Today, twenty-five miles from the city, it is an unusual spring day. I’ve taken a beach chair onto my yet-to-be assembled patio while the sun teasingly pokes out from behind grim clouds. Today is a Friday and unlike most Fridays, I am watching the world from the comfort of my parent’s house in a Boston Bruins tee shirt. Instead of periodically wondering what members of my family are doing, my mind is instead curious about where my friends and co-workers are…and if they’re as on edge as I am.
Almost four days ago, life as a Bostonian was irrevocably changed. A day we’ve come to know and love as a day of joy and celebration was added to the history books for more nefarious reasons than anyone could have ever anticipated. I don’t need to regale any audience with the details of the events that took place because I am quite certain that between The Associated Press, Boston.com and CNN, that there has been enough media coverage of the last few days for me to never want to watch the news again. Despite all that, like many Bostonians, I am in shock and disbelief over what has occurred in my great city over the past few days.
It does not seem real or possible that places I once explored as a college student are being dissected as crime scenes. I have been making every effort to counter every news update or tweet with outreach to friends who are enduring the mandatory lock down in the city and many of the more directly outlying suburbs. (To all of you who are slowly growing weary of the security measures, I’m pretty sure I speak for the rest of the Commonwealth when I say “thank you for your patience”.) As the minutes, hours and days pass, I hope for the same things that Martin or Krystle or Lingzi probably did. However, wishing will not fix anything on its own. I can not just hope the culprit will be apprehended…I am far too “hands on” for that. That being said, here are the ways you and I can be of help to the people of Boston:
Donate money: The following charities and organizations are a great way to help the people most affected by the tragedy that occurred in Boston on April 15th;
Give blood: “The Red Cross says it has enough blood now” (via BuzzFeed) but the victims of this week’s tragedy have a long road ahead complete with many surgeries.Visit The Red Cross tool to help you find out where you can give locally.
Support local businesses: Once the lockdown is lifted, places like Forum, Marathon Sports and Sólás Irish Pub that once made up much of the culture of Boylston St. will need as much support as possible. While the Copley-area community rebuilds and the city of Boston gets back on its feet, supporting the surrounding businesses (and their sister locations!) will be key in repairing the culture in this section of Back Bay.
Attend a fundraiser: BostInno Event – Monday, April 22nd at Empire from 6-8pm (Bar proceeds to benefit the victims and their families.)
Friends with Benefits Gala -Thursday, April 25th at The State Room from 6-9pm (Benefitting The One Fund, College Bound Dorchester, Doug Flutie Foundation for Autism, Ellie Fund, International Rett Syndrome Foundation and the Boston Bruins Foundation. Tickets start at $100.)
Buy a t-shirt: Show your support and be BOSTON STRONG by ordering a $20 t-shirt Emerson student Nick Reynolds designed by clicking here. (All proceeds “will be donated to a charity related tot he events that transpired.” via BostInno)
Rue La La, the -on-line deal finder, has also designed a special shirt to help raise funds. You can find it buy joining the site here.
Be nice: If humanity has learned anything from this, its that life is precious. Bake cookies for your office. Be patient and kind to others who may need longer time to heal. Keep calm and BostON.
Authors Note: If you know of any other ways to help the victims, their families and the people of Boston, please leave comments in the box below! Be strong!