MIT student raises funds for young Boston bomb victim's family

Catherine sez,

On Monday, the Boston Marathon was bombed. On Monday night I was feeling blessed and thankful to not know anyone directly affected by the bombs. But on Tuesday morning I woke up to an email from my colleague Chris Peterson at the MIT Center for Civic Media. Chris's family are friends with the family who lost their son Martin in the attack. He sent us photos of he and his brothers playing with their children and the reality was all too close. It is devastating. This family will have a long road of healing in front of them that most of us cannot even begin to imagine.

My friends at MIT and I have spent the past couple of days helping Chris build a site to raise money for the Richard family. We are coordinating with St Marks Area Main Street, a non-profit community organization based in Dorchester, MA, where the family lives. The site is made with the support of the family and their spokesperson. 100% of funds raised goes to the family. Please give what you can. It's the very least we can do to come together in solidarity with these innocent people and help them to rebuild their lives in the wake of senseless violence. In the photo on the site Martin is holding a sign he made in school that says "Peace". Let us spread that peace.

The Richard Family Fund (Thanks, Catherine)


  1. It’s so good to see this kind of positive action in the wake of such an awful event.  Good on them.

  2. Isn’t there a better way to help?  They lost their son, not their home – how will giving money (to a family with a summer home in New Hampshire) help them?  Isn’t there a more effective use of people’s charitable impulses?  

    A genuine question, from a position of empathy with that family and everyone else affected.  

      1. Thanks so much for understanding my good intentions with your thoughtful reply.  What I imagine will happen is that the family will donate the money to a relevant cause or institution, since they are not themselves needy.  

        As far as people making personal donations, I think a donation to the hospital or any children’s charities in the name of the young victim might achieve the goal of the gesture more effectively.  In any case, I am in total agreement with the sentiment.

        Thanks again. I wish all the comfort in the world to their family, and everyone else’s.

        1. What I imagine will happen is that the family will donate the money to a relevant cause or institution, since they are not themselves needy.

          What are you on about? The father will be caring for a daughter who needs to learn how to walk again and a wife who’s recovering from brain surgery, both of whom will be suffering from severe psychological trauma, as will he. That’s extremely needy.

      2. My sympathies to the Richards family; it is a horrible loss.

        That said, “it matters less whom you help than that you help” is a statement I find reprehensible–especially when the appeal is framed in terms of solidarity. People with summer homes shouldn’t be asking for nor accepting hand-outs when there are people who are in need. And I believe that setting up the website amounts to asking. Why not have the website accept donations in the name of the Richards family for general fund mentioned above? Or to some other charitable cause?

        Again, I’m am sorry for the tragedy that has come to this family.

        1. Hi Saltine – 

          I’m sorry, I made my point poorly. By “it matters less whom you help than that you help”, I meant “you don’t need to help the Richards if you don’t like, so long as you help someone.” Apologies if it seemed otherwise. 

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