Boston Marathon Explosions: How You Can Help

Takepart.com

A series of explosions less than 50 yards from the finish line of the Boston Marathon has left three people dead and over 170 more injured. If you have photos or video from the scene that you think might be helpful to investigators, call 1-800-494-TIPS. Authorities are still investigating who set the bombs and why, but there are several things you can do right now to help in the immediate aftermath of this tragedy.

(We'll be listing more ways you can provide help to those involved in the Boston Marathon explosions, so check back to this page in the coming days.)

UPDATES: 4/16

*TUGG (Technology Underwriting Greater Good), a project of the Boston technology community, has set up a fund in support of victims. All donations will go to the Red Cross, the Boston Children's Hospital, and other groups working with victims of the explosions. Donate here.

*The RYOT Foundation has set up a Boston Marathon Victims Fund to support victims and their families. Donate here.

*Support the Salvation Army's Emergency Disaster Services. If you're looking for a secular way to support relief, Atheists Giving Aid has set up a victims' fund.

*As she did after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, Ann Curry is asking individuals to perform random acts of kindness for Bostonians. If you're in, tweet your support with #26Acts2.

4/15 - Initial Ways to Help

*Concerned about a runner in the marathon? You can see his/her last check in on the Boston Marathon site. You can also track down a loved one through Google's Person Finder if you're concerned they might have been involved in the explosions.

*If you were in the area during the explosions, register your current status on the Red Cross Safe and Well site. This way, anyone looking for you can see that you’re alive and well. (Also, if you’re in downtown Boston right now, text message loved ones instead of calling. In this critical moment, it’s important to keep as much cell phone bandwidth open as possible.)

*Donate blood. It’s important, not just now, but always. You can make sure your city has enough blood in the event of a disaster by donating regularly. (In Boston? Here’s where you go.) Right now, there is plenty of donated blood in Boston to meet demand, according to the American Red Cross.

Thanks to generosity of volunteer blood donors there is currently enough blood on the shelves to meet demand. #BostonMarathon

— American Red Cross (@RedCross) April 15, 2013

*The Boston Mayor’s 24-hour hotline is 617-635-4500. That’s the number to call for information about first responders. If you were in the area during the Boston Marathon explosions and saw anything, and feel like you might have information that’s helpful to investigators, call 1-800-494-TIPS.

*In you live in Boston and have extra space in your home, consider providing temporary lodging for those in the area who are stranded due to the bombing. You can fill out this form if you're stuck in Boston and need a place to stay, as well.

*The Salvation Army is providing food and counseling to first responders in Boston. Donate to their efforts.

*One of the bombs was reportedly detonated near a VIP area for families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. You can still make a donation to the Newtown Memorial Fund as families work to recover from that tragedy. Here are some other ways to support Newtown families. (Note: It is unclear if the Newtown families were in any way targeted during the Boston Marathon explosions.)

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• Hurricane Sandy Recovery: How to Help

• Tornado Victims: How to Help

• Japan Earthquake: Lessons From Disaster...and How to Help


Jonathan Harris is Participant Medias Director of Digital Social Action.

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