Thursday, April 18, 2013

Charity Raises $7 Million In Aftermath Of Boston Marathon Bombings

A fund created to raise money for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings has already received nearly $7 million in donations from corporate partners and individual donors.

One Fund Boston was launched on Tuesday by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to give philanthropists and other individuals a way to support the more than 180 individuals who were injured during the attacks on Monday. The $7 million raised so far includes a $1 million commitment from John Hancock Financial Services, which was one of the lead sponsors of the marathon.

Taking aside the donations from businesses and corporations, One Fund Boston has received $500,000 from 8,500 individual donors.

“I am humbled by the outpouring of support by the business community and individuals who are united in their desire to help,” Patrick said. “At moments like this, we are one state, one city, and one people.”

Mayor Menino said via a statement that he received calls from businesses and individuals who wanted to pledge money “within the hour” that the fund was established. “We are one Boston. We are one community. As always, we will come together to help those most in need. And in the end, we will all be better for it,” Mayor Menino said.

One Fund Boston will be headed by attorney Ken Feinberg, who was appointed in 2001 by the Attorney General of the United States to head the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. In 2010, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to administer the fund for those affected by the BP oil spill, and he also helped administer donations for the victims of the mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and at Virginia Tech.

“I am honored to serve at the request of both Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino,” Feinberg said in a press release. “I will do my best to justify their confidence in me as we move forward to design and administer an effective program following the terrible tragedy in Boston.”

Feinberg, who is himself a native of Boston, will head the fun entirely pro bono.

The Fund is currently in the process of applying for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service. A statement on the organization's website said that if the IRS makes the determination that it is worthy of being tax-exempt, that decision will be made retroactive to the date of the Fund's formation.

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