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After the Boston Marathon explosions, redditors scrambled to help out their fellow man—even if all they could do was this.
After the Boston Marathon explosions, redditors scrambled to help out their fellow man—even if all they could do was buy pizza.
So redditors bought the city enough pizza to flood the Harbor.
News of the April 15 incident spread quickly on social media. As updates and information flooded into every subreddit from r/boston to r/running, many redditors took it upon themselves to offer more than condolences or opinions.
Perhaps the most noticeable collective effort came from the subscribers of r/Random_Acts_of_Pizza. The subreddit, which allows subscribers to give each other pizza as an act of kindness, received an offer/request for assistance almost immediately after initial reports of the explosions began flooding social media on Monday afternoon.
“There are probably hundreds of redditors like me who would love to help out anyone who needs it in Boston. Pizza/dinner seems like the best thing we can do right now without interfering with the authorities,” poster iamnotevenperturb wrote.
Hundreds of redditors replied. The Red Cross took note of the offer and agreed to become involved. iamnotevenperturb was forced to make numerous edits and updates to the thread, including this one:
“I’m so sorry that the hospitals are no longer able to accept the pizzas. At the time of the roll-out of this plan they had not declared a SOE. Please go that extra mile and find other places they can deliver the pizza to. Any help would be appreciated.
“I’d suggest having some pizzas sent to the Emergency room of the local hospital for those treating and those waiting. We may not order enough for everyone, but it’ll be something.”
In addition to hospitals, r/Random_Acts_of_Pizza subscribers offered to send pizzas to locations other than area hospitals. Many offered to send fresh pies to those households that had taken in stranded marathoners, while others offered to send pizza to police departments. One offer came from a redditor in San Francisco, who offered a pizza to anyone in Boston.
“I’m sure you’ve had a rough day. PM me and we’ll make this happen,” redditor lovelylove88 wrote.
Redditors didn’t limit their assistance to free pizza.
- Many redditors offered their unused frequent flier miles and airline rewards points to anyone who may have become stranded in Boston. Redditor DEM_DRY_BONES offered the entirety of his 80,000 Southwest Airlines points to anyone who needed them, while noondi34 offered over 4,000 unused American Airlines miles for use.
- Other redditors offered car rides to people who lived within or close to the Boston metropolitan area.
- Others offered their homes as temporary lodging to stranded marathon participants and spectators. One redditor even offered saved-up free nights at any Marriott Hotel.
- Redditor and military member Doublehawk4life offered something simple: himself. “Sitting in VA is not an option,” he wrote.
It’s not the first time Reddit offered a massive helping hand in times of need. In February 2013, Boston redditors helped a kidney transplant patient acquire a special brand of prescription medication during Winter Storm Nemo. In May 2012, redditors helped one of their own find a hit-and-run driver.
Mike Fenn is a former contributor to the Daily Dot whose beats included Reddit, YouTube, and all things WTF. His work has also appeared in Forbes and News.com.au.