Thousands in Boston offer to help runners

April 15, 2013

More than 8,000 volunteers throughout the Boston area signed up to house runners, families and spectators stranded after Monday’s deadly explosions at the Boston Marathon essentially shut down the city.

The outpouring on a Google doc — reflecting a tough town that sticks together when attacked — captured the Internet late Monday as well, being passed around and inspiring readers worldwide.

“Warms this cynic’s heart,’’ tweeted Justin Jelinek of Minnesota.

“Tomorrow’s goal: send thank-yous to as many of these people as possible,’’ wrote Joey Adams, an Ohio University student from Cleveland.

The Google doc was developed by Boston.com as a quick way to get housing and help for people after transportation was disrupted in the wake of the midafternoon explosions and the chaos that followed. The trust and altruism of the volunteers contrasted with the fear many felt with so many questions in the explosions — and the precautions that officials were urging.

The volunteers’ kindnesses were myriad. “I don’t live in the city but can come get anyone who needs a place to stay,’’ wrote Jerri Milbank of Westborough, Mass.

Michelle Zwi of Boston wrote: “We have an L couch to offer, one long section and a short section that can fit a smaller (5ft) person. Not much but we’re happy to help!”

In about an hour, a tweet I sent had 8,970 people who looked at the Google doc. My favorite response? From Dan Starzec Jr. of Naperville Ill.: “This is what America is.’’

Beard, the Post’s director of digital content, is a former editor of Boston.com.

David Beard is a writer, editor and director of digital content for The Post. He also edits The Optimist, a weekly e-newsletter, and has been a foreign correspondent.
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Politics