Boston, we have a problem.
Back in April/May I did this fundraiser for the 14 amputee survivors of the marathon attacks. Every day for 33 days I climbed the Bunker Hill Monument to raise money for them. It was a huge success and I was able to give each of the 14 survivors a check for $900.
One of the amputees, who I met as a result of this fundraiser, has generously helped me to locate a couple of amputees whose names weren't available to me through internet searches. This weekend, she sadly informed me that there are actually SIXTEEN amputee survivors, not fourteen as the press had originally reported. That means that TWO of them have not received our help.
With all of the money already distributed, in order to fulfill the mission of the fundraiser and serve all of the amputees (an injury that is near and dear to me and my family, as I have two first cousins who are amputees), I need to raise an additional $1,800 so I can give them each the same amount of $900.
I wouldn't be asking for help at this late date if I wasn't in such a pickle. But I'm 100% committed to doing the right thing here.
There are two more people who lost a leg on that awful day. They have chosen to remain anonymous, shying away from the press. While their privacy is helping them heal, it also means that they need our help more than ever because they haven't engaged in any independent fundraising.
Please help to spread the word. Please give a little bit more if you can. An office collection, an email to friends, sharing this update to the story on Facebook and Twitter - these are all ways to help.
Donations in any amount will be tremendously appreciated.
To everyone who helped to make this fundraiser such a success initially, I thank you. Your continued support is priceless.
__________Below is the initial description of this fundraiser.
Every day for 30 days I am climbing the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown to raise money to support the 14 victims of the Boston Marathon attacks who are now amputees. To reach the top of the monument takes 294 steps. My goal is to raise $1 per step, for a total of $8,820.
The 30-day climb started on April 23 and will end on May 22.
Every dollar will help to make the lives of new amputees better. They will need to pay for medical bills, prosthetics, prescriptions, new clothes (yes, new clothes), modifications to their homes (such as rails in bathrooms, etc.), transportation if they can't drive, cash to pay bills while they can't work, and so much more. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THEM!
Daily updates are available on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ElenaBarbera1
There are THREE WAYS TO HELP!
1. DONATE - No donation is too small! You can give right here on this page or mail a check. You can make your check out to the "Boston Bomb Victim Bunker Hill Fund" and send it to:
Attn: Bunker Hill Fund
512 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
2. CLIMB WITH ME. Contact me personally at [email redacted] and I'll give you my climb schedule. Pick a day to come with me, then tell all your friends, family, neighbors and professional networks about it. Ask them to support your climb with a donation.
3. SHARE THIS PAGE. Please share this page on Facebook, Twitter and via e-mail.
Thank you to everyone who will donate, share, or climb with me. There is never enough we can do to support the victims of this tragedy.
A bit about verification. I opened this page on April 23. Century Bank has helped to set up a special account for the funds raised and will help with disbursement of the funds to the 14 amputee survivors from the attacks. City Councilor Sal LaMattina will be helping to facilitate communication with the survivors' families to make sure the money gets into the right hands. Several local leaders will be climbing the monument with me and helping to raise money, including City Councilor Sal LaMattina, State Representative Aaron Michelwitz, Boston Mayoral Candidate John R. Connolly and former gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker.
UPDATE: April 24. I spoke to a rep in the Mayor's office and they will be working with me to make sure the money we raise goes directly to the 14 amputees. I'll add more details about how this will happen as I get them. We've got 28 days of climbing to go, so there's a little time. :)
UPDATE: April 24. I met Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina at an event tonight and he generously promised to help me get the funds we raise into the hands of the 14 victims of the marathon bombings who are now amputees. He got it. And I'm so grateful. :)
UPDATE: April 28. So much is happening. Century Bank and Green Oak Financial are both committed to helping with this fund by setting up a proper account and making sure everything is in order from an IRS standpoint. It's more complicated than I thought, but it's necessary to get ALL of this money into the hands of the survivors who are now amputees. Thank you to both of these amazing organizations for your invaluable expertise and assistance!
UPDATE: April 28. State Representative Aaron Michelwitz and Boston Mayoral Candidate John R. Connolly have both committed to supporting the fund by climbing the monument. These guys are so committed - truly Boston Strong!!
UPDATE: April 30. Charlie Baker, former Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate and possible contenter next term, will be climbing with me next week!
UPDATE: April 30. Tomorrow the New York Times is sending a reporter to climb with me and do a write up on the fundraiser! Also, the Boston University Daily Free Press is running a story. Thank you to Jess Bidgood and Gretchen Ertl of the NYT and Rachel Riley of the DFP!!
UPDATE: May 8. So many more people have joined this effort! On Sunday, State Representative Aaron Michelwitz climbed and is helping to spread the word. Separately, my sister has recruited 5 bars and 1 firehouse in New Jersey to help out, and they are all collecting donations for the amputees. Thank you!
UPDATE: May 18. All the updates for this page are on the main portion of the page, now that I've figured it out! So if you're looking for up-to-date info, just look there. :)
A bit about me. In case you don't know me, thank you for visiting this page and reading this far. I am a freelance writer and have lived in Boston for 14 years, although I'm originally from Brooklyn, NY. The name of my company is Worthy Words Writing. I'm currently President of the BNI Platinum Chapter networking group which meets on Boylston Street every Wednesday. And most importantly, I'm a mom. :)
Like everyone, I want to do more to help the bombing victims. I can only give so much money, so I came up with the idea to climb the monument to raise money from my extensive network of family and friends. The Bunker Hill Monument is the most prominent symbol of freedom in Boston, so its involvement is fitting. Because I work from home, I have the flexibility to take the time out to climb.
Why the amputees? I chose to target raising money for the 14 people who lost limbs in the attacks for personal reasons. I have two first cousins who are amputees, so I've seen how difficult it can be to go through multiple surgeries, life with pain (and painkillers), literally learning to walk again, plus the emotional toll it takes. I also volunteer for an organization called iPods For Wounded Veterans which is based in Wilmington, MA. Twice in 2012 I traveled to Washington, DC-area military hospitals to visit severely wounded veterans that just returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of these young men that I met (some are women, but I haven't personally met any yet) are single, double, or triple amputees. Some also have traumatic brain injuries. All have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Seeing these injuries first hand and talking with these veterans firms my resolve to help the victims of the Boston Marathon attacks. They were all thrown into a battlefield without any warning, training or weapons to protect themselves.
We can't erase what happened, but we CAN make the future easier for them.
Please email me through this page or call me anytime with questions.