Only the people who were on the ground truly understand the horror of Monday's explosions near the Boston Marathon finish line.
Three people were killed. Hundreds wounded. Thirteen had limbs amputated due to the severity of their injuries. The New York Times reported that 27-year-old Jeff Bauman, Jr. was at the finish to cheer on his girlfriend and lost both his legs in the blast.
His mother told the Times he was doing well, but she worried about the coming days, when he'll no longer be heavily sedated.
He is a young, active person, she said. Now he’ll have to navigate the world as a double amputee.
Headwear company Headsweats knows that being an amputee doesn't have to hold people back from being athletes. In the wake of Monday's tragic events, the company launched a fundraiser for the One Fund established to help victims of the bombing by selling Headsweats hats and visors with a special Boston logo and the date “4.15.13” to commemorate the heroes of the day, remember those who lost their lives and encourage those whose lives are forever changed.
“What happened Monday was a tragedy,” said Headsweats President Mike McQueeney. “You watch it on television and it brings back memories of 9/11.”
McQueeney added that tragedies like Monday's demonstrate American resiliency and the willingness of citizens to come together to help one another heal. Fifty percent of his company's special headwear sales will go to the One Fund.
The program was launched in the early afternoon on April 17, and after just a few hours, Headsweats had sold more than 40 hats. The goal is to support a foundation that encourages amputees to be active or compete in sports.
"Headsweats is a small company, but we pick our battles,” McQueeney said, adding that founder Alan Romick doesn’t publicly support many organizations other than the Challenged Athlete Foundation, on whose board he serves. “Those who wear it do so with a sense of pride, to support the United States and acknowledge that it doesn’t just happen here, it can happen anywhere.”
These limited edition hats are currently available on the company’s website.
Guyot Designs, which specializes squishy bowls for people and pets, is donating 100 percent of its proceeds over the next two weeks to the Boston Athletic Association. The company's co-founder Sloan Russell was 100 feet away from the second explosion.
If you're interested in supporting the One Fund directly, established by Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to aid people most affected by the tragedy. Click here to donate. The One Fund already has received a $1 million donation from John Hancock.
“The Boston Marathon is about courage and resilience and community,” said John Hancock President Craig Bromley in a statement. “John Hancock, which has been headquartered in Boston for more than 150 years, will continue to stand by our city, the people of Boston, our community partners, the runners and the Boston Athletic Association as we unite in recovery and in renewal of our commitment to the Boston Marathon.”
If other outdoor or fitness industry companies are helping the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, we’d like to hear from you.