Putting the Money Where the Need Lies
By Nancy Arsenault
The cost of the Marathon bombings is tremendous. Some of that will be borne by the city, the state and the Federal government. But a lot of the cost will be the personal burden of the hundreds of victims and their families.
A week after the explosions, Stow resident and Boston radio personality Greg Hill had raised $226,601 for those families, with over $93,000 already directly dispersed to the people most in need. Thanks to his Greg Hill Foundation and the tremendous generosity of area residents and businesses, the fundraising efforts are Boston Strong.
On Marathon Monday, Hill was in Boston hosting a VIP fundraiser for his Foundation at the Capitol Grill on Boylston Street. Watching the runners from a patio seat, the bombs exploded just two blocks away. Hill found himself amidst the ensuing pandemonium.
“Once we could get out of there and to a safe place, we decided to give all that we had raised that day, $11,000, to the victims. Then, we immediately decided to continue to raise as much as we could. The Foundation exists for instances just like this,” he said. The Greg Hill Foundation is a private charity established in 2010 to quickly and directly send financial aid to those experiencing personal tragedy and hardship.
Returning back to Stow, he put the word out on the Foundation website and utilized social media to reach his legions of followers and the general public. The next morning, he went on the air with his radio show on WAAF-FM, announcing the Foundation’s plans, and according to Hill, donations came pouring in.
One of those calls came from Jim Koch of Boston Beer Company, a brewer that had just launched this year’s commemorative Marathon Beer, 26.2 Brew, at restaurants and taverns throughout Greater Boston. Early last week, Koch pledged to Hill that all profits from that product would go to the Foundation. “We’re expecting $41,000 to be wired into our account on Monday,” Hill said Sunday of this week’s donation from Koch.
“The Foundation prides itself in giving 100% of all funds directly to those that need it, and doing it quickly,” he said. That quick responsiveness took place just a couple days after the Marathon bombings. Hill asked for help from the public in putting him in contact with victims or their family members who may be struggling and require financial assistance.
Without revealing names out of respect for their privacy, Hill told of one family whose relative had contacted him, describing great financial hardship endured as a result of the incidents. Hill personally presented a check for $10,000 to that family member once he had learned of and verified the situations that had been described to him. As he presented the check, the relative told him that the coming funeral was presenting the family with a $15,000 expense. “I drove back and cut a check for another $5,000 and brought it back out to them,” said Hill. “As soon as we can verify a need, we get a check out to these people or their family members as soon as possible.”
By Sunday, which had seen Hill delivering more checks around the metro area, about $61,000 had gone out through 15-20 donations from the Foundation. By Monday, Hill reported the amount dispersed was up to $93,500 with 9 more families helped.
“We need to provide money immediately to these people who really have awful expenses to pay,” said Hill. He spoke of families who are faced not only with mounting and ongoing medical bills, but also must renovate their homes to accommodate someone with limited or no mobility due to injuries suffered in the bombing.
Hill said that in several families, a breadwinner will become the full time caregiver, or the breadwinner is the injured victim, leaving that family without a steady income.
When word that a check and donation is on the way from the Foundation, Hill said the reaction from the recipients is usually one of disbelief. “They can’t believe that people they don’t know are so concerned about them that they would give to them. They are all so grateful. I feel like these donations help to get just one burden off their mind,” he said.
For more information and to make a donation to The Greg Hill Foundation visit www.thegreghillfoundation.org or mail donations to The Greg Hill Foundation, PO Box 103, Hopkinton, Ma 01748. The Greg Hill Foundation is a recognized 501-c3 charitable organization.
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