Frequently Asked Questions
What is Together Highland Park Unidos?
Together Highland Park Unidos is a committee established by the Highland Park Community Foundation to manage the distribution process of donations made to the July 4th Highland Park Shooting Fund. This inclusive committee of community leaders has committed to an open, transparent, and expedient process to help victims and members of the broader community who were impacted by the July 4th shooting.
Who are the Committee Members?
Betsy Brint, Chairman, Highland Park Community Foundation
Pablo Alvarez, School Counselor, Highland Park High School, Moraine Township Trustee
Jaime Barraza, Board Member, District 113
Hania Fuschetto, Community Relations Manager, Highland Park Hospital
Michelle Holleman, Councilmember, City of Highland Park
Laurie Levin, Vice Chairman, Highland Park Community Foundation
Terri Olian, Executive Director, Highland Park Community Foundation
David L. Reich, Immediate Past Chairman, Highland Park Community Foundation
Nancy Sawle-Knobloch, Executive Director, Family Service of Lake County
Who are the Fund Administrators and what is their role?
The Committee has appointed Bruce Boyd and Eric Kessel to be the Fund Administrators. Their role is to receive and review all applications, meet with claimants as needed, make payment determinations in accordance with the Committee’s Final Protocol, and write the final Fund Report.
What is the July 4th Highland Park Shooting Response Fund?
Immediately after the parade shooting, the Highland Park Community Foundation established the July 4th Highland Park Response Fund to accept donations for victims of the mass shooting and nonprofit organizations supporting victims.
Will donations be used for overhead costs?
No. 100% of all donations will be distributed to support the needs of victims and the broader community that resulted from the shooting.
How much money has been raised?
Together Highland Park Unidos distributed $5.8 million in donations.
Will there be an independent audit of the Fund?
Yes. Following the distribution of the Funds, an independent audit will be conducted and the results will be published for public review.
Where can I get pro bono legal help?
North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic, nslegalaid.org, provides free and confidential legal services. You may schedule a consultation online or by calling 847-737-4042.
Will there be a second round of applications for claims from the July 4th Highland Park Shooting Response Fund?
We do not expect there to be a second round of applications for claims.
A second fund, the July 4th Recovery Fund, has been opened by the Highland Park Community
Foundation to accept donations that will be used to address continuing mental health needs and other
services resulting from the shooting.
Do you have to live in Highland Park or Highwood in order to file a claim?
No. A claim may be filed by anyone who has an eligible claim as defined in the Final Protocol, regardless of place of residency.
How many victims sustained physical injuries?
Due to privacy laws, we do not have a list of victims. We encourage victims who sustained physical injuries to self-identify and to share contact information so we can keep them informed.
What are you doing to address mental health injuries?
We recognize that the Parade shooting has resulted in injury to victims and community members besides physical harm, creating a need for services beyond those customarily provided in scope or patient numbers historically. Since our funds are limited, it would be difficult to meaningfully address individual claims for mental health services. To address this, the Committee will be distributing funds to nonprofit organizations directly serving mental health needs of victims and community members.
Filing A Claim
What is the deadline for filing a claim?
5 PM on September 7, 2022
Who can file a claim for compensation from the Fund?
As noted in the Final Protocol, to be eligible for compensation a claim must fall into one of four proposed categories:
A. Death Claims and Permanent Catastrophic Physical Injury Claims
Eligible claimants for deceased victims and those who suffered permanent catastrophic physical injuries such as severe brain damage, amputation of limbs, or severe paralysis as a result of the Highland Park 4th of July Parade shooting will receive payment under the Final Protocol. It is anticipated that eligible claimants in this category will all receive the same payment.
B. Physical Injury Claims for Victims Requiring Overnight Hospitalization
Eligible claimants who were physically injured and initially hospitalized within 10 days of the shooting (July 4–14, 2022) for one or more nights due to physical injuries as a result of the shooting will receive payment under this Protocol. The payment is to be based on the number of days of hospitalization between July 4, 2022, and September 7, 2022. A signed letter from the applicable hospital will be required.
C. Physical Injury Claims for Victims Treated at Hospitals, Medical Facilities, or by a Medical Professional Solely on an Out-Patient Basis
Eligible claimants who were physically injured as a result of the Highland Park 4th of July Parade shooting who were treated solely as an out-patient within 10 days of the shooting (July 4– 14, 2022) at a hospital or medical facility, or treated by a medical professional, and released without an in-patient hospital stay, will receive payment under this Protocol. It is anticipated that eligible claimants in this category will all receive the same payment regardless of injury. A signed letter from the applicable hospital, medical facility, or medical professional will be required.
D. Nonprofit Organizations Supporting Community Members not Physically Injured
The Committee recognizes that the Highland Park 4th of July Parade shooting resulted in injury to victims and community members besides physical harm, creating a need for services beyond those customarily provided in scope or patient numbers historically. Rather than individually addressing these claims, the Committee believes it best to support Highland Park, Highwood, and other nonprofit organizations serving these needs. Funding for organizations will be based on the increase in and type of client services these organizations are providing to victims and the community as a result of the shooting.
Do you know what nonprofits will be receiving grants?
A total of 17 nonprofit organizations have received grants.
- Family Focus Highland Park
- Families Helping Families Chicagoland
- Family Service of Glencoe
- Family Service of Lake County
- Fenix Family Health Center
- Gratitude Generation
- Highland Park Public Library
- Highwood Public Library and Community Center
- JCC Chicago
- JCFS Chicago
- Laurie S. Bauer Foundation for Sudden Loss
- North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic
- Rainbows for All Children
- Southeast Lake County Faith in Action Volunteers
- The Balance Project
- Youth Services
What if I was physically injured but did not seek medical care? Am I able to submit a claim form?
Under the Final Protocol, only individuals who sustained physical injury and were hospitalized as an in-patient or treated as an outpatient within 10 days of the shooting (July 4-14, 2022) at a hospital or medical facility, or treated by a medical professional, and released without an in-patient hospital stay, will be eligible claimants.
How do I get a claim form?
Claim forms are available for download on this website and hard copies are available at the following locations:
- Family Service of Lake County, 777 Central Avenue, #17, Highland Park, IL
- Highland Park Library, 494 Laurel Avenue, Highland Park, IL
- Highwood Library & Community Center, 102 Highwood Avenue, Highwood, IL
- North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic, 3500 Western Avenue, Sute 2A, Highland Park, IL
Copies may also be requested by emailing info@July4Fund.org or calling (773) 733-0650.
Where are forms submitted?
Completed forms may be submitted any of the following ways:
- Emailed to info@July4Fund.org
- Mailed to Highland Park Community Foundation, P.O. Box 398, Highland Park, IL 60035
- Brought to Highwood Public Library, 102 Highwood Avenue, Highwood, IL 60040, where they will be securely stored.
All forms must be emailed, dropped off, or postmarked by 5:00 PM on September 7, 2022.
Will the Claim Forms be available in Spanish?
Yes, the Claim Form will be available in Spanish.
Do I have to be a US Citizen to file a claim?
No, but you will need to provide acceptable identification to confirm your identity. Most standard forms of ID will be accepted.
What kind of documentation is needed to file a claim?
The claim form specifies what supporting documentation needs to be submitted with the claim.
Who can submit a claim form for a deceased victim or minor child?
A Claim Form filed for a minor child or other person subject to legal guardianship must be submitted by a parent or other legal guardian, as applicable.
Who files a claim on behalf of a deceased victim? What if the deceased victim did not have a will?
A claim form for a deceased victim must be filed by the personal representative legally authorized to administer the estate. Please see the claim form for additional information about filing a claim on behalf of a deceased victim.
If more than one person in a household was physically injured, can more than one claim be filed?
A claim can be filed by each person in a household who sustained a physical injury resulting from the July 4th Highland Park Shooting.
Can I meet with the Fund Administrators after I file a claim?
Yes, all claimants will have the opportunity to meet with the Administrators about their claims, if they so desire, once their claims are submitted.
What happens if my claim form is not approved?
The Administrators will contact claimants whose claims are no approved.
Hospital Letters and Letters from a Medical Professional
How do I get a verification letter from Highland Park Hospital? Do I need to bring the hospital the letter that is in the Claim Form to sign?
To receive an official letter of verification for hospitalization and/or treatment at Highland Park Hospital or any of the hospitals within NorthShore University HealthSystem, call 847-480- 2843.
Please leave your full name, date of birth and phone number. A patient registration representative will verify that you received treatment at the hospital related to the July 4th event and will call you to schedule an appointment to pick up your letter. Appointments are available Monday through Friday, from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Individuals will need to bring a government issued ID such as a driver’s license, ID card or passport to the scheduled appointment.
Highland Park Hospital has a template of the letter in the Claim Form that the hospital will use to prepare a letter for you, so you do not have to bring the letter attached to the Claim Form to the hospital for signature.
The hospital will not be able to accommodate walk-ins due to the time it takes to verify the request against our records and to process the letter.
Can Highland Park Hospital provide me with a letter if I was treated at another hospital?
If you were treated at one of the NorthShore University HealthSystem Hospitals you can receive your letter by calling 847-480-2843 and making an appointment. These hospitals include:
- Evanston Hospital
- Glenbrook Hospital
- Highland Park Hospital
- Skokie Hospital
- NorthShore Immediate Care Center
- NorthShore Medical Group
If you received treatment at:
- Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, call Community Affairs – 312.926.7506
- Vista Medical Center, call patient registration: 847-360-4060.
Would a copy of a discharge plan be sufficient proof of hospitalization and/or treatment to submit with the claim form? Do I need to submit discharge papers with my claim?
No. Do not provide copies of your discharge plan or medical records as verification. These documents contain private health information that should not be shared. The hospital will need to provide a verification letter with the name of the patient, dates of treatment, and confirmation that treatment was provided as a result of the July 4th event.
What do I need to bring to the hospital for a verification letter? Do I need to bring a letter from the claim form for the hospital to sign?
Individuals will need to bring a government issued ID such as a driver’s license, ID card, or passport to the scheduled appointment. Highland Park Hospital has a template of the letter that will be filled out with the individual’s name and information, so you do not have to bring it to the hospital for signature.
What do I need to bring to the hospital for a verification letter for a deceased family member?
A verification letter will not be needed. Letters of verification are only required for individuals with physical injuries as a result of the July 4th event.
Do I need to provide two letters if I was treated at an emergency room, discharged, and later hospitalized?
Only one letter is needed. As long as the claimant was admitted as an inpatient within 10 days of the Parade shooting (July 4, 2022 – July 14, 2022), the claimant should request a letter from the hospital at which there was an overnight stay.
What does the letter from the hospital or medical professional need to say?
Sample letters are provided in the claim form.
Can the hospital social worker write my letter for me?
Together Highland Park Unidos has approved templates to be used for verification letters and the letters should be issued by individuals and/or department approved by the designated medical center.
What other documents will I need to submit in addition to the claim form and medical letter?
The type of claim you are submitting determines the additional documents you will need to submit. Please see the claim form for further information.
Will claims in Funding Categories A, B, and C, as identified in the Final Protocol, receive the highest amount of payment? Will claims in Category A receive the highest payment, claims in category B the second highest, and claims in Category C the third highest amount?
Claims in Funding Categories A, B, and C will receive the highest percentage of the Fund total. The amounts awarded in each category will be determined once we close the Fund for donations.
When will payments be issued?
Payments were issued on October 31, 2022.
How much will payments be?
Payments were made according to the final protocol:
Do the payments have to be used for a specific purpose?
Payments are unrestricted.
Can payments be split between family members?
No. Only one form can be submitted per person, per claim, and only one check will be issued per claim.
Do I waive any legal rights by accepting a payment?
Together Highland Park Unidos cannot offer legal advice.
Are payments subject to federal income tax?
Together Highland Park Unidos cannot offer tax advice.
If I receive money from the Fund, will my name be made public?
No. Names of victims will be kept confidential and will not be published.
What is your tax ID?
Highland Park Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. EIN 36-3819818.
How can I make a donation?
The July 4th Highland Park Shooting Response Fund, which the Highland Park Community Foundation established immediately after the mass shooting, was closed on October 7, 2022. All donations to the Fund will be distributed to assist families of the victims who were killed, victims who were physically injured, and nonprofit organizations serving the needs of victims and the community following the shooting.
On October 8, 2022, the Highland Park Community Foundation opened a second fund, the July 4th Recovery Fund, to accept donations that will be used to address continuing needs of victims for mental health and other services resulting from the shooting. The Highland Park Community Foundation will administer the Fund and distribute the donations as grants to organizations that are addressing ongoing needs of victims and community members.
Click here to donate to July 4th Recovery Fund.
You may also mail a check payable to the Highland Park Community Foundation, memo line July 4th Recovery Fund, to P.O. Box 398, Highland Park, IL 60035
Will you accept matching funds or donations of stock?
Yes. The Highland Park Community Foundation will gratefully receive a donation of stock or your employer’s matching gift. For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 847-433-4100.
I am doing an event. Can I donate the proceeds to the to the July 4th Highland Park Shooting Response Fund?
Yes, all donations are welcome! Please send an email to email@example.com about your event, and the Highland Park Community Foundation will include your information on its social media feeds, whenever possible.
Are you selling T-Shirts or merchandise?
No, but many of these items are available for purchase at many local businesses including Sunset Foods, HP Tops, and Michael’s Grill & Salad Bar. As you discover businesses that are selling products to benefit the July 4th Highland Park Shooting Response Fund, please email firstname.lastname@example.org so they can be listed here as well.
Can I get a copy of the logo?