In an age when online cynicism, bullying trolls and scathing critiques seem to dominate the internet, a heartwarming application of our connected digital world can feel refreshing.
A man in Fresno, California has figured out the ideal formula for online positivity. And it's the perfect content for the holiday season.
Working behind the counter at a convenience store, the man—known on TikTok as akramadinas—has befriended many of the homeless people that walk through the shop's door on a regular basis.
Rather than simply ring up a few items and send them on their way, akramadinas has taken time to learn names, backstories and understand the dynamics and causes of those people's struggles.
Beyond that, he's captured it all on video and posted it on TikTok.
Often, that may have been where the story ended with some nice internet content. But akramadinas—who boasts 2.2 million followers—managed to go one step further and turn all that content into tangible benefit.
He asked his followers to donate money and gifts to provide basic needs to several of his downtrodden customers.
The plan seems to have worked:
TikTok users have been especially endeared by one recipient of the generosity—a man named Phil. When akramadinas put out a call to action for donations, the internet listened went to work.
First, people pulled together to give Phil $170 to spend in the store—on anything other than beer and cigarettes.
Phil responded with a big thank you and a bit of a dance.
TikTok users were beaming.
But Phil's story didn't end here.
Additional videos followed that one.
Each included more gifts to Phil...
...and Phil's gratitude.
Those videos only tugged at more heartstrings.
And as more money continued to flow in, a truly extraordinary gift became available—a warm roof over Phil's head.
Phil was even able to get a phone.
And with a little help, he set up his own TikTok account. It already has over 13 thousand followers.
The truly wonderful news is that Phil's good fortune is far from the only example on akramadinas' page. The generous clerk arranged donations for plenty of other regular customers who've fallen on hard times as well.
It's been a tough year for nearly everyone.
We're thankful for some kindness spread and good news shared.