Donations collected in wake of temple shooting distributed

Posted on: 4:59 pm, November 20, 2012, by , updated on: 08:42pm, November 20, 2012

OAK CREEK — More than $1 million collected in the wake of the Sikh Temple shooting are now being distributed to the families affected by the mass shooting on Sunday, August 5th. Money came in from all over the world, and all 37 people inside the temple that day are set to receive part of what was collected.

FOX6 News learned more than $856,000 of the donations was collected through the website, wearesikhs.com or sent directly to the temple. The money in that fund was distributed on Sunday, November 18th.

Pardeep Kaleka is the son of Satwant Singh Kaleka — the president and founder of the Oak Creek Sikh Temple, and one of those killed in the shooting. Pardeep and his brother set up the donation website, wearesikhs.com.

“At first, we thought we would literally raise a couple thousand. We didn’t know there was gonna be such an outpour of support. You see the people’s generosity. We are not alone,” Pardeep Kaleka said.

The Sikh community said 75% of the donations went to the families of the six killed in the shooting — much of that funding to benefit the children of the deceased, who are as young as eight years old. The rest went to those who were wounded or simply within the temple at the time of the shooting.

“To see (the children) and to see them going to school, and how they’re going to benefit from getting a little bit of money — they can buy clothes and it helps them pay for rent,” Pardeep Kaleka said.

A portion of the donations was also given to Oak Creek Police Lt. Brian Murphy and Officer Sam Lenda.

“That’s what Sikhism is all about. We don’t just help ourselves. Real Sikhism is found in helping others,” Pardeep Kaleka said.

FOX6 News has learned there is another fund for the families. That has raised $190,000. That money has not been handed out yet.

CLICK HERE for additional Sikh Temple shooting coverage via FOX6Now.com.

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