What to Read Next

Kind Internet Strangers Help Dad Make It to Son's Graduation

Lilit Marcus, Shine Contributor
June 4, 2014
Branch's son Ty on the big day. Photo via Imgur/Troy Branch
Branch's son Ty on the big day. Photo via Imgur/Troy Branch

The Internet may not always be a forum for kind gestures, but a group of online strangers recently used it to pull off one very good deed when they banded together to help Florida father Troy Branch attend his son's high school graduation.

Branch wrote a post on the social networking site Reddit explaining that his eldest son, Ty, was graduating from high school on May 30 in Tavares, Fla., but that his car had broken down and he couldn't afford to travel there from his home in Tallahassee, 450 miles away.

The post was part of a thread titled "Reddit, what's on your Bucket List and how can we help cross some of those things off?" Other redditors were so moved by the man's simple request that they began doing what they could to get him to the graduation. Several people helped Branch find a low-price bus ticket to Orlando, about an hour away from Tavares, at which point one redditor, a young woman whose family lived in the area, offered to give him a ride from the bus station to his hotel. (Because he didn't know what she looked like, he stood in the bus parking lot and shouted "Reddit!" until she identified herself.) Another redditor donated his own Holiday Inn points and booked Branch a room for the weekend.

The kindnesses didn't end there. "Several people donated money, about $300, so I had money to take [Ty and his brother] out to eat and do something," Branch tells Yahoo Shine. "We saw the new 'X-Men' movie. I had money to give him as a graduation present." Branch, who manages a custom photo lab in Tallahassee, offered to send pictures of the graduation to his benefactors, but they asked him to post them online and share them with the whole Reddit community instead. He happily obliged.

Branch wasn't the only person who got a little help accomplishing something thanks to that Reddit thread. One man received assistance paying for his mother's tombstone, while another whose goal was to have a hawk or falcon land on his arm got information about falconry and names of experts he could contact.

Branch and his son. Photo via Imgur/Troy Branch
Branch and his son. Photo via Imgur/Troy Branch

After graduation weekend, Branch returned to Reddit to thank the strangers who had helped him to be there for Ty, who graduated magna cum laude. And it was an example of human kindness he could share with his children.

"I showed my sons the original Reddit thread and told them about how complete strangers had come to help me out," Branch explains. Ty said, "It's great to see people doing that for other people." Though there were some naysayers who doubted the accuracy of Branch's story or had trouble believing that a father simply couldn't make it to his son's graduation, Branch shakes off the hurtful comments, saying, "It was a small price to pay for all the positive." And if the happy photos of father and son are any indication, the positive really paid off. 

More on Yahoo Shine:
Amy Poehler Does a Good Deed for a Mom on a Plane
Homeless Man Reunited With Daughter Thanks to Strangers
7-Eleven Clerk Who Lost Job Over Good Deed Gets a Better Offer

Stop Paying Too Much For Your Prescriptions.

Drug prices vary wildly between pharmacies. GoodRx finds the lowest prices and discounts. Compare prices, print free coupons & save up to 80%.

Missed Open Enrollment? You can still buy Medigap!

The Medicare Open Enrollment Period isn't the only time to buy Medigap coverage. You can actually buy at any time of the year.

Free Samples Sites- Why You Should Pay Attention

Sign up now for freebies so good you will feel guilty not paying for them! No credit card or purchase necessary.

Is your insurance comp Laughing Behind Your Back?

New Studies Show that if you drive less than 55 miles a day you can save a ton on auto insurance.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

How To Make Sagging Skin Look Tight and Lifted

[Watch] The easy and effective way consumers across the country are improving the look of their wrinkled and sagging skin without cosmetic procedures.

What Are The Pros & Cons Of A Reverse Mortgage?

More Americans are accessing their home equity to support their retirement years. Speak with a professional and see what you may qualify for today.

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

Time is Running Out

Just 7 days remain to enter for a shot at $5,000 A Week “Forever.”

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Kid sleep troubles email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track to learn how to handle kids who won’t go to sleep or won’t stay in bed.

Toddler tantrum email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track for advice on how to handle different situations that may arise with your little one.

Why You Should Pay Attention to Free Sample Sites

Sign up now for freebies so good you will feel guilty not paying for them! No credit card or purchase necessary.