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Boston Strong…Philanthropy Strong

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It has been just two weeks since the Boston Marathon bombing and so much has happened in those 14 days that it seems like a compressed reality. Aside from the tragedy of the bombing and loss of life, limbs and innocence, a side of Boston and the nation has emerged that reflects an important feature of the Marathon itself.

There were no fewer than 23 nonprofit organizations raising money through the Marathon. Runner numbers are allotted to the NPO and runners are recruited to use them and to raise funds for their 26.2 mile journey. But from the moment of the bombing, that “love of humanity” philanthropic nature took on new and expanded meaning.

Runners, spectators, security and medical staff, and others became first responders amid the smoke and screams of the moment. They ran into the fog to help however they could, despite the unknown risk of further assault. They witnessed unspeakable injuries, anguish and sights that will always be with them and will always be a source of personal trauma.

And then there was the outpouring of contributions to the One Boston Fund in an effort for the Boston community, Marathon community and the nation to do “something” to help those affected. Contributions from around the world are now at $26 million and continuing to grow.

And then there was the “all hands on deck” effort to find the SOBs who did this. The nation was focused on those photos; tips poured in; heroic actions were taken by regular folks and the Tsarnaev brothers were identified within hours. They were on the run and a police officer tragically lost his life responding to their flight.

Then came the lockdown of Boston and many surrounding towns. The “Hub” was a ghost town, and law enforcement was everywhere – on the roads and in the sky. Citizens cooperated with remarkable obedience and respect for what needed to be done to get these guys. And our cooperation and patience was rewarded in short order.

The outpouring of grief for those who perished was without limit. The concern for those injured is palpable and will go on for months and years. And the appreciation for the hardship brought upon businesses and their employees who were shut out during the 10-day blur of events has been rewarded by an outpouring of patrons to Boylston Street with a show of “consumer” appreciation.

The Boston Marathon’s philanthropic underpinning was just the tip of the iceberg of a nation of people who care…who love humanity. We outnumber the misguided souls and their ilk who brought grief to this community, and it will be as clear as day when the 2014 Boston Marathon rolls around that acts of terror make us stronger and more aware of our humanity… and resolve to move beyond the pale.

For more information about Copley Raff and its spectrum of not for profit consulting services, please see www.copleyraff.com.

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