by Jill P
One of the great things about Kalamazoo is our community of caring individuals. Many have asked what they can do to help out after the tragic events over the weekend. Here are a few ideas on what we’ve been able to find so far. While this is probably just a partial list of what is happening in our community, it shows how our community is coming together to show support for the victims, their families, and our community.
Did we miss anything that you’re aware of? Let us know in the comment section below. We’ll update as we have more information (updated 2/24/16 at 12:00 pm).
1. The Mattawan Class of 2016 has started a Go Fund Me campaign for the Smith family shooting victims. Tyler Smith was a senior at Mattawan High School.
2. The Mary L and Mary J Nye Funeral Fund has been started on Go Fund Me to assist with funeral and other expenses for two of the victims.
3. Kalamazoo Love, a group of individuals, is raising money through sales of stickers and t-shirts to support the families of the victims. Find more info on Go Fund Me. See more information on their Facebook page.
4. A “Help Now!” has been established to meet the many needs of the community to grieve, heal and address violence and create safer communities now and well into the future. Kellogg Company has already made a lead donation. Gifts can be sent to:
Battle Creek Community Foundation
32 W. Michigan
Battle Creek, MI 49017
The Kalamazoo Wings have pledged $2 from each ticket sold to their next home game on Saturday, March 5 against the Utah Grizzlies and all of the proceeds from their March 17 St. Patrick’s Day jerseys to the Help Now! Fund.
5. A Go Fund Me account has been set up for Tiana Carruthers (one of the victims currently in the hospital) for medical bills.
6. Thank our local law enforcement and first responders. As stories pour in about this tragedy, it is apparent that our local law enforcement did a great job of identifying and apprehending the suspect, preventing a larger tragedy.
7. Prayers for families and members of our community. A Kalamazoo Community Vigil was held on February 22 at 6:00 pm at the First Congregational Church and ending with a candlelight vigil in Bronson Park. Childcare will be provided. Faith leaders from the community will be there.
Shine the Light at Cracker Barrel with the friends and family of the Beltz’ family on February 23 at 6 pm at Cracker Barrel in Kalamazoo.
CANDLELIGHT VIGIL on February 23 at 7 pm at Mattawan Soccer Field to honor & remember the Smith Family.
Kalamazoo Strong Service: A Night of Hope at Valley Family Church on February 28 from 6:00-7:00 pm.
Let us know if you’re aware of prayer vigils in our community.
Little Chick Shoe Shop is collecting cards and letters for Tiana Carruthers (one of the victims) and her family. Drop off at the store or mail them to: 449 West Kilgore Road, Portage MI 49002.
7. Support each other in dealing with how this effects our community. Here is a link for tips for parents on how to talk to their kids: How To Help Kids Feel Safe After Tragedy.
The KIA is offering free admission through February as a way to share the healing power of art in the aftermath of the February 20 shootings in Kalamazoo County.
Gryphon Place is available for emotional support. Please #Call381HELP for emotional support.
We are all interconnected and are a strong community!