The Internet can be a scary place, but sometimes you stumble across people who make you smile, just by doing what they do online. "Good People of the Internet" brings you their stories.
As it turns out, not all humor sites exist just for the LOLs. There are quite a few sites in your daily rotation of time-wasting, giggle-inducing goodness that actually do a heck of a lot of great things with all of the attention they get.
The site: Are you familiar with Etsy, the massive retail site that lets you purchase everything from handcrafted necklaces to re-purposed pieces of driftwood? Regretsy is sort of like a parody site, curating the absolute worst and/or most bizarre offerings coughed up by Etsy crafters.
The people behind the site: That's April Winchell, pictured above, with a sandal on her head. Don't be fooled, though. Winchell is a prolific voice actress and general showbiz staple who, we guess, one day decided to document a whole bunch of weird craft abominations. Now, Winchell tempers the acidic wit of Regretsy with personal, mobilized acts of charity. Crappy crafting can sometimes be delightful, so the site raises funds partially through "April's Army" -- a group made up of crafters and friends of the site who offer up pro bono projects to help fund good causes via their own Etsy store.
The good: The individuals and groups who have benefited from Regretsy's random acts of kindness are listed here. The site also employs a unique way of finding people to help -- requests for donations or mobilizations are crowd-sourced and Regretsy's loyal band of readers and followers often help get the word out. A dying man with a unique request for an urn? Done. A woman with cancer who needs some good to come into her life? Done. An auction of super-weird stuff to help benefit a young leukemia patient? Just another Regretsy success story.
The site: The comics-based site is like your funniest, smartest, slightly deranged friend in animated form.
The people behind the site: The Oatmeal is run by Matthew Inman, who writes, draws and otherwise creates all of the content on the site. He usually communicates non-comic-related news through a blog on the site, and he's not afraid to get personal about his professional frustrations or his deep and abiding love for Nikola Tesla, the Serbian-American inventor and scientist.
The good: Earlier this year, The Oatmeal was embroiled in a long and painful legal battle with FunnyJunk.com and their lawyer. Inman, who felt as if he was being unjustly persecuted, countered the lawsuit with a fundraising effort he called "Bear Love Good, Cancer Bad." You can read the gory (and slightly NSFW, for the cartoon drawing of a scantily clad older lady) details of the scandal on the site, but the effort ended with Inman raising over $211,000 for the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society.
The Oatmeal has also started a strong push to raise money to save an old laboratory once used by Tesla. According to Inman, an organization is interested in buying the land and turning it into a Tesla museum, and Inman is encouraging those interested to donate to the cause. The project, titled "Let's Build a G**d*** Museum!", has raised over $900,000 so far on fundraising site IndieGoGo.
The site: Pretty much a mecca for all the funny articles, videos and pictures that could ever exist.
The people behind the site: The site has partnered with Malaria No More to create a series of hilarious, star-studded videos available for viewing for a small donation. The list of contributors reads as a who's who of TV comedy, with big names like Rainn Wilson, Elizabeth Banks, Ed Helms, Gilbert Gottfried, Kenan Thompson and Joss Whedon making funny for a good cause.
The good: The videos are all available to watch for a pay-what-you-want fee, that is donated to Malaria No More. According to the site, 30 celebrities donated their time to create 24 videos.
They say laughter is good for the soul, right? Are there any sites that you love visiting that are committed to a cause?