From food and blood drives to community cleanups, One Boston Day will light up the city in yellow and blue to represent the strength and spirit of its people 10 years after the Boston Marathon bombings.
April 15 -- the date dedicated to honoring victims, survivors and first responders of the 2013 terror attack -- has evolved over the years. But the essence of the day has remained the same -- recognizing resiliency and generosity in the face of adversity. To mark a decade since the tragedy, the City of Boston and the Boston Athletic Association are calling on everyone to come together, volunteer and do good deeds, according to Mayor Michelle Wu's office.
More than 20 local organizations and businesses registered their events on the new One Boston Day website between April 14-22. Wu's office also posted a 2023 Acts of Kindness Checklist in the hopes of inspiring people to share good deeds on social media with the hashtag #OneBostonDay. Many of the activities still need donations and volunteers, including blood and donation drives, community clean-ups and a sign-making party.
Click here for a full list of registered One Boston Day events.
Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.
Blood Drive, Stop the Bleed Demonstrations
People can help save lives in two ways on One Boston Day; by donating blood and learning how to help someone suffering traumatic blood loss.
The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation at Brigham and Women's Hospital is holding two blood drives, one at Copley Square and the other at City Hall Plaza. The event includes Stop the Bleed demonstrations. The skill is a lifesaving one, according to Senior Program Manager Cheryl Lang, who noted that blood loss from traumatic injury is the number one preventable cause of death.
"Learning how to control traumatic blood loss can really save lives because minutes matter. And it's a lifesaving skill that you can apply while you're waiting for emergency medical services to get there," Lang said. "Even if you undergo a really traumatic event, there is hope. And there is resiliency, as we've seen demonstrated across the city of Boston after that fateful day."
Donation Drive for New England Center and Home for Veterans
As its act of kindness, the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District (BID) is holding a donation drive for the New England Center and Home for Veterans. The community has already stepped up to contribute to the cause, according to Marketing and Brand Activation Manager George Comeau.
"The spirit of that day is overwhelming. You absolutely feel the kindness that flows through this entire city against the backdrop that we know that there was a tragedy, but the tragedy isn't what defines us," Comeau said. "What defines us as who we are as citizens of this city, citizens of this commonwealth and how we produce simple acts of kindness every day, and especially on Marathon Monday."
The Macy's in Downton Boston rolled over a rack of new suits, shirts, vests and other clothing items for people transitioning into the workforce, according to Comeau. The drive will continue accepting new clothes and personal items through April 21, at 12 Summer St. in downtown Boston.
The highest need is for underwear, but the organization is also looking for all types of clothing, with the exception of socks. Toiletries can include toothbrushes and toothpaste, hair brushes, soap, shampoo, feminine care products and razors or shaving kits.
Get updates on what's happening in Massachusetts to your inbox. Sign up for our News Headlines newsletter.
Boston Marathon Sign-Making Party
Director of SPARK Boston Audrey Seraphin remembers how the tragic attack unfolded when she was living on Boylston Street 10 years ago. Her dorm room was located across the hall from the founders of Boston Strong, a message she said continues to resonate a decade later.
"I'm really excited by one Boston Day because for me personally, it is a weekend that I've frequently tried to avoid in the past. It's a long weekend and I try to go out of town. I try not to be there just because of some of the more difficult memories associated with that day," Seraphin said. "We all are a stronger community when we pull together and that's definitely something we saw happen 10 years ago in the wake of a tragedy. And I believe, at least for me, the whole experience has allowed me to have more pride in my city and to feel that this is home."
Seraphin said she expects that message to manifest in all the signs people make for the Boston Marathon during the city's sign-making party at the Boston Public Market on Saturday, April 15. Wu's office is supplying snacks and sign-making supplies.
Seraphin added that applications to join SPARK Boston, a volunteer civic engagement council for 20-35 year-old Bostonians, are open through Friday, May 26.
Franklin Park Community Cleanup
Cleaning up Franklin Park is another way to connect the city's young people, give back to the community and the environment, according to organizers.
The Office of Civic Organizing, the Mayor’s Youth Council and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department will be hosting a community clean-up at Franklin Park starting at 10 a.m. Civic Organizing Director Henry Santana and Project Manager Grace Burke said the event is an important way to engage young people in the city.
Sign up for our Breaking newsletter to get the most urgent news stories in your inbox.
"I think this is going to be a really great event because it is taking place at Franklin Park which is not only the largest green space in Boston, but it's a very meaningful place for a lot of Bostonians because it touches so many neighborhoods," Burke said. "I think it really ties back to the spirit of One Boston Day in the spirit of community and coming together that our city has shown."
For those who can't make it to Franklin Park on April 15, Burke said it's not their last chance to clean up their neighborhood. Love Your Block neighborhood cleanups are scheduled throughout the month.
"This is really a meaningful partnership, specifically with the Mayor’s Youth Council, which is really made up of high school students that come from different neighborhoods in the city," Santana said. "And we're really excited to bring that youth lens and engagement with all the residents of the city of Boston to Franklin Park that day."