Keeping up with the news can be a depressing task, as each headline seems more gloomy than the next. Social media’s ability to keep us constantly connected to the world only heightens this, and it can feel overwhelming at times.
That’s why ‘good news stories’ have become such a popular topic online, with social media users searching for stories that inspire hope and positivity. A recent ‘good news’ trend has seen people posting personal stories about others online in the hopes that some of the millions of internet users out there might lend a helping hand.
Second Chances is a non-profit company that was born from this trend, with the organisation posting stories about hardworking South Africans, usually those who have given back despite their own challenging circumstances, in a bid to get strangers to help however they can. The personal stories are heart-warming, ranging from car guards who are saving to finish their matric, to students looking for accommodation while they finish their degrees.
In February of this year, Second Chances shared the story of a woman from Soweto, Poppy Shabangu. Poppy was pregnant and anxious about her upcoming delivery, after losing her first baby due to complications during birth. Second Chances managed to raise enough money to pay for Poppy’s check-ups, transport and basic baby clothes and food.
After word spread of Poppy’s story, online education company Educate24 donated their ‘Taking Care of Your Newborn’ course. The online course, which Poppy was able to complete on her mobile phone, was written by Professor David Woods and Professor Gerhard Theron, both well known in the field of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, and is designed to help prepare parents for what to expect in the first few weeks after their baby is born. Poppy expressed her complete shock at the kindness of strangers. “I wouldn’t refer to these people as strangers – they are angels sent to help fellow humankind.”
Poppy’s story is proof of the strong desire that people have to help one another. The average South African clearly wants to do their part, and when presented with an opportunity to do so, will grab it.