This post is of a much more personal nature than my previous ones. A while ago, an old friend (and a longtime sf fan) suffered a stroke. This left him immobile and unable to speak. His prognosis is reasonably good, but the struggle to recovery is long and hard.
The news of our friend’s hardship passed through fandom quickly, and people immediately started thinking of how he could be helped. Although we’re lucky to live in a country where medical bills don’t drive people to bancruptcy, the cost of his recuperation (and equipment he’ll probably need to get) will be considerable. To help with this, and to enable him to communicate with the world while he’s relearning to speak, a group donation from fandom was organized. In just a few days he was presented with a laptop (so he can use programs that aid in the recovery and also communicate with friends) and a nice sum of money to help with the expenses. And people are still giving to help him and his family.
This is by no means unique to Finland, I know similar things are happening everywhere within the sf community. Most certainly among other groups of people (hobby-related, within the workplace, in a common area, etc.) as well. But these are my people, and right now I’m very proud to call myself a part of this group.