South Christian High School raises thousands for Waukesha victims

Kent County

GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Students and faculty at South Christian High School near Grand Rapids are rallying around the Waukesha, Wisconsin, community after a driver plowed through a crowd at a holiday parade.

The crash happened Sunday afternoon. Darrell Brooks, 39, is accused of running his car into the parade crowd. Six people were killed and several dozen others were injured.

On Tuesday morning, students and faculty at South Christian High School raised money for victims and families affected during chapel.

“I was shocked honestly, not realizing that people in West Michigan would be so kind,” Spanish teacher Rachel Mefor said.

Mefor has been teaching at South Christian since 2019. Before that, she taught students in her hometown of Waukesha. She lived only blocks from where the parade crash happened.

“It was really hard to hear,” she said. “It was really hard to see and it’s been difficult. Grieving and mourning with my friends, former coworkers, former students in Waukesha.”

Mefor said several of her friends, former coworkers and students were at the holiday parade. The high school band from the district she taught in was marching in it.

“When we lived in Waukesha, we used to walk to the parades,” she said. “I contacted my parents just to find out if everyone was OK, do you know who was affected, are you OK? And just find out how can I help.”

Mefor says on Monday, she asked her SCHS co-workers for prayers. She says after they prayed over her, they began organizing a fundraiser. During offering Tuesday morning, SCHS students and faculty raised $3,154. The money will be used to support Wisconsin families and victims who were affected by the tragedy.

Mefor says it’s an act of kindness that she won’t soon forget.

“My students circled around me, prayed over me and prayed over the families that had been affected, which for me was so powerful that these teenagers are loving on teenagers and families that they’ve never met,” Mefor said. “To the people of Waukesha: We love you. We are standing on the other side of the lake supporting you, praying for you and hoping we can lend a helping hand.”

South Christian says it is working with the Waukesha Community Foundation to distribute the fund directly to families in need. For more information about donating, visit the foundation’s website.

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