KNOXVILLE (WATE) – We’ve been getting calls, emails and FaceBook messages from a lot of you at home asking how you can help the school bus crash victims. There are donation pages and even a little memorial that’s forming on the side of the road.
A teacher’s aide from Sunnyview started it with a couple of stuffed animals and a balloon. Now there are lots of gifts, and three crosses. One for each of the victims.
There are at least 3 fundraising accounts set up for the families of the victims to help them with the costs of funerals and other expenses from the crash.
Tiffany Rooks’ aunt, Kim Riddle, was the teacher’s aide killed in the crash. Rooks is organizing a toy donation for the children in these affected families to help them get through the holiday season.
“You know we can’t take away the pain of a lost loved one, but at least we can help the families out and sort of relieve them during Christmas time,” said Rooks.
A friend of Unkennia Arinze, the mother of 6 year old Zykia who was killed in the crash, says the donations from complete strangers have been overwhelming and they mean the world to the family struggling with this heartbreak of losing a child.
“This morning she literally was in tears. She couldn’t even speak. She didn’t know none of this was going on. And you know, when I talked to her this morning and told her all of the things that were going on, the goal had been met, she was like, ‘I didn’t even know this was going on. I feel so loved, I didn’t think that people would come out to do this,'” said Robin Garner.
Both Rooks and Garner say most of the donations have come from complete strangers, really shedding a different kind of light on this difficult time.
To donate to the family of Seraya Glasper, visit their GoFundMe page for more information.
The Dr. E.V. Davidson Community Center will be collecting Christmas items for families on Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. They are accepting toys, clothing, nonperishable food items and gift cards.
Anyone wishing to donate other items or services to the families are asked to contact Stephanie Jeffreys with Knox County Schools at (865) 594-1621.
Funeral arrangements for Glasper will be held on Dec. 9 at Overcoming Believers Church on Harriet Tubman Street in Knoxville from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
A memorial service for Riddle will be on Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church on Dandridge Ave.
The Burns family is still planning arrangements.