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