As the country grips with the devastating mass shootings that have affected our communities over the past several weeks, The Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Pittsburgh is coming together to be a good neighbor, even from over 1,500 miles away. 

To support and uplift the community of Uvalde, Texas after the mass shooting that left 19 students and 2 teachers dead at Robb Elementary School, the JCC sprung into action to think of ways they could help their Uvalde neighbors cope with this tragic and senseless act of violence. 

The JCC’s Center for Loving Kindness and 10.27 Health Partnership programs got in contact with the Herby Ham Activity Center, which provides a safe space for children who have experienced trauma through their program Project Grace and is located just 3 miles from Robb Elementary School. The center communicated that they had a need for stuffed animals and elementary-level books and the JCC got right to work and launched the “Build a Hug” Drive.

From May 25th through June 3rd, the JCC collected stuffed animals and books for the children at their JCC Squirrel Hill and South Hills locations. As of Wednesday, June 1, the organization had already packed over a dozen boxes for the children of Uvalde. 

“Showing love and support for a community experiencing pain is at the core of our values.” said Rabbi Ron Symons, Director of the JCC Center for Loving Kindness. “That is why it is important we stand with a fellow community center which will act as a place of healing for the people of Uvalde.”

The JCC’s Center for Loving Kindness is truly living out their mission of loving your neighbor as yourself – and redefining the word “neighbor” from a geographic term to a moral concept. To learn more about the JCC and all of the ways they are supporting the Pittsburgh community and our neighbors, visit their website.

Additional opportunities to support the community of Uvalde: 

View All Victims GoFundMe Pages

Robb School Memorial Fund

Uvalde Victims Relief Fund

Fund for Families of Victims and Survivors of the Uvalde School Shooting

United Way: United with Uvalde

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Leigha Pindroh

Leigha Pindroh is a born and raised Pittsburgher who now resides in the northern suburbs with her three sons and husband. She runs a motherhood and lifestyle blog called Life of Leigha and is the co-host of a podcast for modern mamas called Life Opens Up. When she's not posting on IG, she's trying out the latest coffee spot, browsing local boutiques, or attending fun, family-friendly events with her boys.

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