Perhaps anything is possible with social media -- but even so, this story caught me off guard: A man donated his kidney to a stranger after seeing a plea on Facebook.
Jeff Kurze's kidneys were failing, according to the story. His wife, Roxy, posted on her wall in desperation:
"Wishing a kidney would fall out of the sky so my husband can stop suffering," the 30-year-old Web designer wrote. "So if anyone knows of a live donor with type O blood, PLEASE let me know."
Ricky Cisco, a 25-year-old comedian, saw the post and messaged Roxy, saying he wanted to help. Even though the two were nearly complete strangers, they were Facebook friends (having met once through work).
The rest, as they say, was surgery. But it raises an interesting question: Are people more likely to be philanthropic through Facebook and other social media? Plenty of charities have banked on the theory -- but if there's any power in it, it may come from a more general idea not limited to the Internet: the theory that people are more likely to be generous in social networks of all kinds, from family to clubs to religious organizations.