In the week following the Boston Marathon bombings, people have pledged more than $2 million to aid the victims through crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe and GiveForward.
More than 23,000 pledges have poured in from all over the world, going to a number of drives NBC News reports.
“All of us were like, ‘How can we help?’” said Leslie Kelly, whose daughter grew up with Jessica Downes, 32 and her new husband Patrick, who both lost a leg. “We felt so helpless. I thought, we can’t all send flowers. I couldn’t sleep all night. I got up the next morning and started a Wells Fargo account and then got the word: You need to do something online.”
Kelly's GiveForward campaign has collected almost $600,000 through more than 11,000 donations for the Downes.
At GoFundMe, 25 separate campaigns have amassed more than $1.5 million, with the largest chunk -- nearly $575,000 so far -- toward the recovery of Jeff Bauman, the 27-year-old man now famous for having lost both his legs but pointed investigators toward the Tsarnaev brothers while still foggy with pen medications in the hospital.
“Crowdfunding is actually very empowering to the donors and supporters,” said GoFundMe chief executive Brad Damphousse. “It’s a way of being part of the solution instead of smoldering about the problem.”
GoFundMe, GiveForward, and a third popular site, YouCaring, all promise to vet each fundraising account for medical victims to police for fraud.
“The thing about crowdfunding is, it’s all based on social proof,” Damphousse said. “There’s so many more eyeballs on these campaigns ... If you’re a bad steward on the Internet, word travels fast.”
“We’ll suspend and investigate the fundraiser after one flag,” said Ethan Austin, co-founder of GiveForward.
While YouCaring is free, GoFundMe and GiveForward takes a cut of each transaction totaling around 8 and 7 percent respectively.
Austin said around two-thirds of donors opt to cover those transaction costs themselves so all money goes to the recipients.
Ken Berger, the president of Charity Navigator, a nonprofit that helps evaluate charities, said that while self-policing does "is better than nothing at all," it 'has its limits."
Berger recommends donating instead of The One Fund Boston, set up by Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino.
The fund will be administered by Kenneth Feinberg, who has previously overseen the September 11th fund and the BP oil spill fund.
“That’s part of the reason that scoundrels and thieves are prosperous in a disaster," Berger said, "because the generosity of the American people is phenomenal.”
Travelers can breathe a little easier -- and with minty fresh breath -- after a bomb scare at JFK airport was found to be a false alarm.
Airport officials at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport evacuated Terminal 4, Concourse B, around 4 p.m. Sunday after a suspicious package was discovered in the bag room of El Al Airlines.
The New York Police Department bomb squad gave the all-clear around 5:30, after the unattended package was cleared and identified as a tube of toothpaste, wrapped in duct tape and wires.
In a week of high-profile reporting mistakes, a local Fox station may have made the funniest, and most harmless.
During the final standoff between police and 19-year-old Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the closed captioner for Fox 4 Dallas-Fort Worth substituted Tsarnaev's for that of actress Zooey Deschanel.
To be fair, no one is sure how to pronounce Zooey Deschanel's name either.
Grabbed by radio producer Peter Ogburn, the screenshot of the error rocketed around the social media sphere as a welcome moment of levity.
Oh come on, Fox twitter.com/peterogburn/st…— Peter Ogburn (@peterogburn) April 20, 2013
Deschanel responded, calling the error an "epic closed captioning FAIL!"
Surviving Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev suffered injuries to the throat that have rendered him unable to speak in the hours and days following his capture Friday night.
When Tsarnaev was pulled from a boat stored in a Watertown backyard Friday night, ending five days of fear, the 19-year-old bombing suspect was disoriented and weak from loss of blood.
The extent of Tsarnaev's wounds, likely sustained during the firefight Thursday night with law enforcement that killed his older brother, has not been officially released to the public.
But an official told CBS News Tsarnaev may have tried to commit suicide.
"They say it appears from the wound that he might have stuck a gun in his mouth and fired, and actually just went out the back of his neck without killing him," explained CBS correspondent John Miller, a former FBI spokesman.
Tsarnaev has also been intubated and sedated.
"I, and I think all of the law enforcement professionals, are hoping for a host of reasons that the suspect survives, because we have a million questions, and those questions need to be answered," said Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick Saturday, telling reporters Tsarnaev is in "serious but stable condition".
In addition to the neck wounds, Tsarnaev also suffered gunshots to the leg.
Federal prosecutors are preparing to charge Tsarnaev, likely with federal terrorism charges and possibly state murder charges, expected to be filed later Sunday.
In the wake of Monday's Boston bombings, one theme has repeatedly appeared: "They messed with the wrong city."
The local chapter of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers echoed that sentiment using the most public means they could: a highway-side electric billboard off highway I-93.
"COWARDS," the billboard reads for 10 seconds. Then: "Pray for Boston."
"It was Local 103′s way of shouting out our feelings of anger," said IPEW business manager Michael P. Monahan.
None of the IPEW's 7,500 union members were hurt in Monday's explosions, the union told ABC News, but the chapter's headquarters is located in Dorchester, the same town that was the home of the bombing's youngest victim, eight-year-old Martin Richard.
"I Love You Boston" is the title of the latest episode of "Ask Amy" on Amy Poehler's Smart Girls web channel.
"This has been a weird week hasn't it?" Amy Poehler took a question from a teenage viewer about feeling left out because she doesn't watch popular videos on the Internet.
"They all seem pointless and attention-getting," the girl wrote. "What can I do to spread better messages."
Poehler's response takes the question further, "in light of recent events" and asks "how can I keep myself informed and connected without exploiting people and harming myself?"
The comedian warns against using pictures and videos as a way of "superficially connecting with something." She talks about the need to "give our eyes a break," and and says it's ok to "be ok with letting some things rest in peace.
Former Fugees singer Lauryn Hill will be sentenced next week in her tax fraud case, and she reportedly stopped paying rent on her New Jersey mansion last month.
The Grammy Award-winner is being sued for eviction by her landlord, who is calling for an immediate settling of her debt, according to TMZ.
Hill, 37, is facing up to three years in prison for failing to file three years worth of tax returns between 2005 through 2007 on $1.8 million in income. She pleaded for leniency and probation ahead of her April 22 sentencing, blaming "threats" for her decision to go "underground" and not pay taxes during those years.
In a lengthy statement posted to her Tumblr last year, Hill stated that she had "removed herself and her family from society, in order to keep them safe, healthy, and free from danger."
“I did whatever needed to be done in order to insulate my family from the climate of hostility, false entitlement, manipulation, racial prejudice, sexism and ageism that I was surrounded by,” Hill wrote. The R&B singer pleaded guilty to tax fraud in 2012.
Atlanta Falcons safety William Moore was arrested Thursday and charged with battery after an alleged altercation with a woman.
Moore was granted $2,500 bond and released from jail after a Friday morning court appearance, Fulton County Police spokeswoman Tracy Flanagan told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Police said the Pro-Bowler got into an argument with a woman, allegedly grabbing her shoulder and throwing her phone to the ground.
“We are aware of the situation involving William Moore and are in the process of gathering more information,” a Falcons spokesman said in a statement released to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Because this is now a legal matter, the club will have no further comment at this time.”
Moore signed a 5-year, $30 million deal to stay with Atlanta in March.
The "Anticlerical Pro Sex Toys Group" in Spain has sent bombs to prominent Roman Catholics, hiding the explosives inside packages containing vibrators, according to The Guardian.
At least two mini-bombs have been sent, according to Spain's state-owned EFE news agency. One device exploded at a postal sorting office, slightly injuring the woman who was handling the package.
The group targeted the Roman Catholic archbishop of Pamplona, Francisco Pérez, and the headteacher of a private school belonging to the Legionnaires of Christ movement in Madrid. The archbishop said he vaguely recalled police taking away a suspicious package. "We didn't give it much importance, but later it was said to be a bomb," he said.
The anarchists, who use other names including Artisans Club for New Uses for Coffee, claimed responsibility for the Catholic-targeted explosives in an letter reportedly emailed to an anarchist website. They also claimed to have made a bomb out of an espresso coffee machine packed with gunpowder and shrapnel that was planted at a bank branch.
Police reportedly believe the same group is behind a bomb packed inside a pressure cooker that was left near the public prosecutor's office in Madrid, but failed to explode.
In their letter, the group apparently wrote "Please accept our apologies. Next time we won't fail."
NBC has decided to yank the fourth episode of its ambitious new drama "Hannibal," the Bryan Fuller-helmed adaptation of the Thomas Harris serial killer novels.
Citing the episode's grislier-than-usual content -- Molly Shannon playing a character brainwashing children into killing other children -- Fuller asked the network to pull the episode.
"Given the cultural climate right now in the U.S., I think we shouldn't air the episode in its entirety," Fuller told Variety. "I didn't want to have anyone come to the show and have a negative reaction."
Episode five will air in its place, and NBC says it will not cause any problems with continuity in the show. The show's freshman season will be one week shorter, with the finale now set for June 20 instead of June 27.
NBC said it will package clips of the unaired fourth episode and make them available online next week. The episode will air in its entirety overseas.
Earlier this week, ABC also announced it would switch up its broadcast schedule out of sensitivity to the Boston bombings, swapping April 22's planned episode of "Castle," in which Detective Kate Beckett steps on a pressure-sensitive bomb, tentatively swapping it with the April 29 episode.
"Hannibal" airs at 10 p.m. on Thursdays.