:08 PM on April 2, 2002


This was later discussed here. And has moved to here.
posted by nedrichards at 8:49 AM on April 24, 2002


also later discussed here
posted by jacobsee at 1:06 PM on June 26, 2002


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