Socializing medicine through crowdfunding

GoFundMe How To Raise MoneyTwo weeks after the Boston Marathon bombings, rescue efforts for the more than 260 victims have largely pivoted from providing critical medical attention to raising funds to pay the bills that are already piling up—for everything from hospital stays and prosthetics to groceries and everyday items for those unable to work.

And often, the help is coming not only from their friends and families but also from scores of strangers, sending donations directly to the injured through so-called crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe.com and GiveForward.com. On a page titled “Believe in Boston,” GoFundMe lists 38 fund-raising campaigns for the marathon victims, noting that more than 40,000 donors have contributed nearly $3 million since the bombings. Meanwhile GiveForward, a crowdfunding site for medical bills, raised $1 million for marathon victims in three days following the attack. A fund-raiser for Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky, a couple who each lost a leg in the bombings, is GiveForward’s biggest ever, with more than $745,000 raised so far.

While the crowdfunding sites have raised a lot of money for victims of the Boston bombings, their primary purpose is to help with everyday problems, their founders say: To cover expenses for medical issues from broken arms to cancer…

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