New subreddit connects volunteers

User of social news site Reddit have launched so many charitable campaigns that an entire Wikipedia section exists to chronicle them. But after this weekend, a whole new page may be necessary.

Mar 3, 2020, 11:49 am*

IRL

 

Kevin Morris

Users of social news site Reddit have launched so many charitable campaigns that an entire Wikipedia section exists to chronicle them.

But after this weekend, a whole new page may be necessary.

On Sunday, users launched a new volunteer section for the site: helpit, or r/helpit.

It began with a simple question posted to the AskReddit section by user djspacebunny: “Why don’t we have a Reddit worldwide day of volunteering?

That post quickly rose to the top of Reddit’s frontpage, gathering nearly 10,000 upvotes and 700 comments.

“The idea of a Reddit worldwide volunteer day sounds good to me,”  replied redditor StrawberryTea. “Maybe we can get a subreddit going so we can all share information about places and groups that need volunteers?”

And with that, r/helpit was born.

“This is the subreddit for helping!” HelpIt announces in its sidebar. “We’re Reddit, and we can make big things happen.”

It already has nearly 2,000 subscribers and over 125 posts — some big numbers for a subreddit only one day old.

And the section is already being flooded with offers to help and organize.

Many are organizing around geographic areas, others are writing guidelines for what counts as a good charity, and others are proposing bi-monthly Reddit blood drives.

The subreddit hasn’t escaped the attention of Reddit HQ, either. General manager Erik Martin said he wasn’t sure if the subreddit had broken any records in its first day, but that its growth was “extremely impressive.”

He added: “You never know, but helpit feels like a reddit project that is going to take off in a big way.”

The blizzard of activity was so intense that the initial suggestion — a Reddit volunteer day — seemed almost forgotten.

But djspacebunny stayed on top of things. The redditor has tentatively set the date for September 10.

In fact, the volunteering subreddit is already in need of its own volunteers — people with database experience. How else can a group of 2,000 strangers across the world organize themselves, after all?

But will they succeed? If Reddit’s past group efforts are any indication, most likely. But regardless, we’ll be keeping a close eye on this subreddit and its growth over the next few months.

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*First Published: Jul 18, 2011, 5:12 am