What a ‘net community can do …

I consider myself pretty jaded when it comes to human nature and the current state of the world but occasionally I get a surprise, or two:

I’ve been a member of the SA (Something Awful) forums for about 2 years now and it is the source of much hilarity as well a sarcasm and outright meanness (is that a word?), however, quoting a recent post there:

Somethingawful.com is holding a fundraising drive to equip a platoon, scheduled to be in Iraq soon, with needed trauma inserts for their body armor. The Army will not purchase the equipment for this platoon, because they are not considered “front line.”

There will be a Paypal donation drive set up at http://www.somethingawful.com/’s front page tomorrow. It is being done through the site’s forums at the moment. This website has over twenty-thousand paid members, with countless more visiting the front page every day. In roughly ninety minutes, the forum members succeeded in raising over 1 thousand dollars. Donations are coming in from all over the world at this stage. At the time of this email, nearly 3,000 dollars (of the 20,000 needed) had been raised.

These “trauma” inserts are essentially big ceramic plates that have the ability to stop or fragment a bullet and absorb the impact so it will do a lot less damage to the victim, according to the original post only “front line” troops are issued with them, since they’re kinda expensive, I suppose. Read more about them here.

The second inspirating is Penny Arcade Childs Play which has the guys at Penny Arcade raising over US$100,000 in toys and video game stuff for sick children, all via their on-line readership and forums, check out the links for more details.

Colour me suitably impressed with the power of the internet. It makes me kinda wish more than 4 people checked my website 🙂