On Monday evening, a suicide bomber entered the Manchester Arena shortly after an Ariana Grande concert came to a close. According to police, the cowardice act killed 22 people, mostly children, and injured nearly 60 more.
In the wake of the horrifying tragedy, stories of heroism, big and small, have begun to emerge. On Tuesday, the Independent shared the story of Chris Parker, a 33-year-old homeless man who regularly begs outside the arena after events. He felt the impact of the blast, but rather than running away, he ran in to help as many victims as he could.
“Everyone was piling out, all happy and everything else. As people were coming out of the glass doors I heard a bang and within a split second I saw a white flash, then smoke and then I heard screaming,” he described. “I saw a little girl … she had no legs. I wrapped her in one of the merchandise t-shirts and I said ‘where is your mum and daddy?’ She said ‘my dad is at work, my mum is up there,’” he said. “I haven’t stopped crying. The most shocking part of it is that it was a kids’ concert.”
The Blood Service of England was also forced to shut down registration because it had been so overwhelmed by donors that it filled its banks to capacity.
And one smaller, but incredibly powerful, act of kindness grew out of social media: #RoomForManchester.
Immediately following the event, the hashtag began to pop up across social outlets, with people living in the area offering their homes, their phones, or anything anyone may need to reunite with family members and feel safe.
Beyond rooms, area hotels and taxi drivers also offered their services for free.
And today, the small acts of heroism continue. As the Manchester Evening News reported, several concert attendees are still missing and their pictures are being circulated on social media using the hashtag #MissingInManchester. Friends and families of those still missing are asking people to retweet and share them in the hope of finding them.
The Manchester Evening News has also started a donation page to support victims and their families. In less than 24 hours, the page has already raised more than £275,000, but it could use any help to exceed its £300,000 (nearly $400,000) goal.
Image via Twitter