I returned downtown today.
Waukesha is my home and my office is located in the downtown area. I went to my favorite coffee shop (shouts to Mountain Top Coffee!) to grab a warm beverage on my way to the office and stopped short in front of an area of the sidewalk that was marked with spray paint with a large circle and a “#2.” There were candles and flowers surrounding it. I paused for a moment and got quiet, standing frozen. Walking over it felt wrong, but so did walking around it. So I stood still and waited, eventually choosing to walk around, giving that sacred spot its space.
It hasn’t even been two days since the horrific events that took place during the Waukesha Holiday Parade where, as of this writing, five lives were lost, dozens were injured and countless lives were forever changed.
The entire area has come together quickly to support the Waukesha Community is this terrible time and we’re doing our best to be your go-to resource for ways you can help offer support and relief or if you are dealing with trauma from this event, how you can find help. Please keep in mind this is a rapidly developing situation and we want to thank our friends at Lake Country Family Fun who have been teammates with us from the start of this terrible week when it comes to rounding up resources for our community.
Support Resources for Those Affected by the Trauma of the Waukesha Holiday Parade Attack
- Utilize the Disaster Distress Hotline. Call or text 1-800-985-5990. The trauma of events like this is very real and no one needs to try to suffer alone.
- Need to recover belongings left behind at the parade? The Waukesha Police Department will work to connect items with their owners (wallets, keys, etc.). If the items did not have identification (chairs, etc), they will be at the Park, Rec and Forestry Department, 1900 Aviation Drive, today (Tuesday, November 23) and tomorrow, (Wednesday, November 24) during regular business hours (8:00 am – 4:30 pm).
- Community Support. A Friends and Family Resource Center opening today at Carroll University(100 N. East Ave., Waukesha, WI). The Campus Center Ballroom will be open 2pm-6 pm, Tuesday, Nov. 23 and 9am-1 pm, Wednesday, November 24.
- Take Comfort in Furry Friends. Our friends at HAWS have arranged for Pet Assisted Comfort sessions at their Waukesha Shelter location on Wednesday, November 24th from 11 am to 1 pm or Tuesday, November 30 from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Check out hawspets.org for more info.
- Trauma Support. A lot of people saw and experienced truly terrifying things Sunday night, including kids. Counseling resources are available at Waukesha Public School locations for kids. We are also including a list of fantastic resources from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network below:
National Child Traumatic Stress Network has developed resources to help children, families, and communities navigate what they are seeing and hearing, acknowledge their feelings, and find ways to cope together. These resources include:
- After a Crisis: Helping Young Children Heal
- Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event
- For Teens: Coping After Mass Violence
- Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth After Mass Violence
- Coping After Mass Violence
- Helping Youth after Community Trauma: Tips for Educators
- Helping Teens with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers
- Helping School-Age Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers
- Helping Young Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers
- Supporting Children and Teens During This Holiday Season
- After the Injury—website for families with injured children
- Health Care Toolbox—website for pediatric health providers working with injured children
- Once I Was Very Very Scared – children’s book for young children
- Pause-Reset-Nourish (PRN) to Promote Wellbeing (for responders)
Psychological First Aid
The NCTSN also has resources for responders on Psychological First Aid (PFA; En Español). PFA is an early intervention to support children, adolescents, adults, and families impacted by these types of events. PFA Mobile and the PFA Wallet Card (En Español) provide a quick reminder of the core actions. PFA Handouts include:
- Parent Tips for Helping Infants and Toddlers (En Español)
- Parent Tips for Helping Preschoolers (En Español)
- Parent Tips for Helping School-Age Children (En Español)
- Parent Tips for Helping Adolescents (En Español)
- Tips for Adults (En Español)
Ways to Offer Help and Support of the Waukesha Community
- Donate Money. If you want to donate money, there are several options. The main fund put together by the United Way and the Waukesha County Community Foundation is a solid, vetted and reliable way to make sure that 100% of your donation goes directly to the needs of victims and their families. For individual Go Fund Me accounts benefitting particular victims, many of whom are children, we’ve included a list below of many of them.
- Waukesha South Band
- Waukesha Xtreme Dance Team
- Sparks family
- Kohnke family
- Waukesha South High School senior Aiden
- Becerra-Montes Family
- Ginny Sorenson memorial fund
- Family of Jane Kulich
- Leader of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies
- Mackenzie Hollingsworth, injured 9-year-old
- Julia, member of dance team
- Perales family
- Perez Fiaz family
- Family of Tamara Carlson
- Tiegs family
- Tyler, member of Waukesha South Band
- Donate Blood. The stock of blood has been critically low for a while now and local hospitals have needed quite a bit this week to treat victims. Even if you can’t make an appointment immediately, get in when you can to help restock the supply. Here’s where to go to find a place to donate blood near you:
- Participate in Local Fundraisers. There are many local opportunities to contribute in creative ways to the victims of the Waukesha Holiday Parade. We’ve got the start of a list below and will update as more come in:
- Avalon Graphics Lawn Signs – We at MkeMom gave permission to Avalon Graphics to use the graphic we created (pictured above) to create lawn signs available for purchase. 100% of proceeds will go to the Waukesha County Community Fund.
- Magic of Lights at American Family Field – The Brewers have partnered with them to donate $10 per car to the Waukesha County Community Foundation.
- Look for Local Businesses Who are Donating – Area Culver’s, coffee shops, restaurants, stores, and more are stepping up to donate a portion of sales to victims. Seek these out in your community and make the effort to support them.
- Check out Lake Country Family Fun for More – Our friends at Lake Country Family Fun have even more info on their website, so CLICK HERE for more ideas.
Above all, thank you for your support and encouragement during this horrific experience. The Waukesha community will recover, but we continue to pray and grieve for the lives senselessly lost and those who are continuing to battle for their recovery.