Probably the most graphic image from the Boston Marathon bombings was the chilling photo of a young man who had his lower legs ripped off in the blast, being rushed away in an effort to save his life.
An emergency responder and volunteers, including Carlos Arredondo in the cowboy hat, push Jeff Bauman in a wheelchair after he was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, April 15, 2013 in Boston. (AP)
After the photo went viral, Jeff Bauman Jr. -- who had been waiting for his girlfriend to cross the finish line -- became known to millions as "that guy." But many think of Bauman as more than "that guy." He is beloved by his family and friends.
As one person close to the 27-year-old told TheBlaze, "Bauman is just the nicest guy."
That feeling about "Bauman" seems to be common among those who know him. Less than a day after he was injured, friends stepped up to help him and his family.
Image source: Bucks for Bauman
Realizing that the road ahead of Bauman would be long and expensive, friend Brooke Gibbs started an online fundraiser called "Bucks for Bauman." In less than a week, the site has generated more than $400,000 to assist the Bauman family.
Jeff Bauman before the Boston Marathon bombings. (Image source: Bucks for Bauman)
The fundraiser set an initial goal of $1 million for Bauman's recovery and support. As of Sunday morning, nearly 11,000 people have donated to "Bucks for Bauman" and the halfway point was within reach.
The Boston Globe reports that Bauman's employer, Costco, is also home to generous friends and co-workers who have been raising money on his behalf. The company is matching the funds donated by its employees. Costco executive Bob Nelson told the Globe, “What is important is that he is covered and will be taken care of.”
While Bauman's injuries are among the most severe suffered on Monday, there were 176 victims of the bombings. Many of these folks also are in need of financial assistance. The Huffington Post points to several individual funds established to help some of the victims, including Bauman.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino are directing people to One Fund Boston, a non-profit that has already collected a reported $7 million in donations.
“I am humbled by the outpouring of support by the business community and individuals who are united in their desire to help. The One Fund Boston will act as a central fund to receive much needed financial support,” Patrick said in a statement. “At moments like this, we are one state, one city, and one people.”