(MoneyWatch) Jeff Bauman was among those standing in the wrong place — near the finish line of the Boston Marathon — when the first bomb went off. Within seconds of the explosion rescue personnel and people who had just come to see the race were swarming over the area helping the victims. Three came to Bauman’s aid, putting him a wheelchair and, while the ashen-faced Bauman clutched what remained of his left leg, rushed him to the medical tent. As they did, a news photographer took what became an iconic picture of the tragedy.
Later that day, when Bauman’s friend Sayer Usher found out what had happened he knew he had to do something. So Usher, who lives in the same condo development as Bauman, thought he would raise a little money for his friend.
“I was just going to walk around the condo and a little hand collection,” said Usher. “I really meant it to stay within the condo.”
But then a friend suggested he try using GoFundMe, one of several sites which crowdsource funding to help with medical bills and other extraordinary expenses. Now Usher is getting donations and more from people who’ve never even met Jeff Bauman. “We’ve gotten donations from total strangers. I didn’t know it would get this big,” he says.