As a city continues to heal, Bostonians are doing anything they can to help out, from free food to free hugs. They hope the small gestures will make a big difference in the days since the twin bombings on Marathon Monday.
Even as the Common swarms with police officers and SWAT teams, kindness arrives by the dozen, as Northeastern students hand out donuts to anyone uniform. They say it was the least they could do for the officers working 12 hour shifts to protect them.
"We're just trying to tell the police officers how much it means to us," one student said. "We feel safe now."
More free food was found even closer to the finish line, in a truck run by New York City police officers who remember 9/11.
"We understand what it's like with these tragedies and unfortunately it hit Boston," Joe Iandoni said.
Along the barricades, a growing memorial, which started with flags put there by one man.
"I just decided that I would come and volunteer for the memorial and when I came, there wasn't one here, so I just put the flags up, and within minutes people started showing up," Edoardo Starbuck said.
They showed up with flowers and signs like Natalie Rincon's that read "Free Hugs."
"I think human contact brings a peace that other things don't," Rincon said. "This is my small way of paying it back to Boston."
They are small gestures that they hope will help the city heal in a big way.
"I just think anything you can do for someone, whether it be donating or supporting, just any act of kindness you can do for someone in this situation helps," a mourner said.
At least 40 businesses in the area are donating a percentage of their sales to the victims. Many of them are also offering free food to anyone in uniform.