Whitefish Bay families raise thousands for out-of-work crossing guards during coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 2:22 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 15:24:06-04

With so many closures and cancellations during the coronavirus outbreak, we are seeing more and more people take action to help their neighbors in need.

Take for instance, parents in Whitefish Bay. With schools being out, a lot of crossing guards don't have a paycheck coming in. Dozens of families in Whitefish Bay have raised around $5,000 and counting for crossing guards currently out of work.

"I was walking to pick up my youngest son from school and was stopped in conversation with one of our crossing guards. She had mentioned just how scared she was, wondering how she was going to manage over the next month with school being shut down and her not having a job," Beth Wagner said.

Wagner started asking her Facebook friends to pitch in and give what they can. They did. As of Wednesday around noon, Wagner had raised close to $3,000.

"It makes me feel great just because you know I think we are so focused on the fact that this is a health crisis, but as far as this is going to reach, it's so much more than that," she continued.

Her idea inspired other parents in Whitefish Bay, like Erica Yewlett, to do the same and start their own fundraising efforts. Yewlett had received donations close to $2,000 as of Wednesday. Both parents are dividing the donations and cutting checks for the guards.

If you look for them, you will find neighbors helping neighbors in southeast Wisconsin. Milwaukee's The Tandem restaurant posted on Facebook, "We have stocked a freezer full of FREE single portion meals for free pickup."

Cream City Soap company in Wauwatosa is giving out free soap, placing the soap in a basket in front of their store.

"Instead of using it to our advantage and to push our product to make money, it comes down to a community thing. We want to help the community because they are the reason why we are here," said owner, Alex Hero.

Community groups like The Salvation Army set up mobile distribution sites throughout Oak Creek. On Wednesday, volunteers handed out lunches to families with kids out of school.

If you are looking for ways you can help your community, check out the below links:

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Coronavirus in Wisconsin

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More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

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