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Viral Web Altruism

The Reddit Scott Widak Surprise is an Epic Act of Kindness

— May 18, 2012 — Social Good
In one of the most encouraging displays of human empathy, complete strangers came together through social news site Reddit to make the week of terminally ill Scott Widak. Widak, 47, has been diagnosed with liver disease and has Down syndrome. Sean O’Connor, nephew of Widak, turned to the online community to get some support from the users of Reddit. Citing that opening mail is one of his uncle’s favorite activities, O’Connor gave his address, his uncle’s name and interests, and hoped for some love. What he got was truly unbelievable.

Reddit users surprised terminally ill Widak with a huge outpouring of love and support with hundreds of letters spanning the globe from Australia to the USA and everywhere in between. Along with the encouraging letters, art, DVDs and CDs came in alongside. Sony Music Entertainment, upon hearing of Widak’s love of Johnny Cash, even sent over 15 CDs & DVDs, mainly comprised of Cash’s music.

The amazing display has been a great comfort to Widak’s family, and has given joy from the continuous inflow of inspiring and lovely mail from well wishers. See more photos and the full story on

Mashable 1 Picture 1| Mashable 2 Picture 2