A little more than a week after the Boston Marathon bombings took the lives of three young people -- and a few days after the suspects' rampage through Cambridge and Watertown, Massachusetts, allegedly took the life of a young police officer -- the path to healing is just starting to take shape.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most accessible way people have found to express their grief over the loss of these Americans is through online support groups and community contributions. Each victim has a series of tributes and funds dedicated to his or her memory.
Richard Family Fund: Salem Five, a mutual savings bank in the city of Salem, Massachusetts, has set up a fund to assist the Richard family. Eight-year-old Martin was killed in the bombings, and his mother and sister suffered serious injuries. You can learn more about the Richard Family Fund at the bank's website. So far, the effort has raised nearly $205,000 for the family.
Wrapping Jane in Our Love: Little Jane Richard, Martin's sister, reportedly lost her leg in the blast. She was an aspiring Irish dancer, and now two other members of the Irish dancing community have started a unique project to help raise her spirits and show support. Wrapping Jane in Our Love aims to collect t-shirts from Irish dancing schools far and wide with which craft a special quilt to present to the little girl. According to the project's Facebook page, Irish dancers have also offered other tokens of their support, including medals and memorabilia.
RIP Martin Richard: This Facebook page does not seem to have any official ties to the Richard family, but with nearly 3,000 likes, it has become a place for concerned people to share their prayers and feelings of grief. The administrators of the page have also encouraged followers to send cards to Martin's school to console his classmates.
The Krystle M. Campbell Memorial Fund: 29-year-old victim Krystle Campbell was laid to rest this week, and in her obituary, her family urged people to consider donating to her memorial fund in lieu of flowers. Those who are interested can write to the address below:
The Krystle M. Campbell Memorial Fund
25 Park St
Medford, MA 02155
A gathering of mourners, the support of many: Thousands of people lined the streets to pay their respects to Campbell as she was laid to rest this Monday. In light of threats by fringe hate groups, local motorcycle groups, firefighters, and other volunteers were on hand to form a human barrier, if necessary, against inappropriate protests. Other mourners held up American flags or signs venerating Campbell.
RIP Krystle Campbell: Like the page dedicated to Martin Richard, this Facebook community is probably not associated with Campbell's family. But it is a place where people are sharing their thoughts, prayers, and tributes. Some comments have dubbed Campbell "Boston's Angel."
The Lu Lingzi Scholarship Fund: Lu was a bright, well-regarded graduate student at Boston University, and in response to her tragic death, the school has decided to set up a memorial scholarship in her honor. From the scholarship's page: "Lingzi was a beloved member of the BU community. An optimist with a powerful work ethic... Boston University is determined to keep Lingzi's memory and example alive." The BU Board of Trustees kicked off the fund with a hefty donation of $560,000.
Tributes from the BU Community: Boston University also set up a page where classmates and friends could add their own tributes to Lu's memory and messages to her family. "Words cannot begin to express the sadness we feel over the loss of your beautiful daughter," one post reads. "But it is our hope that you find comfort knowing that we share in your sorrow."
RIP Lu Lingzi: This tribute Facebook page shared the news of Boston University's scholarship effort. Many in Chinese-American communities have posted their condolences on the page.
The Sean A. Collier Memorial Fund: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology plans to start a fund to honor their slain officer. Donations can be made here. The fund will also support a Collier Medal, which will be awarded to those who share and keep Collier's values.
The Jimmy Fund: Collier's family says he was a big supporter of this organization, which supports cancer research. They are asking that people consider making a donation if they are moved to show their support.
The MIT Tribute page: MIT also set up a page for people to share their condolences. It is really lovely. "Rest in peace brother," an entry reads. "Find peace in that your memory will last forever as a true hero. There is no greater sacrifice."
Memories of Sean: A friend of Collier's created a tumblr page for people to share their personal memories of the slain officer. Contributors have called him "always happy," "hard working," and a "caring, gentle, helpful, loving soul."