“I never thought I’d be raising money to support something that would happen at my own kid’s school,” explained Molly Butz, a Foundation Development Coordinator for Aurora Health Care Foundation, based in Oshkosh, WI.
In early 2019, Molly was raising funds for Aurora Health Care to support emergency trainings in the community which included the purchase of Stop the Bleed kits designed to stop traumatic hemorrhaging. Then in December, Molly learned first-hand the importance of these emergency resources. She picked up her cell phone and saw every parent’s worst nightmare: texts from her 15-year-old daughter about a shooting at her school.
“I had 23 messages from Sydney and 15 missed calls,” Molly explained. “They said ‘We’re evacuating school, mom. I need you to come get me.’ It is exactly what we were preparing for, but never thought would happen, especially in my own daughter’s school.”
Molly would later learn that a student at Sydney’s high school had stabbed the school resource officer in an effort to get his gun. That officer fought the student off and was accidentally shot in the arm. Thankfully, someone at the school knew how to apply a tourniquet which helped save the officer’s life. That officer’s efforts saved countless lives at the school.
Unfortunately, in this instance the Stop the Bleed kits had not been delivered to the school yet, but the incident brought additional urgency to the cause.
Aurora’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Tracy Miller, has since helped distribute 90 Stop the Bleed kits with plans for another 160. The kits— all purchased by generous donors— are going in large community spaces like schools, college campuses and concert venues.
“Someone can bleed to death in five to seven minutes. Knowing how to apply pressure to a wound can save lives while they’re waiting on help to arrive,” Miller said.
One of the locations to receive the kits is Perry Tipler Middle School in Oshkosh. “If there is a threat of a shooter, the response is often to barricade in the classroom. So, having a kit in every classroom is important,” explained Sarah Poquette, the school principal. “I want to give a big heartfelt thank you to Aurora Health Care and their donors for providing these for us. We feel valued because we know we have the support of the community.”
As a parent, Molly is incredibly grateful that her daughter and other innocent students were not harmed in the December incident. And she also feels immense pride that Aurora, and generous residents, stepped up to help. “I woke up in the middle of the night thinking I wanted to reach out to every single person who donated to this effort and say thank you,” Molly shared.