Depending on the sites we choose to visit, the internet can be an exceedingly negative place to hang out.

Criticism, insults and threats are easily, and often anonymously, thrown at others across this digital town square. It does, unfortunately, seem to grow worse by the day.

This massive web of interpersonal communication also can bring out the better side in all of us though.

That’s happening this week for the family of Dale Franquet Jr., of Middleburg, as hundreds of people are finding a GoFundMe page and offering financial donations in support of the husband, father, wrestling coach, mentor and federal prison officer who lost an eye following a physical attack by an inmate at the U.S. Penitentiary at Allenwood.

As of Wednesday morning, more than 450 people had donated more than $33,000 to the Franquet family. The page is still live and open to donations with the original goal of $25,000 now at $35,000. You can donate by visiting:

The fundraiser was created Saturday by Dale’s siblings, Jeffrey Franquet, of New Jersey, and Corie Kline, of Winfield.

Dale Franquet lost his right eye after he was attacked by an inmate — a convicted terrorist who had a 14-inch shank, his family says — on Dec. 7. Franquet, the father of two daughters with 22 years of service at the federal prison, was in the hospital for a week before being released on Sunday. He is now recovering at home.

“Unfortunately, our brother will have to learn a whole new way of life and a whole new normal,” his siblings wrote on the online fundraising page. Donations will be used to help support the family during the uncertain times ahead and possibly establish a college fund for his daughters.

“He looks like he went through a battle for his life, but he’s happy to be home,” Dale’s father told us this week. “He’ll be stronger because of all the love and well-wishers.”

So, if we feel tempted in the next few weeks to post an online insult or negative comment, we could instead find an appropriate place to write something like: “We wish Dale Franquet Jr. a speedy recovery and offer our best to his entire family.”

NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item’s editorials are the consensus of the publisher, top newsroom executives and community members of the editorial board. Today’s was written by Digital Editor Dave Hilliard.

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