Last week, a suicide bomber at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England set off a homemade explosive device, which killed 22 people and injured over 50 others. Since then, citizens of Manchester and non-citizens alike have come together to heal and offer support to those affected by the tragedy.
Remarkably, one of these shows of solidarity involves hordes of people getting inked with the image of a bumblebee.
The bee has long represented Manchester as a sort of unofficial mascot, hearkening back to the “hives” of industry and the hardworking “busy bees” that make up the city.
Now, people are using the symbol as a touching tribute to the lives lost during the Manchester attack.
Tattoo artists around the UK, Australia, Canada and America are now using the bee template as an opportunity to raise funds for the families affected by the explosion.
Sam Barber, a tattoo artist, kickstarted the Manchester Tattoo Appeal, asking customers to donate £50 ($64) in exchange for a bee tattoo. The entirety of the proceeds made from these tattoos will go to the families of the victims of the attack.
By Tuesday morning, Barber’s crowdfunding page had raised over £164,000 for the cause.
Since Barber’s initial efforts, the tattoo fundraising effort has spread all over the world. Even the band Bowling for Soup decided to collectively get bee tattoos, as a showing of solidarity.
Barber told CNN that the bee tattoo concept was an “obvious choice as a symbol of strength” for “the city that has always stuck together.”
If you’re interested in showing some inked support, you can check out the Manchester Tattoo Appeal Facebook page to find participating tattoo parlors. If you’re not particularly interested in getting a tattoo, but would still like to help out, you can simply donate money to the JustGiving page.
Many people have tattoos that are utterly meaningless — which is why it’s nice to have the opportunity to get some body art that will actually help other people.