Together, we can heal

In the last few weeks, we have seen Pittsburgh neighbors from every part of our great city take on the role of givers after the terrible events at the Tree of Life Synagogue. I am so incredibly proud to live in a city where people come together in such tremendous ways. The financial support collected for the victims will make a difference for the families impacted and is greatly appreciated.

As a community who cares about our region’s future, we cannot slow down. We must continue to forge ahead to make real change. There is more work to be done. I am particularly concerned for our local children who will need help to make sense of this. We can play a large role in guiding them and reinforcing that hate and discrimination will not be tolerated here. And we can begin to heal.

At United Way, and with many of our partner agencies, we know our local kids are likely confused and scared in this time of despair. It is our role as adults to guide them, to give them a hand, to help them heal when tragic events occur. This support is critical to helping our local children grow into successful, open-minded, compassionate individuals.

For all of you who have stepped up to find a way to help, it is incredibly appreciated. I am asking all of us to go one step further, together, as we continue our path to healing.

When we as adults support kids early on in life – through mentoring, after school programs, and educational opportunities – we are helping them build character. Kids in mentoring are able to talk one-on-one with an adult who can offer a new perspective and help them think about situations in a different way. After school programs across our region help keep kids safe, while also helping them make new friends and grow their social skills.

The kids in our community need us to help them grow and be their best selves. There are many great ways to continue making a difference here in Pittsburgh. United Way’s Be a Middle School Mentor still has hundreds of students who need a mentor for this school year. There are after school programs all throughout our city in need of a helping hand. There are tutoring and homework help volunteer opportunities. And so many more. All of which offer ways for caring adults to reach out to a young person in our community and make an impact on their life.

To continue giving financially or to sign up for a volunteer opportunity that is right for you, you can always dial United Way’s 2-1-1. A resource navigator can help guide you to an opportunity, where you can continue making an impact in your community.

Thank you. From local agencies, to caring individuals and families, to religious organizations, to our city’s corporations and officials – together, we will work toward healing.