Memorials, candlelight vigils, flowers, orange ribbons and more are beginning to line areas of Highland Park and Highwood as community members continue to gather together to mourn the victims and support the survivors of a mass shooting Monday at the northern Chicago suburb's Fourth of July Parade.
The shooting has so far claimed the lives of seven people and injured more than 40 others, many of them still at hospitals across the Chicago area in critical condition with gunshot wounds.
"People are tired of this," Linda Lovino said during a vigil Tuesday at Immaculate Conception Church in Highland Park. "It's got to stop."
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At at vigil Wednesday at Makom Solel Lakeside Synagogue, Rabbi Evan Moffic commented on the trepidation the community still feels about the safety of large, in-person gatherings. "I think people are worried about getting into big groups," he said. "Although we have taken so many security measures, there's definitely PTSD."
"This is why we exist, why we are here," Moffic continued. "For moments like this."
As downtown Highland Park -- flush with local businesses and restaurants -- remains an active investigation with a perimeter of police tape, neighbors and residents have already sprung into action, gathering together numerous ways anyone wishing to help the victims, survivors and the community heal.
Here's where you can find some local ways to help.
Highland Park Community Foundation
To help those directly impacted by the mass shooting in Highland Park, the Highland Park Community Foundation has established a July 4th Highland Park Shooting Response Fund.
According to the city, "All contributions to the Response Fund will go directly to victims and survivors or the organizations that support them."
Upcoming Vigils and Gatherings
- Gathering of Reflection and Consolation, Sukkat Shalom, 1001 Central Avenue, 7 p.m.
- Let the Healing Continue, Lubavitch Chabad of Northbrook, 2095 Landwehr Road, 7 p.m.
- An Event of Unity and Healing, The Central Avenue Synagogue at Chabad of Highland Park, 874 Central Avenue, 7 p.m. Also livestreamed here.
- Candlelight Vigil, Am Shalom, 840 Vernon Ave., 7:30 p.m.
- Highland Park Candlelight Vigil and Memorial by March for Our Lives North Shore, 1801 Sunset Rd. in Sunset Woods Park, 7:45 p.m.
- Interfaith service, Glencoe Union Church, 263 Park Ave., 4 p.m.
North Shore Hospital Systems
As victims were transported to several hospitals in the area, including Highland Park Hospital and Evanston Hospital, North Shore Hospitals is asking those interested in donating blood to make an appointment.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Plug in your zip code to see donor centers near you.
Flowers, Help Retrieving Items, Meals and More
According to the FBI, "All personal effects left along the parade route are slowly being evaluated for investigative purposes. Law enforcement requests the public's patience as they evaluate what may be returned at this time. Personal effects found on Central Avenue between Green Bay Road and Second Street will be available for return at the Family Assistance Center (see below)."
According to the City of Highland Park, items can also be retrieved at City Hall.
The owners of Lolli Bus, a local food truck is offering to help people retrieve items left behind during the parade. Here's how to help.
A makeshift memorial with flowers has begun to take shape near the intersection of Central Ave. and 2nd Ave., as well as in Highwood at Everts Park. All are welcome to lay flowers.
Chicago Botanic Garden
The garden will have free admission through Sunday.
"In times of crisis, nature can be healing, a respite," a Facebook post from the garden said. "To support our community, admission and parking to the Garden will be free for all from 3 to 8 p.m., starting Wednesday, July 6, through Sunday, July 10."
Nonprofit Lasagna Love, a grassroots organization of "neighbors cooking for neighbors can "cook and deliver a free lasagna to anyone who needs one." Here's how to help.
A nonprofit organization providing brand new stuffed animals to children in crisis. Monetary contributions may be made here.
Mental Health Resources
Family Assistance Center, Support and Counseling
The FBI’s Victim Service Response Team is working in conjunction with local, state, and federal aide groups to staff a Family Assistance Center at Highland Park High School, 433 Vine Ave.
Services provided at the center include:
- Government aide assistance
- Financial assistance – if necessary, needs will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis
- Thursday July 7, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Friday July 8, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Thereafter as needed
The FBI stresses that victims are not just those physically injured by yesterday’s events, but also those experiencing emotional distress.
District 112 Drop-in Counseling
District 112 will be providing drop-in counseling at Oak Terrace School (240 Prairie Avenue in Highwood) and Ravinia School (763 Dean Avenue in Highland Park) through July 7, from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
The JCFS Chicago Warm Line phone connection is available to provide assistance for anyone affected by the Highland Park shooting who does not have an urgent need and is looking for someone to talk to about their emotional distress. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. 855-275-5237
Highland Park residents can text 224Help to 844-823-5323 to receive immediate assistance from a licensed mental health care professional, 24/7.
North Shore Pediatric Therapy
Free open check in times, where mental health therapists will "be available to hear your concerns and answer questions about how you can help your kids feel safe, how to cope with anxiety."
July 7 at 9 a.m. Sign up here.
Family Services of Glencoe
Family Services of Glencoe is offering free therapists for drop-ins, no appointment necessary. You do not need to work in Glencoe or be a Glencoe resident to receive support.
- Am Shalom: 12 - 2 p.m,., 840 Vernon Ave.
- Takiff Center: 1-3 p.m., 999 Green Bay Road