Giving Back and Inspiring Kindness on One Boston Day 2019

On April 15, 2013, the Boston community changed forever. The unthinkable, violent acts that took place at the Boston Marathon Finish Line were incomprehensible for everyone living in the city and beyond. As a runner, and having participated in this historic race several times, I was shaken as I watched my community affected by this hateful act.

Bostonians – along with the City of Boston, corporate and nonprofit community – rallied to combat that hate by establishing One Boston Day, a day of remembrance for those who lost their lives or were affected in some way. Every April 15, One Boston Day celebrates what it means to give back to our community by volunteering in our neighborhoods and making impact, no matter how big or small.


This year, nonprofit organizations, individuals and the corporate community will be out in full force to spread kindness and goodwill across the city. Here are a few ways you can take part in the activities and give back:

  • Martin Richard Foundation Collection Drive: The Martin Richard Foundation partnered with the Wonderfund to collect emergency relief kits for children entering the Department of Children & Families’ foster care program. Night lights, earbud headphones and new stuffed animals are being collected at locations throughout the city.

  • St. Francis House Shoe Drive: The downtown, day-time homeless shelter, St. Francis House, is partnering with John Hancock this year to collect shoes for homeless men and women. New or gently worn sneakers are being collected at the Fairmont Copley Hotel, adjacent to the Finish Line.

  • Operation Thank a Vet: The Mayor’s Office is hosting Operation Thank a Vet to show gratitude to the more than 17,000 veterans living in the Boston community. This community event is being held at the Boston Centers for Youth & Families on Saturday, April 13 in Dorchester.

  • Create your own activity! One Boston Day is about spreading the love everyone has to give. Lend a hand in your community and pledge an act of kindness. No deed is too small.

Whichever way you choose to participate in One Boston Day, you can make a meaningful impact on someone’s life. And of course, good luck to all of this year’s Boston Marathon runners!

Kevin Walther is an Account Supervisor in Cone’s Purpose and Corporate Responsibility practice and is a former council member of Mayor Marty Walsh’s millennial civic engagement group, SPARK Boston.