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An unexpected hero in Boston relief efforts: Reddit

Reddit provided a forum coordinate aid for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Overnight, thousands donated everything from pizzas to transportation to housing.

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A candlelight vigil honors the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing in Boston Public Garden, April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. In the immediate aftermath of Monday's explosions, Reddit emerged as a tool for coordinating relief efforts.

Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor

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The power of social media was revealed when Redditors rallied to provide aid to victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Overnight, heroes were recognized and thousands donated everything from pizzas to places to take a hot shower or just recharge a cellphone.

Food, shelter, transportation donations pour in

By early on the evening of April 15, a post by user superdude4agze's had risen close to the top of the subreddit "inthenews." The post provided essential resources offered by Redditors, including offers of places to stay, rides, food and hundreds of thousands of frequent flyer miles for those who needed to leave Boston and to victims' family members who needed a flight into the city.

Reddit was uniquely prepared to get food out to those in need. Through its subreddit "Random Acts of Pizza," where users can send each other pizzas just to be nice, rescue workers and those who had been hospitalized were the beneficiaries of Redditor generosity . Restaurant Anytime Pizza is leading the effort.

"Spoke with an Anytime Pizza employee (Perry) this morning. They pulled in their entire staff last night to cook and deliver pizzas," Redditor iamnotevenperturb, who moderates the pizza subreddit, reported. "You'll be happy to know, though, that they were getting police escorted around and were working straight through the night."

Heroes of Reddit

Perry, the pizza man of Anytime Pizza, is poised to become a Reddit hero. He has said that regardless of donations, he will continue to deliver pizzas. This afternoon he will be sending them to shelters and fire stations.

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