The Lookout

Fund launched to pay for physical therapy, counseling for Boston victims

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
The Lookout

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An American flag is attached to a barrier near the site of the Boston bombings. (Dylan Stableford/Yahoo News)

The organizers of National High-5 Day have launched an initiative to help pay for physical therapy and mental health counseling for Boston Marathon bombing victims and first responders.

A campaign, found at Rally.org, was launched on National High-5 Day (April 18), three days after the bombings. It has so far collected nearly $5,000 from more than 1,500 supporters. The money is to be used specifically for services often not covered by victims' insurance companies.

The charitable organization was able to partner with Boston-area providers who were willing to offer discounted rates as part of the campaign. "They're lowering their usual rates so that each $5 donation will sponsor approximately five minutes of physical therapy or mental health care," Greg Harrell-Edge, the executive director of the National High-5 Project, explained to Yahoo News.

[Related: Photo of Boston cop's act of kindness goes viral]

Dr. Leon Scott, an EMT and first responder who was stationed at mile 26 of the marathon, recommended that the group focus its efforts on physical therapy and mental health fundraising, Harrell-Edge said.

The first recipient, another first responder to last week's attack, received mental health counseling on Wednesday, with National High-5 Day picking up the entire tab. The campaign is also in contact with the Boston Public Health Commission and Boston Emergency Medical Services to help coordinate care.

"We are scheduling conversations with other victims, but we're proud that the program is already going," Harrell-Edge said.

The campaign initially aimed to raise $5,555, with any additional money collected going to the One Fund, which has become a centralized feeder for charitable efforts in the wake of the bombings.

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