When downtown Waukesha resident Brock Held heard that an SUV plowed into the Waukesha Christmas Parade on Sunday, he spent a frantic, heart-stopping 15 minutes seeing if his stepsister and her daughter, who were in the downtown area, were okay.
"It was like seeing a deer (when you are driving)," he said. "But that was nothing compared to what those people are going through in the hospital."
When he woke up the next morning, he had the idea to donate the materials, labor and all the work to install wheelchair ramps for the dozens of people injured in the parade.
He said that people should not worry about how they will get their families home from the hospital. "They can keep their insurance checks, and they need (the ramps)," said Held.
After he posted his plans to build the ramps Monday night on the Waukesha Area Buy, Sell & Give Away Facebook page, he was inundated with messages — of people offering donations, supplies, free labor.
On Wednesday, he started working on the first ramp. He said it is for a family with four people who were injured. The mother will need it when she comes home from the hospital in a few weeks, Held said.
"I am going to keep this professional and try not to get too emotional about it," he said. "I am so excited (to make ramps) that I am trying to keep it together." He said that the ramps are relatively easy to make.
As a 2006 Menomonee Falls High School graduate, he said he learned his trade as a professional construction worker through high school classes such as shop class. He attended Waukesha County Technical College for welding. He has worked in the field since he was a teenager, is a professional contractor and owns his own business. He says he has built decks and other similar things.
"I am a professional problem solver," he said. "I am good at organizing."
He moved to downtown Waukesha about nine months ago to be closer to his work projects. "I enjoy the downtown feel of downtown Waukesha. It is not as busy (as a big city). I walk my dog (Athena) downtown regularly," he said.
But when he said he heard about the Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy, he felt upset. He said he does not know anyone personally who has died or was injured, but he still wants to help.
"This is my way of giving back," he said. "I care about everyone."
To help or make a donation, email Held at email@example.com
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Waukesha man to make wheelchair ramps for those injured in parade