The days that followed the Boston Marathon Bombing were hectic here at the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts, but one local company made it easier for our volunteers to help others.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company located in Cambridge, was more than eager to help during the recovery effort.
On April 17, Vertex sent a white box truck and a driver over so Red Crossers could quickly get donations from Shaw's stored at our Waltham facility. The Shawn’s tractor trailer would never have fit at our Waltham loading dock, and Vertex’s smaller truck allowed us to get donations stored away safely and quickly. Vertex saved the organization two Red Cross trucks for half a day, and two volunteers who would have made the trips in smaller marked trucks. On a very hectic day, Vertex bought us, with that extra support, the ability to take water and food to first responders within the perimeter of the bomb site in our Red Cross-marked trucks.
But it didn’t end there. On April 18, Vertex sent a van and a driver over for a very special mission.
The Red Cross was getting ready to open the Family Assistance Center, where the families of the injured and the dead could come and learn about the next steps they would take – everything from mental health counseling to how to order a handicapped placard from the Registry of Motor Vehicles was made available at this one place. The Vertex van was used to bring tissues, water snacks, blankets, stuffed animals and comfort kits (toiletries for those rushing in from out of town to support relatives) discreetly to the Seaport Hotel.
The Vertex staff was able to help us in a pinch to get supplies where they were needed and could be trusted to be discreet about the secret location of the center. We’re forever grateful to them for their support during this crucial time.