One of the new features of charitable giving in America is that we've cut out the middle man, opting instead to give directly to whatever cause we see fit. In the aftermath of Boston, some of the week's victims have had more success than others.
Those injured in the blasts, the family of the young boy killed at the race, and the guy whose boat was damaged are all potential recipients of hundreds of thousands of dollars. As of writing, people have contributed over $2.3 million to a variety of grassroots efforts to help offset bills and keep food on the table. Some, like Jeff Bauman, didn't have health insurance to offset the costs of his horrible injuries. Americans have been willing to help.
We found a half-dozen examples of fundraising efforts for Boston victims, and took a look at how they compared.
Yesterday, the Boston Police heroically found the missing suspect behind the tragic Marathon Bombing. Thank God we got him! But unfortunately he was hiding in Watertown resident David Henneberry's boat, which was riddled with bullet holes in the standoff.
Let's pool some money for repairs! I'm putting in $500 myself to start this off. David's a modern American hero. The boat will probably be held up as evidence for some time, so if we're able to get up to $50,000 then he'll be able to get a brand new boat!
Amount raised: $13,099.26
Number of donors: 390
N.B., The Richards have at least two sites.
On Monday April 15, 2013 - a day Bostonians celebrate, Patriots Day and the running of the Boston Marathon ended in tragedy for The Richard Family and many others. The Richard Family lost 8 year old Martin, and Mrs. Richard and her daughter were critically injured. This fund is set up to help Bill incur any costs (and I am sure there will be many in the coming months) of all this selseless violence.
Amount raised (total): $43,333
Number of donors (total): 754
Roseann Sdoia was severely injured as a spectator at the Boston Marathon on 4/15/13. Roseann suffered serious injuries as a result of the explosions and has lost a leg above the knee. She has undergone several surgeries; first, to stabilize her and perform life saving measures and also to remove shrapnel from her abdomen. Surgery was required to remove a portion of a tree that became a projectile and seriously wounded her left leg. And most traumatic, the amputation of her right leg and burns covering portions of her body. … She is a true Bostonian, living in the city and being one of the most loyal sports fans I know!
Amount raised: $268,629
Number of donors: 3,626
Celeste and Sydney were badly injured in the blasts at the Boston Marathon on 4/15/13. Sydney suffered severe injuries as a result of being hit with shrapnel and Celeste has lost both her legs below her knees. There is a long road ahead - both physically and emotionally - and we're hoping to relieve some of the financial burden by raising funds in their name. Please help spread the word and donate if you can. The outpouring of emotion and support has been nothing less than amazing and the family is extremely grateful for your prayers and warm words.
Amount raised: $631,280
Number of donors: 9,643
We have created this fundraiser to raise money to help support our dear friend, Jeff and his family. As most of you know, Jeff was severely affected by the tragedy that had taken place at the Patriots Day Boston Marathon this year. Throughout this difficult time we want to help in every which way we possibly can to get Bauman back on track as soon as possible.
Amount raised: $655,761
Number of donors: 14,241
On April 15, 2013 Patrick and Jess both sustained severe leg injuries after one of the bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. This GiveForward page has been created by friends of theirs in order to give friends and family a place to post comments of love and support. We are also asking those who feel comfortable to leave a donation that will go towards the medical bills and out-of-pocket costs associated with both of their surgeries and rehabilitation.
Amount raised: $689,241
Number of donors: 11,813
The gold standard for these efforts, of course, is Karen the bus monitor.
Above is a video of a 68-year-old bus monitor named Karen Klein being verbally harassed by a group of middle schoolers on their way home from Athena Middle School in Greece, New York. Throughout the ten minute video, you can hear the kids verbally berate the woman ... Now, I don’t know about you, but that broke my heart. There’s even a point in the video where one of the kids touches Karen’s arm in an attempt to make fun of her. I’m not sure why these kids would want to bully a senior citizen to tears, but I feel we should do something, or at least try.
Amount raised: $703,168
Number of donors: 32,251
It's worth remembering that it isn't only charity cases for which people are going direct. People are also funding movies.
I am currently the happiest blonde in a hamster ball the world has ever seen. [Ed - Etc.]
Amount raised: $5,702,153
Number of donors: 91,585
That's more than twice the amount raised by all of the charitable efforts, combined. Or, if we add it to the graph:
America is a generous country. But we're more generous in some ways than others. This morning, Zach Braff announced his own Kickstarter, aimed at raising money for a new indy film. It's already raised more than any of the charitable efforts above.