Highland Park small business owner Frannie Karlin said her heart is heavy just thinking about the victims killed, and the children affected by this week's tragedy.
“It’s horrible,” she said. “I mean we work with kids every day and just to think that this happened to all the kids in the community—it’s horrific,”
She knew she had to do something to support her community.
“My mom said to me this morning, 'you know, you’re always doing something for the community' and I said 'well they were there for me too when COVID happened' and I didn’t think I was going to make it they were there for us,” she said.
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She’s now making and selling 'Highland Park Strong' t-shirts, and is donating 20% of the proceeds to help prepare and deliver meals to first responders and the families of the victims in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Residents interested in the shirts can visit Glamour Girlz Central to place an order, and Karlin told NBC 5 the response has been overwhelming.
“It just fills my heart that everybody is trying in their own way, whatever that special way is making a shirt or a bracelet whatever it is everyone is trying to give back,” she said.
Across the street at Enaz Boutique, the owner will soon sell these 'HP Strong' bracelets in store. Jewelry designer Eliss Robyn Bulgatz told NBC 5 all proceeds will go to the GoFundMe centralized victims fund.
“I’m a proud Highland Parker that when there’s a crisis we will drop anything and we will help,” said Lucy Zechman.
Zechman has lived in Highland Park her entire life.
“We are strong,” said Zechman. “We are a community that comes together that will fight together we will be stronger.”
Her family was caught in the chaos the parade. While it’s going to take some time to heal, she knows her community will get through this together.
“Tomorrow is another day,” she said. “But we’ll never forget and we’ll get through this somehow. I believe we got the strongest town.”
Click here to learn more about other ways you can help support the Highland Park community.