Following the explosions at the Boston Marathon that killed at least three people and injured more than 170, many in the business community are showing their support by facilitating aid and accommodations.
Big business is lending a hand. Google made its Person Finder tool available so that the friends and families of runners and spectators could locate their loved ones. Likewise, American Airlines, Delta and British Airways waived penalties for customers who need to change their flights into or out of Boston last week.
Several start-ups are also offering support to victims and displaced marathoners, including:
Boston tech community
Boston-based technology start-ups have joined forces in a campaign to raise money for Technology Underwriting Greater Good, a philanthropic organisation. They’ve set a goal of $50 000 and will funnel money to organisations working with victims of the bombing.
“The money is going to go to the support and care of the families and victims, and then the overage to the Red Cross,” said Phil Beauregard, a campaign organiser and the chief executive of Objective Logistics, in an email to BostInno, a local news site that covers start-ups and innovation. As of noon on Tuesday 16 April, the campaign had already raised nearly $24 000.
Peer-to-peer apartment-sharing platform Airbnb waived its service fees for people affected by the bombing. Anyone checking into a Boston property early last week and checking out by Saturday didn’t have to pay any fees. The company has also created a special web page for people to find or offer properties for rent in the Boston area.
Vacation-rental company HomeAway has set up a web page to connect those who need a place to stay in Boston with property owners. It is also hosting a spreadsheet where those seeking shelter can explain their needs and provide contact information. HomeAway currently has 184 vacation homes listed for rent in Boston, and owners typically offer a discounted rate or a free stay in disaster recovery situations.