Giant Eagle Responds to Pittsburgh Tragedy

Retailer's CEO urges Pittsburghers 'to stand strong together'
Photograph: Shutterstock

Following the fatal shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Giant Eagle CEO Laura Karet shared an open message of peace and support via a full-page ad in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Speaking on behalf of the region’s grocery market leader, Karet’s heartfelt message addressed the tragic event that occurred Oct. 27, when an assailant entered the space and took the lives of 11 local residents, injured several others and ripped a hole in the Jewish community, which Karet and her family have long been a part of.

giant eagle stronger than hate
Graphic courtesy of Giant Eagle

Karet’s full message appears below:

Dear Pittsburgh Community,

We are hurting with you, and we are here for you. On behalf of our entire Giant Eagle family, including our board of directors, shareholders and 32,000 team members, we are horribly shaken and saddened by the tragedy that took place at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

It’s impossible to understand these senseless and evil acts. We don’t have all the answers as to why this happened. And, personally, I am not yet certain as to how we, as a Giant Eagle family, can come together with all Pittsburghers, to heal one another, our city, and all those we love.

I do know what we can do right now, and that is to stand strong together, like Pittsburghers do, and promote peace, respect, kindness and tolerance.

Pittsburgh’s resilience, strength and beauty reflect our diverse heritage. The five men who founded Giant Eagle nearly 90 years ago were all Jewish men, who wanted to improve lives for their families and their communities. Those same five Jewish families still own our company today. One of those special men was my great-grandfather.

My heartfelt prayers go out to all my fellow Jews, and all the people in this great Pittsburgh community. Together, we are stronger. Together, we are better. Please join us and promote peace and healing in this incredibly sad and difficult time.

Laura Karet
President & Chief Executive Officer

Giant Eagle is also marshaling its resources to provide assistance in various forms to benefit first-responders, victim resource groups and the community at large.

Spokesman Dan Donovan told WGB that store teams from the retailer’s Squirrel Hill store and GetGo locations, as well as its Shadyside Market District, “have coordinated food and drink donations to organizations across our city, including law enforcement, the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross and the Jewish Community Center, as well as candle and flower donations for those who have organized community vigils.”

Additionally, Donovan said Giant Eagle’s Squirrel Hill and Southside GetGo locations have been offering customers free small coffees and 50-cent water. “And our Southside GetGo team members made sandwich trays and delivered them to the FBI building that is located across the street from our store.”

Further, the company also launched a register donation campaign on Oct. 29 at all Giant Eagle, Market District and GetGo locations in support of the United Way Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh’s Our Victims of Terror Fund. The campaign runs through Nov. 7.

As of this morning, Giant Eagle’s register campaign had already surpassed $100,000 in donations, Donovan said.


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