More than $2 Million Raised in the Wake of Tree of Life Tragedy
The Tree of Life shooting shook the Pittsburgh community — but its reverberations reached way past city limits. Donors near and far have shown their support in a variety of campaigns and fundraisers.
Since the Tree of Life shooting on Oct. 27, affected communities have felt the overwhelming support of others through their generous giving. We’ve already mentioned the local Muslim-American groups who raised more than $230,000, the Pittsburgh Foundation’s commitment to match donations made during from Nov. 1 to 3 and Pittsburgh brewery owners which raised nearly $13,000 in a one-night event, but here’s a fuller rundown of the money donated — where it came from, and where it’s going.
“Muslims Unite” - the local campaign that’s raised, as of Tuesday, $238,634. Campaign organizers said they’ve transferred the funds in installments to the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, whose representative met with the local Jewish Federation to plan fund disbursements among victims’ families to cover funeral and other costs. Organizers said they’ll donate leftover funds, after they’ve been disbursed among affected families, to “projects that help foster Muslim-Jewish collaboration, dialogue, and solidarity,” according to the campaign.
The Pittsburgh Foundation
The Pittsburgh Foundation — which pledged to double donations made to these eight organizations before Nov. 4 — matched $278,103 in donations to make a grand total of $556,000. Individuals and families, as well as local organizations and bigger companies made donations. Most donations — 704 out of 873 — were for $200 or less, but a few larger donors, like Walmart’s $50,000 gift, gave the campaign a boost.
Shay Khatiri — an Iranian refugee living in Washington D.C. who has no connection to Pittsburgh — started a GoFundMe with a goal of $1 million for the Tree of Life Congregation. Within nine days, the campaign had exceeded its goal. All donations are sent directly to Tree of Life without Khatiri’s involvement. This [campaign] warms my heart,” Khatiri wrote on the page. “I immigrated here from Iran four years ago. My adoptive country never fails to inspire me.”
The Penguins donated a total of $50,000 to the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Safety, and held a donation night at last Tuesday’s game in the PPG Paints Arena. A special patch commemorating the Tree of Life victims adorned players’ jerseys at Tuesday’s game, which the Penguins will auction off to raise money for victims. Funds will go to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, as well as establish a fund for injured police officers with the City of Pittsburgh Dept. of Public Safety. Sidney Crosby’s jersey is at the current highest bid, at $21,018. The auction will run through Nov. 13.
Several other GoFundMe pages are also underway, from a campaign that’s raised more than $26,000 for injured Officer Dan Mead, to several other individual funds for shooting victims.