How to Donate, Volunteer and Be Prepared After the Boston Marathon Bombings

A short list of ways you and your volunteers can take action after the Boston Marathon BombingsSince Monday many, many people have asked us how they can help the victims of the bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. So we’ve put together a short list of ways you and your volunteers can respond to the awful events in Boston with support, action and goodwill:

Microsoft’s HelpBridge App

Microsoft's new Helpbridge mobile app will help you give and get help during and after a tragedy or crisis like the Boston Marathon BombingsThis new mobile app, recently released by Microsoft in partnership with Aidmatrix, GuideStar, Mobile Giving Foundation, Network for Good and VolunteerMatch, helps people get help and give help during and after disasters.

HelpBridge will keep you connected with loved ones and show you how to give time and money to support relief and response efforts. The app is available for iOS, Android and Microsoft users.

VolunteerMatch Disaster Map

Use the VolunteerMatch Disaster Map app online to find and post volunteer opportunities around disaster relief and preparedness in Boston or in your own community.As part of our mission to help connect good people and good causes, VolunteerMatch maintains a map of disaster-related volunteer opportunities, so it’s easier for you to help your community when disaster strikes or respond today to current relief opportunities.

Support Local Organizations

What are the organizations on the ground helping the victims in Boston? You can use VolunteerMatch to find nonprofits in the area to support. Or, search for disaster relief and response organizations in your own community to help them prepare for a future crisis.

Get Trained in Disaster Preparedness and Response

Join an American Red Cross Disaster Action Team to help your community prepare for disasters and crises like the Boston Marathon bombings.
The American Red Cross of Central South Carolina is recruiting volunteers for its Disaster Action Team.

The life-saving bravery of the first responders in the aftermath of the Boston attacks has been an inspiration for us all. You can join a first response team by getting trained as part of a disaster response program.

Your local Red Cross’ Disaster Action Teams are a great option, or you can contact your community’s police and fire departments to learn more.



Emotionally, we all have different ways of responding to the horror of events like the Boston bombings. Some of us turn to family and friends, some of us retreat inwards, others get angry, and others search for distractions from the pain.

However, there’s one urge we all have when a catastrophe strikes: We all want to help. Hopefully this list will help you and your volunteers to do that.

Choose one or more that resonate with you – no matter where you live or what your personal situation is, if you want to help there’s a way. After all, that’s what volunteering is all about.

(photo: smi23le/Flickr)