Internet Raises Money For Hotdog Vendor

If you place your woes on social media, chances are the Internet community will reach out to you. It helped this high school student reclaim her stolen college money. It even helped this young deaf boy purchase hearing aids for those in need. When the Internet heard about a cop confiscating $60 from an unlicensed hotdog vendor, they raised over $60,000 for the sausage aficionado.

“The funds raised will be utilized to cover legal and personal losses,” [witness Martin] Flores wrote on the GoFundMe page. “In addition, funds in excess are to cover other vendors who have been robbed of their hard earned living through citations and removal of their carts.”

While the UC Berkeley officer remains on the job, more than 35,000 people have signed a petition to have him removed from the force. The vendor’s lack of a sales permit apparently “justified” the seizure of earnings.

Some authority figures will inevitably continue to abuse their power. But it sure is nice to know that we can count on our friends online to keep the peace.

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Sisters Selling Lemonade To Pay Off Lunch Debts

Kids these days are more intellectually advanced than our generation ever was. While some are building computers, others are painting like Michelangelo. These two Seattle sisters are playing it a little bit simpler — but for a great cause. Amiah and Aria Van Hill are selling lemonade to help fellow students pay off lunch debts.

“We are thrilled that Amiah has embraced that value at such a young age and we are so very proud that she has taken it upon herself to find a way to help those in need,” [said Amiah’s elementary school principal] “She is a very special little lady.”

On their first day of sales, the sisters managed to pay off a $40.55 debt at Hayden Meadows in Idaho. Mother Rachel encouraged her daughters to extend help to other schools. They then raised over $300 for two establishments.

“I had to explain to her that this was a lot of money,” Van Hill said, recommending that they finally take their efforts to GoFundMe to reach their goal.

Donations are now at the $2,700 mark. Amiah and Aria are living proof that little girls can dream big both for themselves and for others.

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The Hope in Social Apps Amidst Global Challenges

Right now, some people would say the world we live in is a dark, dark place. There is, of course, some truth to that. All around us, there are stories of conflict, of suffering, of endless global crises. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. There might be problems we cannot ever address because they need entire organizations and nations to solve, but even as ordinary humans we can do our fair share of alleviating the hardships of others.

One thing that has consistently helped us is the advent of technology. Again, some would say that our constant drive for innovations and scientific advancements are actually urging us to veer away from our humanity and from each other, but certain developments prove otherwise. Some argue that technology can even make us more human. And I agree, especially when it comes to social apps and how they have facilitated empathy between people. Despite the many problems that people around the world are facing, some glimmer of hope arises in social apps and how they bring people closer to each other and thus closer to solving their crises. Here are some ways that social apps nurture hope:

1. Speaking out and raising awareness

More and more, social apps are being used to promote awareness and share vital information. Some people are simply not as exposed to important issues, and they truly benefit from others who speak out in order to help them understand. For instance, a mother posted some facts plus her own take on depression on Facebook, an inspiring post that has gone viral and helped break stigmatizing opinions on the matter. Mental health is a serious problem because it is not yet as accepted by many people despite the scientific data, so it always helps to bring stuff like it to the limelight and get the conversation going. It is always so tear-jerking when you hear (or read?) someone speak so passionately about something so significant.

Since it spans networks and networks of people, social media could definitely be a good avenue to raise awareness. Ordinary individuals can participate in the global discussion, even if it means starting to inform and converse with the people who are closer to them.

2. Crowdfunding

One of my favorite online trends ever is GoFundMe. It helped a deaf boy provide hearing aids to fellow deaf children. It helped cops replace the stolen college tuition money of a deserving student. It helped students fund the surgery of their teacher’s wife.

Fundraising initiatives have probably been going around since time immemorial, but technology has certainly taken it to a whole new level. Crowdfunding is an interesting online trend because you are not only appealing to people you know inside your own community, you are inviting people from everywhere to share your cause. In doing so, you get to witness empathy on a global scale. It proves that we don’t have to be so similar, we can speak different languages and live in different countries, and still have the heart to help each other.

3. Doing little acts of kindness

Lastly, just because we can raise awareness virtually or donate money online, doesn’t mean help is limited nowadays to digital forms. Tweets, Facebook posts, and even blogs that talk about important issues are definitely a good way to participate in changing the world. Crowdsourcing is another surefire way to help people out and make an impact in their lives, even if they are far away. But again, help that comes from progressive technology doesn’t necessarily have to remain online or virtual.

The BeepBeep Nation app has a proposal to digitally facilitate connections but encourage face-to-face interactions between people who are willing to help each other out. By linking people who need help and people who can provide it, regardless of how seemingly simple and small the favor is, BeepBeep Nation inspires us to take a step forward and initiate a culture of helping amongst ourselves. It is also a true community app, as it seeks to build networks of peers among people who willingly share their kindness with one another.

It may not seem like a lot to give someone a ride home or a place to stay, or even offer your own recommendation to promote your favorite restaurant in the vicinity, but it’s a start. The world could be a dark place, but there are an infinite number of ways to share the light, if only little by little.

If you think there’s hope in social apps like I do, and want to share your own little spark, be sure to check out the BeepBeep Nation app. Soon to launch worldwide in selected cities, it is fuelled by the EMINENT (EMN) token, now available for sale. Get started now and participate in a world of technological progress, hope and kindness.

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Students Help Sub Pay For Wife’s Cataract Surgery

For many in need of a financial boost, GoFundMe has been a great resource for campaigning. Cops have used it to sponsor a sterling student’s college tuition. A deaf boy has used it to provide hearing aids for other deaf children. For teens at Champlin Park High School, it was instrumental to helping substitute teacher Walter Erickson pay for his wife’s surgery.

“He’s just impacted so many of our lives in amazing ways,” said Katie Blodgett, a senior at Champlin Park. “He’s the kind of substitute teacher where he connects with us more on a personal level and he obviously loves what he does and that makes it more encouraging for us to learn.”

Erickson had been saving up to shoulder his wife’s cataract surgery and dental care, thus choosing not to retire. Initially, students aimed to raise $500 and ended up exceeding their goal by $13,405. Erickson’s wife was pleasantly surprised, to say the least.

“When I told my wife about this last Friday, she said, ‘Who are these girls? What kind of parents do they have that they could be so caring and compassionate?’”

Though the eighty-year-old has no plans to retire anytime soon, the extra cash should come in handy.

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Woman Raises $227,000 For Homeless Samaritan

It isn’t everyday that people pay it forward to strangers. But in times of desperate need, you can count on dentists to work free and hoarders to donate supplies. You can meet a good samaritan anywhere, just as Kate McClure met Johnny Bobbitt Jr. The homeless veteran spent his last $20 on a gas refill after McClure’s car broke down on Interstate 95. To repay him, McClure raised over $227,000 in just under two weeks.

“I wish that I could do more for this selfless man, who went out of his way just to help me that day,” [McClure] wrote on the fundraising page.

With Philadelphia nearing the winter season, McClure made several trips down to the interstate to bring Bobbitt supplies. Determined to get the 34-year-old veteran back on his feed, she started a GoFundMe page, to which over 7,600 people have already contributed.

“[I] truly believe that all Johnny needs is one little break. Hopefully with your help I can be the one to give it to him.”

With more than $110,000 donated on Thanksgiving alone, the holidays couldn’t be more festive.

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Cops Help Teen Replace Stolen College Money

In the midst of an increasingly problematic society, there are a few hidden gems among the wreckage. Among them is 5-year-old Cassie Gee, who paints for charity. Another is Katryna Robinson, who donates hotel toiletries to the homeless. But police officers at El Segundo are the cherry on top after helping a high school teen crowdfund her stolen college money.

“We started talking and we said, ‘She’s a valedictorian, a really good kid, she’s done everything right in her life, why don’t we set up something so the El Segundo community can help her?’” said Officer Joe Cameron, union president.

Cops set up a GoFundMe page in an attempt to retrieve the $2,000 student Kristin Villanueva had saved. In just a few days, the page had pooled nearly $5,000. It’s an impressive feat, seeing as how the most successful GoFundMe campaigns are for dogs.

“From El Segundo employees to El Segundo residents, everyone pitched in. Community support like this is why I’m proud to be the president of this association and serve this amazing community.”

Villanueva’s newly-raised funds are going to cover her tuition for a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

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Deaf Boy Raises Money For Deaf Children

When it comes to being charitable, it’s never to early to start. In fact, some benefactors can be as young as 5-years-old, like prodigy painter Cassie Gee. For this 10-year-old deaf boy, what started as a lesson in responsibility became a fundraising initiative for other deaf children.

“When my dog ate my hearing aids, I kind of learned how important it is and I kind of felt bad for the other people who might [not be able to replace theirs],” [said] Braden Baker.

Baker lost his hearing aids to family dog Chewy twice, and has since been more diligent in keeping them safe. The troublesome encounter encouraged him to set up a GoFundMe page, which raised $15,000 in a single month. Baker donated the money to Oticon Hearing Foundation.

“We could not be more thankful for his generosity and determination,” the foundation, who’s mission is to improve hearing care worldwide, said on their official Facebook page.

Because of kids like Baker, the fact that our future lies in the hands of the new generation isn’t such a scary thought.

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