2,526 crowdsourcing and crowdfunding sites
On August 5, white supremacist Wade Michael Page devastated the suburban Milwaukee town of Oak Creek by open firing in a Sikh temple, killing six temple-goers and injuring three others. Page also wounded a police officer before committing suicide on the scene.
In the wake of this senseless tragedy lie funeral costs, medical bills, and additional expenses for the victims’ families and friends. Two crowdfunding campaigns have jointly raised $325,000 — with more pouring in every minute — to help shoulder the expenses and express support for the grieving community.
Sikh temple president and founder Satwant Singh Kaleka, who heroically attempted to incapacitate the gunman, was among those killed in Sunday’s shooting. His son Amardeep Kaleka established the website We Are Sikhs “to raise support for needy, affected families as they stand in the wake of this horrific hate crime,” according to the site description. Using WePay, the site has raised $195,320 (at the time of writing) to benefit lower-income families who lost loved ones, assist with the wounded’s medical costs, and repair the temple, which suffered damage during the shooting. All donations to “We Are Sikhs” are tax deductible, as the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
“In this hour of grief, we thank the thousands of people around the globe who have offered their support and their prayers, and we encourage them to support those victims and families who are most in need,” said Amardeep Kaleka. “Together, we must work to repair our community and finally address the epidemic of violence in America.”
Eight individuals unaffiliated with the victims started a separate crowdfunding campaign, Support the Milwaukee Shooting Victims, on Indiegogo. All pledges will go to the shooting victims (including the injured police officer) and their families.
“We wanted to do this as a service for people in need,” campaign co-creator Darsh Singh told Crowdsourcing.org. “It’s been amazing to see the support of our fellow Americans and our brothers and sisters around the world — it’s just overwhelming and inspiring.”
Singh promises that the funds will be allocated transparently and fairly. “We feel very, very strongly that we are transparent and open about how we use these funds,” he said.
Singh and the other campaign co-creators are currently searching for a nonprofit willing to administer and distribute the funds raised without taking a cut. At the time of writing, the campaign has raised $128,943.