"Humans of New York," the photoblog that tells the powerful personal stories of random individuals on the streets of New York City, has touched millions of people.
What started as a trend on Facebook focusing on everyday New Yorkers evolved into a massive success involving interviews with everyone from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to Syrian refugees and former drug dealers in Brazil.
The internet can be a very nasty place, but "Humans of New York" is consistently a source of hope and insight.
Consider the story of a woman in Santiago, Chile, who recently emailed Brandon Stanton, the creator of the series, about how a "Humans of New York" post changed her life in a remarkable way.
Grab some tissues.
"Humans of New York" comments inspired a woman in Santiago, Chile, to adopt.
After experiencing a number of heartbreaking obstacles while attempting to adopt, Sofia (Victoria) Calderon Miller was on the verge of giving up.
But then something changed after she saw a "Humans of New York" post about a man who grew up in a group home after he was abandoned by his father.
Here's the post:
Miller was so moved by the post, she couldn't help but comment,
OMG. I can´t stop crying. I was about to give up on our adoption process. I will find inner strenght to go on now. Cause somewhere, in some boy's house, my boy could be going through the same you went through and I just cannot give up on him right now.
Long story short, she imagined the man was a child she never adopted, and the support she received from fellow "Humans of New York" commenters inspired her to carry on.
Eventually, she adopted her son Axel. She explained in her email to Stanton,
We'd been trying to adopt for several years. We didn't want an infant. The waiting list was too long. Plus we had one child already, so we'd already been through the experience of having a baby. We wanted other couples to have that opportunity. So we decided to adopt an older child. But everything went wrong. Our application was invalidated after three years because my husband got a job in Ecuador. When we tried to start over, the government went on strike. Then we lost all our possessions in a storage facility fire. So I was about to give up. I couldn't do it anymore. The process was stressing me out so much that it was affecting my biological child. Then right when I was about to give up, I saw a Humans of New York post about a man who'd grown up in a group home. I thought: 'He could have been my child.' I wrote about my difficulties in the comment section, and hundreds of people responded. Everyone told me not to give up. My phone was buzzing all day. The ones that touched me most were the stories from adopted children. It gave me the strength to go on.
Are you crying yet?
Here is Miller with her son Axel.
If you weren't crying, you might cry now.
This is a very moving example of the power of the human spirit and how a little support and solidarity can have a massive impact.
In a Facebook post in which Stanton shared Miller's email, he said,
One thing that makes me most proud of Humans of New York is the warmth of the comment section. There are exceptions of course, but generally the responses to each story are thoughtful and encouraging. I joke that Humans of New York is followed by the nicest 25 million people on the Internet.
The internet is full of trolls and often serves as a source of negativity, but it can also facilitate incredible connections.
In this case, it gave a woman named Sofia courage and hope, and a little boy named Axel a family.
Meanwhile, we've all been reminded of this very simple but often forgettable truth: People are good, and good things happen every single day.