Celebrating Real Connections

These days, “social media” brings to mind kids glued to Instagram, friends arguing on Facebook, and a whole lot of Twitter battles. But ideally, these platforms were built to connect us. And when they do that, they can truly bring out the best in humanity.

Take the story of Dakota “Bubba” Cadd, a boy with cerebral palsy and Dandy-Walker syndrome, a congenital brain malformation. Bubba often sat in his backyard behind Wisconsin Highway 26, pumping his arm in the hopes that truckers would blow their horns for him.

One day, his mom found a paper bag containing a toy semi-truck, hat, and t-shirt. She realized someone must have pulled over to throw it over the five-foot fence for her son. She posted about it on Facebook, writing: “All he kept saying was ‘Wow! Wow!’ He’s in heaven playing with his new truck & wearing his hat. Thank you! Thank YOU! YOU made his day (and his momma & daddy’s days, too!) … whoever did this is awesome!”


Her Facebook friends shared away, and the heartwarming post went viral. Eventually, the family discovered the identity of their anonymous gift-giver: a truck driver named Mark King. King had grown up with a sister who was handicapped and simply wanted to do something kind for Bubba.

As we know, in the trucking world, all it takes is one small act of kindness or call for help to trigger a movement. Other truckers wanted to support Bubba, too. So, for his sixteenth birthday, he was greeted by hundreds of trucks and thousands of people. That day, Bubba waded through a huge crowd for lots of hugs before blowing out the candles on a large cake. Amazing, right? And it all started with one thoughtful trucker and a Facebook post expressing heartfelt gratitude.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the negative side of social media, these platforms can bring us together in ways that would have never been possible before. When the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral, we raised over $115 million for ALS research. In 2018, GoFundMe campaigns provided nearly $30 million to those affected by the California wildfires, and 61 percent of people who gave on the site were first-time donors! To this day, Impact Clubs show us how little donations from lots of people make a great impact when we work together.

On social media, we have the ability to reach out, organize, and show up in the thousands or even millions for unforgettable moments and a few fun, but forgettable, ones too – Kiki, can you hear me?

What will you post next?

Fuel for Thought,