Kalamazoo, Michigan, was shocked by a shooting spree late Saturday night when a man shot several people in random acts of violence across the city, killing six people — Mary Jo Nye, Mary Lou Nye, Dorothy Brown, Barbara Hawthorne, Rich Smith, and Tyler Smith — and injuring at least two others. The area is typically quite safe, which made Saturday's violent spree all the more shocking to Kalamazoo residents. With all they’re going through, the victims’ families and friends could use your support, so here’s how you can help the Kalamazoo shooting victims.
When gun violence impacts a community, no one is left untouched. Even those who didn’t know the victims well have their fundamental feeling of safety wounded. In a small community like Kalamazoo, that loss of security can be even more devastating. When you actively work to help the victims, you’re also proving to the community that they are not alone and people are aware of what they have been through. In a case like this when so many lives were lost, the importance of giving any support you can increases even more. If you want to help Kalamazoo shooting victims, there are a few simple steps you can take to ease the burden on friends and families, and on the entire community.
Help The Hospitals
The 14-year-old girl who was shot at the Cracker Barrel survived the attack and was transported to nearby Bronson Hospital. The non-profit hospital accepts donations, or you can send gifts to the victims care of the hospital. Another victim is being treated at Borgess Hospital, which also accepts donations.
Support Mattawan High School
Tyler Smith, the 18-year-old victim who was shot in the Seelye Kia Dealership parking lot, was a senior at Mattawan High School. According to Robin Buchler, Mattawan school district superintendent, he was an active student enrolled in the school's marketing entrepreneurship program. The school will provide grief counselors for students and faculty, and you can support the community by donating in Tyler's name.
Support Calhoun Community High School
One of the victims, 60-year-old Mary Joe Nye was a retired teacher who was devoted to the alternative school that she helped found. "[Nye] played a really integral part in a lot of kids' lives," Tara Egnatuk, assistant director of the school, told ABC News. Donations to the school will ensure that Nye's legacy will live on in future generations of students.
Contribute To The Gun Violence Survivors Foundation
The Gun Violence Survivors Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps with funeral expenses and legal actions for victims of gun violence. The organization's Twitter page has already tweeted about the shootings, so it will likely be stepping in to help family members with any upcoming costs they may incur. You can donate to the GVS Fund here, and even direct your donation toward a specific victim.
If you live in the Kalamazoo area, several churches that the victims' families attend are holding prayer services on Sunday and Monday. You can also donate to First Congregational Church here, the Centerpoint Church here, and the St. Augustine Cathedral here.
As the victims and the city begin to heal from the tragic consequences of this violent spree, they will need the love and support of the entire country to begin moving forward. Anything you can give will show the victims' community that they are in your thoughts.