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A little over a week after the bombings at the Boston Marathon I still find myself pausing in disbelief at what occurred in this wonderful city. How and why anyone would want to hurt innocent people on such an important day is truly baffling.

How quickly the city, country and world banded together to offer hope, support and funding for those affected is amazing. I am extremely proud to live in a city full of such caring individuals. A perfect example of this is One Fund Boston created by Hill Holliday from a conference call the morning after the bombings with Jim Gallagher, EVP of John Hancock, which has title-sponsored the race for years and Mike Sheehan and Karen Kaplan, Hill Holliday CEO and president. As of April 25th the fund has raised over $23 million.

As someone who works in and is passionate about non-profit fundraising, it brings me pure joy to see individuals and corporations give to those in need. In addition to working in a non-profit I am also an alumni volunteer for a greater Boston area college where I attended as an undergraduate. Like those who banded together to help the individuals and families affected by the tragedy, I too find it extremely important to volunteer and help others.

The immediate creation of funds for Boston as well as for individuals affected was immediate and has raised millions of dollars thus far. Seeing people utilize social media to promote these funds and drive fundraising is amazing. It goes to show how small donations go such a long way and how the snowball effect of media and word of mouth can be used to do wonderful things.

I volunteer because one person can make a difference. One person can reach out and touch the lives of many and create an impact. A lot of times you just need to ask someone for help, whether that be physical help or monetary, and people are willing lend a hand…or a few dollars.

The tragedy at the Marathon also showed me that there is almost always a silver lining to disasters like these. People will unite together on a common front regardless of race, religion or sexuality.  They will work hard to help those less fortunate than themselves and use their strengths to make an impact on other people’s lives. What happened on Marathon Monday was a horrendous tragedy, but I am so proud of all the first-responders and volunteers there that day and those who continue to donate their time, energy and money to helping those affected by those events.

Brittany Topper was a Master’s candidate in the Boston College Higher Education program and a Graduate Assistant in Development at Stonehill College at the time of the Boston Marathon tragedy.  The author’s views are their own and do not represent those of any institution, entity or individual.  Please feel free to share this on your social network of choice using the link icons below.  We also welcome you to share your reactions and stories in the comments section below so we may all benefit from your thoughts and wisdom.

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