One Fund announces second round of donations

By Gwen Schanker, News Correspondent

One Fund Boston, a non-profit organization aimed at providing financial support to victims of last year’s Boston Marathon bombings, has announced the future release of a second distribution of donations.

Governor Deval Patrick and Boston’s then-Mayor Thomas Menino first formed the One Fund just one day after two pressure cooker bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. The bombs detonated near the marathon’s finish line, killing three onlookers and injuring more than 260 others.

 After receiving a cornerstone donation of $1 million from John Hancock, the One Fund cemented itself as the central recipient for donations from people who want to reach out to victims and their families, according to The One Fund website.

 Donations have come from all corners of the business community, as well as from other non-profit organizations around the globe. Many contributions have also come from citizens, ranging from children to CEOs. In fact, the majority of donations have come from individual contributors. According to the fund’s website, more than 195,000 people have donated to date, and the organization has received funds from all 50 states and over 50 countries.

 The organization initially disbursed $61 million last July to about 230 individuals, according to a recent Boston Globe article, who were directly affected by the bombings. This sizable sum was collected within the first 90 days that the One Fund was active, which demonstrates just how instantaneous the public response was, both to the tragedy and to the subsequent appeal for support.

 Donations continued to trickle in as the year progressed. Currently, the second distribution is estimated at about $12 million, but One Fund officials anticipate an upsurge in receipt of donations as the first anniversary of the marathon bombings approaches, and simultaneously as the date approaches for the 2014 Marathon, according to the same Globe article.

 According to a press release from Jan. 2, 2014, the group’s board of directors met with their community council early this month to discuss plans for the second distribution, as well as the One Fund’s continuing role in the Boston community.

 In the first distribution of donations, 100 percent of the funds collected were disbursed to injured individuals, many of whom had had limbs amputated or were otherwise severely physically injured. The second time around, One Fund officials are discussing the possibility of keeping some money on reserve to help victims with unspecified future costs that may arise as a result of their injuries.

 The organization is also considering whether to distribute funds to those who were psychologically harmed by the bombings, even if they were not physically injured. One Fund officials have consulted families of victims, some of whom believe that witnesses to and emergency responders at the event should receive financial support, too.

 Conversations with those directly affected by the bombings played a crucial role in the One Fund’s decision to distribute a second round of donations, according to another Globe article. As the date for the second distribution approaches, the group will seek the assistance of a panel of experts and make more specific plans as to where the funds will be disbursed.

 Additionally, according to a press release, the Boston Athletic Association has offered the One Fund 50 charity numbers for the formation of a team of representatives from the organization to run in this year’s Boston Marathon.

 Support for victims of the bombings has recently come in from another source as well.  The Massachusetts Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime has recently announced that they will contribute $8.3 million in support for victims, witnesses, and first responders present at the 2013 Boston Marathon. The funds are aimed at addressing both the emotional and physical damage suffered by the aforementioned individuals.

In order to learn more about the One Fund or make a donation, visit their website at onefundboston.org or contact the organization, either via email: info@onefundboston.org, or through their main phone line: 1-855-617-FUND.

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