The National High Five Project
A whimsical annual celebration of fraternity and encouragement takes on a somber purpose today, as the organizers of National High-Five Day dedicate the event to people affected by Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings.
The National High Five Project said in a statement that money raised today, April 18, will be used to help pay for mental-health services and physical therapy for those harmed in Monday’s explosions.
“We’ll pay [for treatment] until we run out of money,” cofounder Greg Harrell-Edge said in a blog post.
National High-Five Day began among a group of friends at the University of Virginia in 2002 and later grew to other sites. A year later, Harrell-Edge lost his father to cancer, and in 2010 he incorporated the project as a nonprofit. He and co-founder Conor Lastowka then dedicated the day to cancer treatment, asking supporters to run “high-5-a-thons” to help raise funds for treatment centers.
After the terrorist bombing on Monday, the founders shifted the focus for this year’s event, partnering with Thriveworks Counseling and Kennedy Brothers Physical Therapy to provide services for those who suffered physically and emotionally as a result of the bombings.
For every dollar donated, the local physical therapy and mental healthcare organizations will provide one minute of services. By 2 p.m. today, supporters had donated $2,680 toward the group’s $5,555 goal.