News / USA

    Boston Marathon Charity Donations Rise Year After Bombing

    Archivist Marta Crilly holds a poster, an artifact saved from the makeshift Boston Marathon bombing memorial, at the City Archives in Boston, Massachusetts, March 27, 2014.
    Archivist Marta Crilly holds a poster, an artifact saved from the makeshift Boston Marathon bombing memorial, at the City Archives in Boston, Massachusetts, March 27, 2014.
    Reuters
    Boston Marathon runners are poised to set an off-course record this year, in the form of charity fundraising.
     
    Donations to charity teams linked to the world-renowned race are flooding in from around the globe and are poised to break last year's record performance of $21 million, a year after a bombing at the finish line killed three people and injured more than 260.
     
    Some of the biggest beneficiaries will include foundations set up by families of the victims, as well as some of the Boston-area hospitals that provided life-saving support for the injured, according to charity organizers.
     
    “There isn't any question it will be a record year,” said Tom Crohan, head of the non-profit program for race sponsor John Hancock. “What last year's events did was broaden interest in the positive elements of this race. People realize, if I'm ever going to get involved, this is the year.”
     
    The Boston Marathon has long been a major fundraising event for charities, since committing to raise money can help a runner secure a berth without meeting the race's fast qualifying time requirement.
     
    Last year's bombing energized fundraising to a new level, bringing in more charity runners and greater interest from donors.
     
    The Boston Athletic Association accepted 9,000 additional runners this year to accommodate the thousands of people caught mid-course at the time of the bombings, bringing the race to its second-largest field of runners ever at 36,000. Many of those additional runners have found places on new or expanded charity teams.
     
    One of those, Team MR8, shines a light on the increased public support among donors. Set up by the family of eight-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in the explosions, the team's 100 runners have raised more than $800,000 in about four months.
     
    “This young boy was kind of the face of this. We're all affected, we all feel it,” said Susan Hurley, the founder of Charity Teams, which is managing Team MR8.
     
    Stephen Noxon, one of Team MR8's runners and a friend of the Richard family, said he has raised nearly $45,000 on his own.
     
    “The support has been amazing. These are people who identify in some capacity with the scope of this loss, people with kids, or people with a connection to the marathon,” he said.
     
    He said the team was counting down to the April 21 race.
     
    “It's going to be a very difficult day for us,” Noxon said. “The physical challenges will be small compared to the emotional ones. But we are looking forward to finally doing the run.”
     
    Team MR8's funds will support the Martin W. Richard Foundation, which aims to support peace through educational, athletic and community programs.
     
    Teams have also been set up in support of foundations for the other two people killed in the bombing, Krystle Campbell and Lu Lingzi, as well as Boston-area hospitals and charities that focus on research for injuries most closely related to the blasts, like amputation, and eye and ear damage.
     
    The Miles for Miracles team benefiting the Boston Children's Hospital - one of six trauma centers that handled blast victims - has raised $1.8 million so far, up from $1.6 million in 2013, said Stacey Devine, associate director of special events.
     
    Two ethnic Chechen brothers are suspected in last year's bombing. Investigators say they placed backpacks containing homemade pressure-cooker bombs near the race's finish line.
     
    One of the brothers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shoot-out with police days after the bombing. The other, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is awaiting trial on terrorism charges. He faces the death penalty if convicted.
     
    When the Boston Marathon first started accepting charity running teams in 1989, total donations amounted to $6,000.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.