• Local business markets 'Stronger Than Hate' shirts to benefit Tree of Life shooting victims

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    PITTSBURGH - A local T-shirt company made a big donation on Friday to the victims of the Tree of Life massacre.

    It's been two months since the tragedy at the Squirrel Hill synagogue.

    In that time, there has been an outpouring of support, both outside the place of worship and in the form of millions of dollars worth of donations.

    Larry and Anne Barasch own www.123shirt.com and operate it out of their Robinson basement.


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    They have been producing the popular Stronger Than Hate T-shirts, with all of the money after costs going to the victims. The shirts honor the 11 victims lost and the dozens of others impacted by the shooting in October.

    The Baraschs are also members of Tree of Life, and whose uncle, Judah, was in the parking lot as police and the gunman exchanged fire.

    "About 30 minutes into this whole tragedy, I get (a) text saying he's home, he's safe, we have Judah home. It was a sigh of relief, thank God," said Anne Barasch.

    They decided to act and do what they know: create T-shirts.

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    "By that evening, we decided we were going to do a fundraiser. We were going to do something," said Larry Barasch.

    A handful of orders quickly grew to thousands from all over the world.

    “We were expecting orders from Pittsburgh. We weren’t expecting to explode,” Larry Barasch said.

    The Baraschs presented Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers and the congregation with a check for $18,000.

    The number is no accident; the number 18 carries a very significant meaning in the Jewish faith.

    "L'chaim means to life. So when you say I'm giving a chai, or an 18, it means I'm giving the gift of life. What we decided to do was give a huge 18. I think this is going to be very gratifying. It's been heartwarming to see the outpouring from all of the people who bought these shirts."

    The Barasch family was quick to point out that this is a first donation and they will give more money as the shirts sell.

    The check presentation will happen Friday morning.


     

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