People are coming together to support victims of a mass shooting Sunday at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, through prayer and donations.
If you are looking for ways to get involved, here is how you can help:
Vigils are being held in and around the Oak Creek area. Last night hundreds gathered a Cathedral Square in downtown Milwaukee holding a vigil of candles and praying for the victims and their families.
At today’s press conference temple members invited the public to pray with them at 7 p.m. tonight at the Brookfield Sikh Temple, 3675 N. Calhoun Road. The Oak Creek Community United Methodist Church, 8675 S. 13th St., is holding an outdoor prayer vigil at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the church. A vigil is also planned during Tuesday’s National Night Out event in Oak Creek, and a call has gone out on Facebook encouraging people to wear blue and white in honor of the victims.
A fund to help the victims of the shooting has been set up at Tri City National Bank, temple members said during a press conference at the Oak Creek Salvation Army. Donations can be made at bank branches, or find information about how to donate by calling the bank.
Contributions to the temple can also be sent online, through a group of supporters using the website indigogo to manage the donations.
The website www.indiegogo.com/Milwaukee-Sikh is an attempt to raise donations for the families of the killed and wounded to help cover the medical costs, funeral expenses, psychological counseling and sustaining the lives of the victims’ families. They have set a $75,000 goal.
The group does not know the precise needs but they plan to work closely with the local Sikh community and doctors to determine the best way to distribute funds.
An independent web developer named Jim Spice set up a website, www.sikhhelp.org, to also help raise funds for the Sikh community.
“During Hurricane Katrina, I watched helplessly as New Orleans sat stranded day after day,” Spice wrote on the site. “I vowed that if tragedy ever struck where I could do something to help, I would not wait. I set up this website, and created a PayPal account.”
To donate directly to the temple donations can be sent to:
Victims Memorial Fund
Sikh Temple of Wisconsin
7512 S. Howell Ave
Oak Creek, WI 53154
The Sikh community is calling on people across the nation to education themselves about the Sikh religion.
Groups have asked the media, government and the Sikh community to help clear up misinformation about Sikhi that propagates a negative perception on the community.
The son of the slain temple president pleaded with people, asking them to educate themselves.
“Let’s get the education out there and acknowledge who we are and we come from,” said Amardeep Kaleka, at the press conference. “We hope that you guys understand that there are no words for their actions.”
A number of Facebook pages have been popping up in support.
There are pages in remembrance of the victims, the wounded police officer, donations and general information.
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