Previous Disaster Relief Efforts

Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting

On October 27, 2018 during a Shabbat morning service and baby's bris at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania a mass shooting occurred.  Eleven people were killed, and nine were injured.

Numerous fundraising efforts have been launched to assist with medical bills and counseling for survivors of the shooting, burial of the victims, and repairs to the synagogue.

Ways to support the area:

  • Tree of Life Synagogue GoFundMe
  • Windham Area Interfaith Ministry will be holding a Service for Solidarity and Healing at Temple Bnai Israel on Friday, November 2nd at 7:30pm.  If you would like to attend please RSVP Temple Bnai Israel 860-423-3743 or  All interfaith friends are welcome to join.



Massachusetts Gas Leaks

On September 13, 2018 three Massachusetts communities (Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover) experienced a series of explosions and fires due to natural gas leaks. The cause is believed to be an issue with supplier Columbia Gas regarding over-pressurized gas valves. The disaster killed one resident, caused over 30,000 customers to evacuate their homes, and has disrupted the lives of many residents.


Ways to support the area:


Northern California Wildfires

Information about Northern California wildfires

In early October 2017, a series of wildfires started burning across the state of California. They broke out throughout Napa, Lake, Sonoma, Mendocino, Butte, and Solano counties during severe fire weather conditions effectively leading to a major red flag warning from much of the Northern California area. Seventeen separate wildfires have been reported during this time.

Due to the extreme conditions, shortly after the fires ignited they rapidly grew to become massive, full-scale incidents spanning from 1,000 acres to well over 20,000 acres  each within a single day. By October 12, 191,437 acres  in California were burning, and an estimated 3,500 structures were destroyed. In addition, the Northern California fires have killed at least 31 people and hospitalized at least 100, making the week of October 8, 2017 the deadliest week of wildfires in California history.

Source: Wikipedia

Ways to support the area

Donate to the RedCross

Donate to local animal shelters, which are helping people keep their pets safe. Humane Society of Sonoma County:, Humane Society of Napa County:, and Yuba-Sutter SPCA:


Hurricane Relief

Information about Hurricane Florence:

On September 14, 2018 Hurricane Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane in the southeastern US. Since then, more than 30” of rain have fallen in parts of North Carolina.  There have been 18 fatalities due to storm related incidents.  Hundreds others have been rescued from flooded areas. There are hundreds of thousands of individuals across North and South Carolina without power.

Although the storm has been downgraded to a tropic storm, heavy rain still continues.  With rising flood waters conditions are predicted to get much worse over the next few days.

You can find more information and up to date facts here.

Ways to support the area:

Information about Hurricane Harvey:

Information about Hurricane Maria:

Hurricane Mariais a powerful tropical cyclone that recently made landfall on Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane. Hurricane Maria also hit the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Leeward Islands, and the Dominican Republic. It is the third major hurricane in a row to threaten the Leeward Islands with a direct strike or major impacts within two weeks, after Hurricane Irma caused catastrophic damage there and Jose, then a Category 4 hurricane, passed dangerously close just days after.


Ways to support those affected by the hurricanes:

Hurricane Harvey:

Las Vegas Tragedy

We will provide a list of resources and relief efforts as we become aware of them on this page. If there is information that you feel should be added to this page, please email Be sure to check back regularly for updates.

Information about Las Vegas Tragedy

On October 1st a gunman on a high floor of a Las Vegas hotel rained a rapid-fire barrage on an outdoor concert festival that Sunday night, killing at least 58 people, wounding hundreds of others, and sending thousands of terrified survivors fleeing for cover, in one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.


Source: New York Times

Ways to support those affected by the tragedy


Flooding in Southeast Asia

Information about South Asia floods

Heavy monsoon rains have brought Mumbai to a halt for a second day as the worst floods to strike south Asia in years continued to exact a deadly

More than 1,200 people have died across India, Bangladesh and Nepal as a result of flooding, with 40 million affected by the devastation. At least six people, including two toddlers, were among the victims in and around India’s financial

Source: The Guardian

Ways to support those affected by the flooding

For additional information on charitable options as well as guidelines in giving, please visit the following sites:

Earthquake in Mexico

Information about the Earthquake in Mexico

At least 61 people have died after the most powerful earthquake to hit Mexico in a century struck off the southern coast.

The magnitude 8.1 quake, which was felt as far as Mexico City and Guatemala City, was registered off Mexico's southern coast just as heavy rains from Hurricane Katia lashed the east. The epicenter was in the Pacific Ocean, some 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) southeast of the capital and 74 miles (120 kilometers) off the coast.
Source: CNN

Ways to support those affected by the earthquake

Orlando Tragedy

Information about the Orlando Nightclub Shooting

On Sunday June 12, 2016 a mass shooting occurred at Pulse, a gay nightclub in downtown Orlando, Florida. In this tragedy, 50 people were killed, including the gunman, and 53 individuals were wounded. Orlando is in great need of our help and support, as our President Susan Herbst urged, “What can we do as a University?”


Message from President Susan Herbst

Dear Colleagues and Students,

Our campus community, like the nation, watched what took place in Orlando with a sense of horror and helplessness.  It is far too familiar a feeling, especially here in Connecticut, where the nightmare that was Sandy Hook is seared into our minds.  Yet again, innocent human beings have been senselessly slaughtered.  And again, scores of people grieve for someone they loved. This is the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

It is an occurrence that has become so common, that we have come to know each by its shorthand name:  Columbine, Fort Hood, San Bernardino, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook.  And now, Orlando.  These are only a few.  They happen in offices, restaurants, schools, college campuses, and clubs.  Whether those responsible are motivated by madness or hate – or both – the result is the same.  In this case, it cannot be a coincidence that a gathering place for LGBT people was targeted.

What can we do as a university?  In some sense, we can do what every community is doing:  watch yet another tragedy unfold and do all we can to ensure the safety and security of our own community.  But in another sense, we are already doing what we ought to be doing: making certain that care, compassion, respect, and love for our fellow person defines who we are as a university, and as individuals.  There is a reason UConn embraces diversity and rejects hatred, in any form.  No, that alone will not stop tragedies from taking place.  But it does mean that we live our lives on- and off-campus according to our highest and most precious values.  That is who we are, and will continue to be.


Susan Herbst


Ways to Support the Victims and the Orlando Community

Links to Make Online Donations:

Candlelight Vigils and Events:

  • Orlando Solidarity Breakfast: Thursday June 16th, 8:30-10:00am, Rainbow Center-SU 403 Link to events page
  • Orlando Solidarity Vigil: Thursday, June 16th 5:00 pm, Jillson Square Willimantic, CT Link to events page.docx
  • Candlelight Vigil for Orlando: Tuesday, June 21 at 8:00pm-9:00pm, Town Square; Downtown Storrs Facebook events page
  • Nationwide Vigils:

Blood Donation:


For additional information on Charitable options as well as guidelines in giving please visit the following sites:

Additional Resources: