Oak Creek,Wisconsin:— Fresh off their own tragedy, Sikhs have reached out to the victims of the Azana Salon & Spa shooting and their families. From the moment the news broke, Sikhs were at the scene, working with Salvation Army volunteers to provide any help they could. Now, they’re giving back through a blood drive.
The August 5th shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek left six dead and three critically wounded.
Sunday’s shooting at the Azana Salon & Spa left three dead, and four others injured.
Worshippers at the Sikh Temple in Brookfield are still going through the process of healing after 40-year-old Wade Michael Page entered the Temple during Sunday morning services on a clear August day and opened fire at their sister congregation in Oak Creek.
On Sunday, October 28th, worshippers at the Sikh Temple in Brookfield directed their prayers to those in their own neighborhood — affected by a shooting just one week ago.
“We want the people of the Azana Salon to know what we are going through, and we want to let them know we are standing by them. We will stand with them,” Sikh Temple President Gurcharan Singh Grewal said.
Sikhs are not only praying, but also working to give back.
Outside the temple on Sunday, a Blood Center of Wisconsin bus was on hand, filled with worshippers donating blood.
Manjit Singh says the Azana Salon & Spa shooting resurrected terrible memories, and also drove him to help in any way that he can.
“My house is very close by the salon, so it’s sad. This is something we want to show the other communities — we are one of them, not separate or different,” Singh said.
Nearly 40 people gave blood during Sunday’s blood drive, with more promising to donate when room is available — as more people showed up to donate Sunday than there was room on the bus.
“I think the blood drive is the best gift that you can give someone in life, and that is why we are honoring those people,” Grewal said.
It was an outpouring of support from one community reaching out to another. In the face of tragedy, instead of losing faith, the Sikhs are helping to pass it on.
“If they stand with us, we stand with them,” Singh said.
The Sikh Temple of Brookfield plans to host another blood drive in the near future, since there were so many people who wanted to give.