Be The Change

Tragedy in Boston: How to Help

One Fund Boston

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston's Mayor Tom Menino says the city has established 'One Fund Boston'. "At times like this we are one state, one city and once people," Governor Patrick said. Boston based insurance company John Hancock has already committed $1 million to the fund, which will raise money for families most affected by the bombings.

Donate to Onefundboston.org

The Red Cross

The Red Cross recommends people download their First Aid app which provides information on how to help in emergency situations.

The Red Cross is on the ground and has mobilized emergency response vehicles and more than 100 trained disaster workers who are providing food, water, medical and emotional care for those affected by the bombings.

Donate to or volunteer with the American Red Cross

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has established a specific fund for the victims in Boston and you can donate to it here.

Boston Children's Hospital

Ten of the victims were taken to Boston's Children's Hospital. The hospital is updating its website with news as it becomes available. Follow @BostonChildrens on Twitter for updates.

The Children's Hospital website also has useful resources for guidance on how to talk to children after a tragedy.

Donate to Boston's Children's Hospital

B Strong hat

Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association and the Boston Red Sox have all joined up to donate a combined$600,000 to victims of the marathon bombing and their families. The Red Sox and MLB will also donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of 'B Strong' hats with the Red Sox letter 'B', to The One Fund, created by Mayor Menino.

Buy a 'B Strong' hat

Boston Marathon Relief Fund

Semper Fi fund has created a Boston Marathon relief fund. Donations raised will go to send "staff, volunteers, and amputees wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan to Boston, to provide encouragement, guidance and immediate financial support to victims and their families."To donate, please go to the Americas Fund website and select Boston Marathon Relief fund from the drop-down menu.

Donate to the Boston Marathon Relief Fund

Utilize social media

People often turn to Twitter for quick ways to connect. If you are in the Boston area and are looking for organizations seeking volunteers, or if you are far away but want to keep up with ways o help, follow the hashtag #BostonHelp on Twitter.

Disaster in West, Texas: How to Help

Give blood

With more than 160 people injured and others unaccounted for, the need for blood is great and will increase. Currently The Blood Center of Central Texas and Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster are asking primarily for O positive, O negative and type A blood. The Red Cross of Central Texas has a complete list of area locations currently taking blood donations.

Shelter, food and clothing

The Salvation Army quickly mobilized in Texas to provide food, drink and emotional and spiritual care to the survivors and first responders in West. It has set up several locations in and around the town.

In addition to nourishment and counsel, the Salvation Army came prepared for the weather. The temperature dropped overnight with severe weather moving through the area. The group has 50 cases of rain suits, jackets and blankets to distribute. The best way to assist The Salvation Army's efforts is through financial donation, which you can do here. In addition, Texas Gov. Rick Perry's website has a list of shelters currently taking in victims as well as a list of local organizations taking donations of clothing and other helpful items.

Make Donations

Baylor University is fifteen minutes away from the town of West and consider all of its residents as their neighbors. University spokesperson Lori Fogleman said that thirteen students, forty-three faculty and staff and two hundred and sixty-two alumni call West home and so the university is pledging to support this town in its recovery. They've established the West Relief Fund and will collect donations for specific projects deemed necessary by city officials in West. "Absolutely 100% of the profits will go back into the city of West," Fogleman said. They will work together with city officials to determine what is needed and then students and faculty will lead groups in completing each project using the funds the university has raised.

The Society of St. Vincent dePaul's is also collecting both monetary and material donations. They also plan to send disaster case management teams to meet with survivors throughout the recovery process.

Avoid Charity Scams

Unfortunately, after every major disaster, there are bottom feeders that prey on well-intentioned people who want to help. With social media, it's easier than ever for these buttheads to come up with new ways to take advantage of people. The Better Business Bureau offers some tips to help avoid being scammed. You can find out more here.