Boston Strong Still Going Strong

By Nick Hansen
BU News Service

On the six month anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, a question was posted to the Boston Strong Facebook account: What does Boston Strong mean to you? One member replied: “Giving more when you feel like giving up.”

The Boston Strong  campaign, organized by three Emerson College students, has raised over $900,000 for the One Fund by selling blue and gold t-shirts emblazoned with the words “Boston Strong.” They have sold  60,513 shirts as of Oct. 15. Each shirt sells for $20.

Emerson Students NIck Reynolds and Chris Dobens came up with the idea to sell t-shirts to support vicitms. Fellow student Lane Brenner stepped on as Communications Manager. Originally, they had very modest goals. “We were just hoping to sell 110 shirts,” said Brenner.

The campaign has gained national notoriety. Musicians such as Jason Derulo and Fall Out Boy have worn the shirts. Their Facebook page has over 27,000 likes. They were also recently nominated for the local online news site BostInno’s 50 on Fire, which recognizes innovative individuals who are influencing Boston. Brenner never thought it would get that big.

It was not easy keeping up with the demand. Brenner said that it was like a “second full-time job,” which often kept them up till four or five in the morning. All three were students at Emerson as well. The group received plenty of support from school. “We offered a place for them to breathe,” said Jason Meier, Director of Student Activities at Emerson. “They were really bombarded and we hard their backs,” added Meir.

Brenne believed that the campaign took off because it allowed people to do something. “We wanted an affordable and powerful way to support victims and their families,” said Brenner.  The three students also came from backgrounds in communication and business.

Currently, the three live in separate cities: Brenner in New York, Reynolds in Los Angeles, and Dobens in Boston. Brenner now only spends a few hours a week promoting and raising awareness for Boston Strong. He mainly sends out tweets thanking people who have purchased shirts and reminding people that there are victims out there who still need help. There are no official plans yet for next year’s marathon, but Brenner said that plans are on the way.


You can purchase a Boston Strong shirt here


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