‘Stronger than Hate’ shirt maker helping furloughed federal employees, too
Some Pittsburgh area furloughed federal workers are getting their first pay in about a month from a Robinson company that continues to produce Stronger than Hate shirts.
The 123shirt.com company, a small family-owned and operated custom clothing venture, is employing some of the workers, said Larry Barasch, who co-owns it with his wife, Anne.
Stronger than Hate shirts recall last October’s Tree of Life synagogue murders, when a gunman killed 11 people and wounded six others in Pittsburgh.
“We just want to give the workers some money,” Barasch said. “Some people are giving them a free lunch, and some of the big companies are offering loans. But we’re a small company and we wanted to do something.”
Barasch said small companies should step up to help the furloughed federal workers. The employees have been out of work more than 30 days.
There are about 27 million small companies in the United States he said. “We fall into the teeny, tiny size. If just 3 percent of the companies help, then all of the federal workers can be helped,” Barasch told the Tribune-Review.
Barasch is the nephew of Judah Samet, a Holocaust survivor who also narrowly escaped the synagogue murders.
Samet arrived at the synagogue four minutes after the shooting began and narrowly escaped the killings. He repeatedly told the media, “Love is easier than hate.”
While 123shirt.com is helping some workers, Samet has been invited by the White House to be President Trump’s guest in the House of Representatives gallery for the State of the Union address, Barasch said.
“He is getting ready for a trip. If it happens,” Barasch said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is vowing the annual presidential speech won’t happen in the House chamber she controls if the furlough doesn’t end.
Samet wasn’t available for comment Wednesday night.
Last month, the Barasch family presented its first check from the Stronger than Hate shirts, $18,000, to Rabbi Jeff Myers for the Congregations’ victims fund.
The fundraiser is continuing.
There is plenty of time to buy a Stronger that Hate shirt, which features the Pittsburgh Steelers logo, which has one of the diamonds replaced by the Star of David.
“Some people today think that if you go online and sign a petition that you are doing something,” Barasch said. “You’re not.”
Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.
Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, email@example.com or via Twitter .