After a user sung the praises of One Simple Wish, people from all over the globe chipped in and stepped up for children in need of laptops, bedding, shoes, and more.

By Maressa Brown
June 24, 2021
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An image of a boy on a bike.
Credit: Getty Images. Art: Jillian Sellers.

Over the course of the pandemic, people stepped up for others in surprising and wonderful ways. And thankfully, it appears that trend is continuing, judging from a heartwarming turn of events on Reddit that led to a jaw-dropping boost in donations to a nonprofit focused on kids who are in foster care.

Writing in the AskReddit subreddit under the handle u/slizsarbleh, an original poster (OP) asked users, "What is something you've done purely out of the goodness of your heart, but have never told anyone?" In response, u/dartdoug sung the praises of a nonprofit called One Simple Wish, which specializes in granting "wishes" to children in the foster care system.

He explained that the organization provides "foster kids with things they wouldn't ordinarily get," noting that an 11-year-old asked for a bike for his birthday, but his foster family couldn't afford to buy him one. "For less than $200, I paid for the kid's new bike," explained the Redditor.

Other foster kids wish for items like a new pair of shoes, bedding, laptops, and more.

Inspired by u/dartdoug, Redditors and soon people from other social platforms donated to the site, granting about 800 wishes. More than $85,000 was donated to fill wishes, and an additional $25,000 has been raised to fund future wishes, according to the organization's website.

"What an awesome website!! Thanks for sharing! I just bought a laptop for Michael who will be starting college classes," wrote u/imstaying39.

u/kingoflowerchelsea shared, "Ordered some laundry baskets and room organization for a young girl in Charlotte who just got her first job and is having trouble organizing her things, all the way from my lounge room in Australia."

The founder of One Simple Wish, Danielle Gletow, then popped into the forum, sharing, "Last night I lost a dear friend to ALS and got the news after I had already had an awful day. I struggle with depression and it was bad…I cried myself to sleep, literally. Then I woke up to this and it's like Sara's spirit manifested into this amazing rush of love from all of you, and I can't even contain my happy tears and gratitude for you all. Our team is up and working hard on the site too! Thank you for this. I don't know that I can put into words what you've done."

u/dartdoug also expressed gratitude for Redditors' generosity, writing, "Thank you all for your kind words and, for those of you with the financial means, for your donations. I've seen documentaries about the foster care system, and it's a struggle for so many of these kids who lack not only monetary resources, but the stability that comes with having a family to provide support and guidance...and that continues even after they 'age out' the system and are expected to just know how to live as an adult."

Later, Gletow did an "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) on the site, sharing what it felt like to see the donations flood in-and explaining what motivated her to start the organization 13 years ago.

"I had this idea to create a platform that would share the amazing stories of kids and young adults who had been impacted by foster care and abuse/neglect, but I wanted it to be a happy place where people can see them for more than what happened to them but for the incredible people they are," she wrote. "I adopted one of my daughters from foster care and being a foster parent showed me things I never new existed and I was horrified but motivated to make change. Since we launched in 2008, we've helped over 250,000 people."

It's clear that thanks to Redditors with big hearts, One Simple Wish is sure to help even more now. The organization is currently taking donations for future birthday, essential, educational, and various wishes.