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Giving for Boston

Alexandria nonprofit leaders Spring to Action to help Boston victims.

What happens when tragedy strikes? Alexandria springs into action.

With Monday's Boston bombing looming over the week, organizers of Alexandria's annual Giving Day scrambled to find some way to respond by Wednesday — the daylong online philanthropy event known as Spring2ACTion. On Tuesday, the community foundation known as ACT for Alexandria announced that it would partner with its fellow community foundation in Boston to donate 5 percent of the amount raised for ACT to the Boston Foundation to support victims of the tragedy.

"We were all struck by the tragedy in Boston on Monday," said John Porter, executive director of ACT for Alexandria. "And we wanted to find a way to help support those who were impacted by that tragedy."

During last year’s 24-hour event, 4,000 individuals gave about $320,000 to 72 participating nonprofit organizations whose missions range from feeding the hungry and educating children to caring for animals and promoting the arts. This year, nearly 100 organizations are participating aiming to raise $400,000. Porter said that, in addition to ACT for Alexandria, about 40 of the participating organizations have also committed to donating 40 percent of the proceeds to the Boston Foundation.

"Some of that, in many ways, is probably more symbolic than just the amount of money," Porter said. "It's the idea that when tragedy strikes, communities across the county need to bind together to help address those tragedies."

— Michael Lee Pope