JCC collecting new stuffed animals and books for children of Uvalde
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JCC collecting new stuffed animals and books for children of Uvalde

Donations can be dropped off at the Squirrel Hill or South Hills JCC.

(Image by MirelaSchenk from Pixabay)
(Image by MirelaSchenk from Pixabay)

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh’s Center for Loving Kindness, in collaboration with the 10.27 Healing Partnership, is collecting new stuffed animals and books for children in Uvalde, Texas.

On May 24, an 18-year-old gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, killing 19 children and two teachers. He was shot after more than 40 minutes by a Border Patrol team.

Donations to the “Build a Hug” drive will be boxed and sent to the Herby Ham Activity Center in Uvalde for distribution to children in the community traumatized by the shooting. The Center for Loving Kindness and 10.27 Healing Partnership connected with the Herby Ham Activity Center, a community center three miles from the school, following the shooting, JCC officials said. The Herby Ham Activity Center’s Project Grace provides a safe space for children experiencing trauma.

“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.”

Donations of new stuffed animals and books should be dropped off by Friday, June 3, at the JCC Squirrel Hill’s garage entrance, 5738 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday, 6 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Donations can also be delivered to the JCC South Hills, main entrance, 345 Kane Blvd., Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday: 6 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

All stuffed animals donated must be brand-new and still have tags on; elementary school-level books donated must also be brand-new. PJC

Toby Tabachnick

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