Newlywed Jessica Kensky Downes and Patrick Downes, who each lost a leg due to a bomb explosion at the Boston Marathon on Monday, have experienced first-hand the evil humans are capable of, but they have also witnessed the goodness in mankind. Less than a week after the Boston Marathon bombing, people across the United States – many complete strangers to the Downes – have donated nearly $600,000 to help the couple with their medical bills.
Crowdfunding site GiveForward has raised $575,579 of the goal of $1 million for the couple who has been married for less than a year, while GoFundMe has raised $12,487 out of a goal of $250,000 for the Downes.
The GiveForward description for the "Help for Patrick and Jess" page reads in part:
"We all remember BC Pat – innocent, perpetually polite, the ultimate Boston boy who was nicknamed "Jesus" in high school for his goodness. … [W]hen I watched them wed in Boston this past August, I knew I was watching the union of one of the greatest loves I will encounter in my lifetime. She has the spirit of a lion, and combined with Patrick's good (the most good!) heart and interminable support for his wife, their beautiful, beautiful love and devotion of their wonderful families and loyal friends, I have no doubt in my mind that they will persevere through this horrific time and will soon enough live happy, normal, fulfilling lives."
In total, the crowdfunding sites have received more than 23,000 pledges totally over $2 million for the victims and families of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing incident.
This past Monday, two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, killing three people – including an eight-year-old child – and injuring more than 170 people. The suspected culprits are brothers Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19. The older brother Tamerlan was killed on Friday during an intensive shootout with police, while the younger Dzhokhar was captured Friday evening and is currently being hospitalized for reportedly a leg as well as a throat bullet wounds. Dzhokhar, who is in serious condition, may be charged as soon as Sunday.
While crowdfunding sites such as GiveForward, GoFundMe, and YouCaring for the Boston blast are started by family members, friends and sometime the individuals themselves, another charity site for Boston victims was recently started and is more official in nature. The One Fund Boston, Inc., was newly formed by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino.
"I am humbled by the outpouring of support by the business community and individuals who are united in their desire to help; The One Fund Boston will act as a central fund to receive much needed financial support," Governor Patrick said in a statement. "At moments like this, we are one state, one city, and one people."
Meanwhile, Mayor Menino said, "Within an hour, I had calls from business leaders and local philanthropists who, like me, were heartbroken by the impact this hideous tragedy has had on individuals, their families, and friends. And they want to do everything they can to help these people physically and psychologically in the future."
John Hancock, which has been headquartered in Boston for over 150 years, has already committed $1 million to The One Fund Boston charity.
The One Fund Boston will be managed by Kenneth Feinberg, who was in charge of the Sept. 11th Victim Compensation Fund and the BP oil spill fund, according to NBC News.