WAUKESHA, Wis. — After a driver plowed through a Christmas parade in Waukesha on Sunday, causing multiple deaths and dozens of injuries, the city is working to recover.
“We are a community that will come together. We will help those who experienced the loss of a loved one or were injured,” Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly said at a press conference Monday. “We will work together to begin healing. The healing needs to begin now.”
Whether you’re in Wisconsin or beyond, here are some ways to help support the Waukesha community.
United for Waukesha Community Fund
Two local groups — the Waukesha County Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County — are working together to collect donations that will go toward supporting the impacted families.
“At Sunday’s Christmas celebration our community experienced a tragedy,” Shelli Marquardt, President of the Waukesha County Community Foundation, said in a statement. “We are saddened by what occurred. But we know that our neighbors and friends are always willing and ready to offer support any way they can. And we are grateful.”
Support local groups affected by the parade crash
Many GoFundMe pages are collecting donations to support members of the Waukesha community. View the full list of verified fundraisers here.
Some fundraisers are raising money to help groups that were marching in the parade during the incident, including marching band members from Waukesha South High School and dancers from the Waukesha Xtreme Dance Team.
“Their families are our families,” organizer Trista Jerling wrote on the dance team’s fundraiser page. “We are all devastated by the tragedy and anything helps.”
Donate at the following links:
Donate to families of injured victims
Dozens of families are working to heal as more than 60 people were injured in the crash. And many fundraisers are working to help them with medical bills and other expenses.
Here are some of the family GoFundMe pages:
Contribute to memorial funds
Six victims have lost their lives in the wake of Sunday’s tragedy. Several GoFundMe pages are collecting donations to help with funeral costs and support their families.
One page is dedicated to Jane Kulich, described as “a loving, beautiful and charismatic mother, grandmother and friend to so many.”
Another is for Virginia Sorenson, who “had a special soul, one that radiated with love,” her family writes.
And a third is for Tamara Carlson, whose friend writes that she was “overall just one of the most kind-hearted people there were.”
Visit the GoFundMe pages here:
Donate blood at your local site
Donating blood is always a big help for hospitals, and especially in times of crisis, health providers said.
“Blood is always needed,” Children’s Wisconsin chief medical officer Dr. Michael Gutzeit said at a Monday briefing. “It’s a precious commodity” — and there can be “exceptional needs” for blood in situations like this, he said.
Contribute items to Waukesha’s memorial site
For those who want to contribute to a temporary memorial in the community, the city requested leaving items at Veterans Park in Waukesha.
Attend a local vigil
Several community groups and local churches are planning candlelight vigils for Monday evening to gather in the wake of the tragedy — including one at Cutler Park at 5 p.m.
See more details from our partners at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
If you or a loved one needs mental health help…
Looking after mental and emotional wellbeing is important after a shocking event like this one, experts stressed.
“The injuries from Sunday night will go well beyond the physical and will take time to heal,” Gutzeit said at Monday’s briefing.
If you or someone you know needs help, you can call or text the national Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 for 24/7 support from a trained counselor. Children’s Wisconsin is also operating its own helpline for emotional and mental health support at 414-266-6500.