Boston Marathon Good Samaritan Motivated by Faith
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 Apr 18
In a story that quickly went viral, 46-year-old Bill Cunningham of Sitka, Alaska, is the formerly unknown Good Samaritan who gave away his Boston Marathon medal in a spontaneous gesture of kindness, the Toronto Star reports. He is also the regional director of Alaska Young Life, and it's clear his faith motivated his generosity.
25-year-old Laura Wellington was half a mile away from the finish line when the two bombs went off Monday. After learning that her boyfriend and family, who were waiting at the finish line for her, were fine, she sat on the edge of a street and wept out of relief. That's when Cunningham appeared. He and his wife gave Wellington a blanket, and Cunningham asked her if she had finished the race. She said no.
"Then I knew what I had to do," Cunningham said to reporters. "You’re a finisher in my eyes," he told Wellington, taking off his medal and slipping it around her neck.
Stunned by the stranger's compassion, Wellington later posted the story to her Facebook page in hopes of reconnecting with him, and her post went viral. "This couple reassured me that even though such a terrible thing happened, everything was going to be okay," Wellington wrote.
"She needed it more than I needed it,” Wellington said. “I just wanted her to know that 'you're worth it.' With everything that has happened, our world is looking for hope. My whole life is about loving God and loving others. That's who I am."