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Most Charitable Cities of 2018

Fidelity Charitable has just released its 2019 Geography of Giving, an annual report that ranks the most charitable cities in the U.S. The cities are evaluated based on how much they contributed to the following key issue areas: arts and culture, education, environment and animal welfare, health, human services, international affairs, religion, and public society benefit.

“As the nation’s largest grant-maker, we seek to understand the complete landscape of American giving—the priorities, concerns, and values of donors across the country—to create a better-informed donor community,” said Pamela Norley, president of Fidelity Charity. “Last year, Fidelity Charitable’s 200,000 donors generously supported more than a 142,000 nonprofit organizations in every state and across the world, but what we consistently see is how dedicated our donors are to their local communities.”

Below are the winners, broken down by the eight key issue areas:

Arts & Culture

Portland, Oregon jumped five spots to become the titleholder in this domain. The previous winner was Boston.

Education

Bridgeport, Connecticut was awarded number one in education for the second year in a row—quite impressive for a city with an estimated population of only 147,000.

Environment & Animal Welfare

Boston, Massachusetts beat out Providence, Rhode Island as number one in this arena.

Health

Not only was Boston ranked number one for environment and animal welfare, it also proved to be the most generous city when it comes to health-related issues.

Human Services

Cleveland, Ohio climbed three places to become top dog in this sector, unseating previous contenders Boston and Bridgeport.

International Affairs

As the political capitol of the U.S., it’s no surprise that Washington, D.C. was ranked number one in this division.

Religion

St. Louis, Missouri held onto its title for the second year in a row.

Public Society Benefit

Miami, Florida was also able to retain its championship title for the second year in a row.

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How to be Neighborly in Boston this Winter

snow shoveling
Want to be neighborly in Boston this winter? Grab a shovel! / Image: Nicole Hennig via Flickr CC.

Generations of Bostonians are used to enduring low temperatures during the winter months, but nothing could have prepared the city’s residents for the record amounts of show they have received so far this year. “Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said he was at a loss for words Sunday, after yet another blizzard brought white-out conditions and raised snowfall totals to historic levels,” reports CBS News.

Various lines of public transportation have had to temporarily shut down, workplaces have shuttered, and the sidewalks continue to collect more and more snow. Despite the harsh conditions this year, some residents have gone above and beyond to help their neighbors with shoveling, including Joseph Porcelli, founder of Snowcrew.

According to the Snowcrew website, “Snowcrew is the brainchild of Joseph Porcelli who is a Professional Neighbor. Joseph has been helping his neighbors in need get dugout from Snowstorms since 2010. […] Snowcrew is just the tip of the iceberg for neighbors helping neighbors,” of the inspiration behind the network of good neighbors helping residents in their area. Porcelli, who is from the Jamaica Plain neighborhood in Boston, started the site by taking requests for help to shovel out cars, sidewalks, and stoops, and then tasked neighborhood volunteers.

Whether or not you would be up for the challenge of helping your neighbors shovel their walkways and cars buried under feet of snow this winter, it’s pretty remarkable that such volunteer networks exist. For an elderly or disabled person, this act of neighborly kindness means so much.

BetaBoston also notes that even if Snowcrew isn’t active in your Boston neighborhood, there are other volunteer initiatives such as Help Around Town and the “Adopt a Hydrant” project, two programs that help neighborhoods by inviting residents to participate in helping one another collectively. This may be one of the harshest winters that Boston has experienced in some time, but happily, that doesn’t mean that locals have to endure it without the help of caring neighbors.

What do you think about programs like Snowcrew? Would you help shovel out a neighbor in need?

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How One Community in Boston Grew Stronger in the Wake of Tragedy

One Fund Boston
The Prudential Tower was lit in support of the One Fund in April, 2013. IMG: Aram Boghosian, Boston Globe.

On April 15th, the Boston community came together in remembrance of the terrible tragedy that shook it to the core just one year earlier. The Boston Marathon bombings of 2013 was a horrific event that killed three people, physically injured nearly 300 others, and left a mar on countless individuals from the community and beyond who were affected by the senseless violence that occurred that day. It was also an event that sparked a citywide effort to stand by one another, help the fallen, and prove just how resilient Boston is.

In the year since the bombings, charity runs were organized, funds were raised, stories were shared, and entire communities came together to support one another. People who had been severely injured didn’t have to cook their own meals for months after the event, as neighbors came and left baked cooks and suppers on their doorstep. Cards and reminders of hope flooded the survivors and families of victims, and people from all over the country sent what they could to help.

The One Fund was formed as a support system and a foundation in which donations could be dispersed among those who needed help recovering from the damaging results of that day. Those who needed intensive medical care received it free of charge, The One Fundas did those who needed counseling to help them move past the horrific things they witnessed that day. The One Fund connects the survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings in order to help them find solace in a community of those who share their experiences. Says Karen, a One Fund beneficiary, “You’ll never know how much your kindness has touched us. In a time that could have been very dark your helped us to keep looking toward the light. Thank you so much,” of the efforts The One Fund and its volunteers and donors made to help so many people get through this tragedy. “This city has just come forward so much for us,” she says.

Other stories from the One Fund mirror Karen’s sentiment. Best friends and survivors Roseann and Heather said, “We lost our legs but not our spirit. Friends before 4/15 and stronger now. Thanks to One Fund donors for allowing us to stay focused on our recovery.” Another survivor, Michelle, explains,

“The people I met [through the One Fund] who helped me get through this, I feel that I will be connected to them for the rest of my life.” Others expressed gratitude in the brave police force that rushed into danger to help save lives. That bravery is indicative of the spirit of Boston, a city where no fallen friend, neighbor, or stranger is left behind.

Learn more about the One Fund, and read more survivor stories at www.onefundboston.org.

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The One Fund Receives Additional $12 Million for Boston Marathon Victims

The One Fund On April 16th, 2013, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino announced the formation of The One Fund Boston, an organization created to support victims and families of the tragic Boston Marathon bombing. After the horrific events of Marathon Monday, Boston famously united as one community to support those most affected by the tragedy. Local businesses gave immediate support to The One Fund, and countless of private donors provided all that they could to help with medical bills, counseling, and other urgent recovery expenses.

According to The Boston Globe, an additional $12 million has been recently donated to The One Fund Boston, adding to the $61 million already generated. As the Boston community came together in April after the tragedy, donors and humanitarians from around the world responded with a strong desire to give whatever they could. The newest calculated sum of $12 million is a result of this global generosity, and people from around the world continue to make donations to the fund, The Boston Globe reports.

Of The One Fund Boston’s original formation, Mayor Menino proclaimed, “We are one Boston. We are one community. As always, we will come together to help those most in need. And in the end, we will all be bettor for it.” Now, with the newest donations reportedly being generated from corporate fundraising events, newlyweds asking their guests to provide to The One Fund, and even children who donated their First Communion money, it seems as though one horrific event has truly united humanitarians on a global level. The One Fund is still determining how to distribute the newest major donations, but funds will most likely go towards the families of victims, survivors’ medical expenses, and ongoing counseling to those traumatized by the event.

For more information about The One Fund Boston, visit the organization’s official website.

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Running for Boston

running for boston
IMG: Marcio Jose Bastos Silva / Shutterstock.com

Kat Tillman is a Seattle mom and runner. She is planning to run the Vancouver Marathon on May 5th, less than a month away. But with the tragedy of the Boston Marathon fresh in our memories, many are looking for a way to do something to help. For Kat, that means keeping on running for those that suffered in Boston.

She had been following runners who were participating in the marathon when she first heard about the bombs. “I started getting these tweets about explosions, and I thought, that’s really crazy,” she said. “And I went home and cried. It just, to me, it was so devastating.”

But she’s not going to let it stop her from running her marathon next month, and in fact it’s compelling her to do it. “I think that the true way to rise above in the face of a different situation like that is to become an activist,” she says. And that’s just what she’s going to do.

Tillman is now running for Boston, not just herself. She has started a fundraising campaign and hopes to raise $25,000 by the time she crosses the finish line in Vancouver. Her donations will go to Massachusetts General Hospital to help pay for victims’ medical expenses. So far, three people have died and over 175 have been reported injured. Of those injured, 20 are in critical condition and 13 have had limbs amputated. Scores more have deep lacerations and fractured or broken bones.

The fundraiser, which is being hosted on CrowdRise, has already raised $625. Tillman is spreading word of the race via Twitter using the hash tag #momruns4boston.

“All it takes is 1,000 people to donate $25 and I can reach my goal and help,” the fundraiser reads. She has even followed her own advice and donated $50 to the cause.

“I am a Mom now running for the people of Boston. Help me raise this money so that on May 5th when I finish I cross that line for a bigger purpose—for Boston, for the human race.”