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How to Help After the Boston Marathon Bombings

In the aftermath of bombings at the Boston Marathon yesterday that killed three and wounded over 170, we are all looking for ways to help.

The Good Outnumbers

Comedian Patton Oswalt summarized the feeling best when he wrote on Facebook: “So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, ‘The good outnumber you, and we always will.’”

In Boston, we saw evidence of the good outnumbering the minute of the attack. While a crime scene area has been set up in the Back Bay, closing Boylston Street to traffic and pedestrians for the next several days, buildings are inaccessible during this time. For residents displaced from homes, or travelers displaced from hotels, the city of Boston has opened its doors. Click here to see the crowd-sourced Google doc of housing options.

Google has also stepped up as a resource for how to help. A Google doc called “Caring for the Richard family” has been created for friends and strangers to offer emotional and financial support to the family of 8-year-old victim Martin Richard, whose mother and sister were also seriously wounded in the blast. There is also a Facebook campaign that is active to raise money for the family.

One Fund Boston, Inc has been established by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino to help the people most affected. Click here to donate.

Help the Helpers

Oswalt offered another good piece of advice when he tweeted out a quote from Fred Rogers (aka Mr Rogers) “Look for the helpers. You’ll always find people who are helping.”

To assist the people who are helping, you can get involved with the main disaster relief and emergency response organizations.

The Red Cross is one of the larger options. The Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts has donated blood and provide support directly to the scene and the victims. Currently, there is enough blood banked for the victims of this event, but the organization urges those who want to be involved to make an appointment to give blood in the coming weeks and months at their local Red Cross. To do so, you can call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit them online.

Many of the marathon runners and spectators jumped in yesterday and provided immediate help for the victims. They were able to help because they had received Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED course. To help be better prepared, you can also work with the Red Cross to register for these courses or download the Red Cross First Aid app, which has simple lifesaving information.

You can also make a financial donation to help the Red Cross, which responds thousands of domestic and international disasters. Donate to Red Cross Disaster Relief or text RECROSS to 90999 to donate $10 via your cell phone plan.

In addition to the Red Cross, the Salvation Army is the other large organization assisting victims. The Salvation Army set up canteens throughout the city and is on site at the Family Assistance Center in Boston Park Plaza Castle. Right now, the organization is welcoming donations to To support its Emergency Disaster Services, click here to give what you can.

Lastly, all of the Boston area hospitals took in victims after the attacks. Click the link to donate to the Boston’s Children’s Hospital.

Grassroots efforts with #BostonHelp

In addition to these larger organizations, there is also a grassroots movement for how to help. Many efforts are being organized on Twitter, using the #BostonHelp.

There are fundraising efforts from the tech community. Tech Underwriting Greater Good (TUGG) launched a campaign on to for donations that will go to the Red Cross, Children’s Hospital and more. Area restaurant, El Pelon Taqueria welcomed those displaced tweeting “open wifi, place to charge cell, or just don’t want to be alone, food and drinks – pay only if you can.”

In addition, the 26 Acts of Kindness movement that originated after Sandy Hook is also being reinvigorated for the victims of the marathon. Participants set out to do 26 selfless acts, chronicled on Facebook and now on Twitter as #26Acts2.

Runners Unite

The running community has also been especially touched by this effort. Today, runners are being encouraged to wear their bibs and Jerseys in support of Boston. On Twitter, and Instagram you can see all the support with photos posted to the #runnersunite. And on Google you can log in to Run for Boston and register your miles. It’s not about raising money, but an effort from the community to show support.

Larger runs are being organized in support. Right now, Boston College has set up a walk from BC to Boston for the community to stand united. The walk is scheduled for Friday, April 19.

Bryant University is holding a one-mile run today at 2:50, starting with a moment of silence. The run is being called the ‘‘Run as One.’’

How are you helping the helpers after the Boston attack? Share any and all the volunteer efforts you know about. For more ways to give back, check out the complete Voluntourism Archives.

By Lily J. Kosner for

Feature image credit: Instagram user @roanzone