With news of the Parkland school shooting so fresh in their minds Carly Weiss, 21, and Rebecca Papilsky, 22, both students at University of Florida felt the need to do something to support the victims and their families. ”When you grow up fifteen minutes away from something like this,” said Carly, “it’s not that it’s too close to home, it is home and I just needed to do something about it.” Carly and Rebecca, a graduate of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School met through a mutual friend, another Stoneman Douglas graduate, Gabby Schwartz, now a student at Yale University.
A post on Gabby’s facebook wall asked people to “take time out at Purim to celebrate courage and to celebrate the lives of the 17 who we’ve lost,” and invited people to come bake hamantashen and donate the proceeds to victims and their families. So Carly and Rebecca approached Rabbi Berl and Chanie Goldman of Chabad at UF to see if they could bring the initiative to their campus. “They asked us to collaborate on a fundraiser and it was a great success,” Berl said. Around 80-100 students attended the event, paying a minimum donation of $5 to bake and fill as many of the triangular shaped Purim cookies as they could. “Many more students, who were unable to attend asked to buy hamantashen as a way of participating and showing their support.” So far over $500 has been raised through this initiative and money continues to flow into the donation page.
Gabby grew up next door to Meadow Pollack, was one of the 17 people tragically killed at Parkland. The events at Yale and UF and others at Vanderbilt University and University of Texas at Austin, in memory of the victims, are meaningful to her. “I think it’s amazing that even though the High School is in south Florida, people up north in Gainesville and at schools around the country are thinking of ways to give back to the victims’ families.”
To donate to the families follow this link https://www.gofundme.com/stonemandouglasvictimsfund