Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Donations for Boston victims far surpass those for victims of more damaging fertilizer blast in Texas

Donations for victims of the Boston bombings have surpassed $26 million, which shows the support of the nation when disaster strikes. Yet, the more damaging explosion at the West Fertilizer plant in rural Texas has generated far less support, with donations estimated at less than $1 million. The blast killed 14 people, injured 200, destroyed more than 100 homes, and has caused more than $100 million in property losses, reports Blake Ellis for CNN Money. (Getty Images photo by Chip Somodevilla: Damaged apartments in West, Tex.)

Residents of West are in dire need of food, shelter, transportation for displaced families, medical help, and will need assistance in rebuilding, Ellis writes. Dan Ford, a resident of nearby Waco, said that while he understands the support Boston has received, he said, "We've been greatly overshadowed by the Boston tragedy. We need help."

While the Boston bombings and the West explosion are both national tragedies, media attention has focused more on Boston and the emotions and fears raised by a terrorist attack. Ethan Austin, co-founder and president of GiveForward, told Ellis, "The explosion in Texas was an accident. The reaction was sadness. The bombings in Boston were a heinous and malicious act that brought back memories of 9/11. The reaction was anger. Stories inspiring high-energy emotions like anger have a much higher likelihood of going viral. Stories inspiring low-energy emotions like sadness do not tend to go viral."

Also, Boston is a major city, with 600,000 residents in the city limits and about 4.6 million in the metropolitan area. West is home to 2,800 people, and the closest big city is Waco, which has just over 200,000 residents. (Read more)

1 comment:

Michele Hays said...

Note: The Governor of Texas' web page lists donation options here: http://governor.state.tx.us/disaster/