The Tree of Life Tragedy: What Can I Do to Help?

It may feel as though there’s nothing you can do to ease the pain and grief that so many Pittsburghers are feeling right now — but there is.


Donate Funds

The Tree of Life Synagogue accepts donations directly through its website with a credit or debit card. Crowdsourcing fundraisers have also been started, like this verified gofundme campaign. In the single day since the campaign was started, it has raised more than $600,000 in donations from more than 10,000 people.

A second crowdsourcing fundraiser, hosted by LaunchGood and created by Muslim-American activist groups CelebrateMercy and MPower Change, is raising money to help injured victims and grieving families with immediate needs, such as funeral expenses and medical bills. That campaign has raised more than $125,000 since its creation on Saturday night.

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society offers legal assistance, psycho-social care and safe economic opportunities for refugees of all religious backgrounds. You can donate to HIAS through its website with a credit or debit card.

Donate Blood

On Saturday, Vitalant (formerly Central Blood Bank) said its local donation centers were so overwhelmed after the incident they had to turn people away — but there is still a need for O-positive, O-negative and platelet donations.  

American Red Cross will be holding a blood drive inside the WIlliam Pitt Union on Friday, Nov. 2 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments are required and can be made through with the code “PITT.”

Vitalant will be hosting a blood drive at the Verizon Gate at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday, Nov. 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 866-366-6771 with the code “M060.”

Learn and Advocate

According to a report from the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic incidents in the U.S. increased nearly 60% from 2016 to 2017. Antisemitic attacks are also on the rise in many European countries.

Advocacy groups, like the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish World Congress, can help combat violence against Jewish communities. These organizations offer educational resources for learning how to detect bigoted language, report antisemitic threats and attacks and advocate for legal protection for Jewish communities around the world.

Seek Out Places to Heal

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is offering the museum site as a safe space for families to gather, discuss thoughts and feelings about the Tree of Life tragedy and give children a safe place to play. The museum is offering free admission through Friday.

Listen, Lucy — an organization that offers resources for individuals struggling with mental illness — is hosting an event and fundraiser on Nov. 10 from 12 to 4 p.m. Details will be posted on its Facebook page. If interested in volunteering for the event, email

Categories: The 412