WITH the rise in violence against Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), GoFundMe this week launched the #StopAsianHate initiative, a centralized hub of fundraisers that will benefit the community.
The GoFundMe page features verified fundraisers from across the country that will benefit victims of violence, organizations that provide resources for those affected and increased protection in communities, as well as support for neighborhoods and AAPI-owned businesses.
Some examples of vetted fundraisers include campaigns for: Noel Quintana, a Filipino American who received almost 100 stitches after being slashed in the face on the New York subway; assistance with medical expenses for Marc Quidit, a Fil-Am store owner in Vallejo, California who was shot multiple times during a robbery; a volunteer group to watch San Francisco Chinatown’s residents and merchants; and restoration for the Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple, which was recently vandalized in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo.
Meanwhile, tax-deductible donations to the AAPI Community Fund will help organizations address” the urgent issues that face the AAPI community as well as broader, systemic problems.”
“The recent attacks against the AAPI community have catalyzed a strong response among a diverse cross section of society. The feedback from those who want to effect change has been clear: what can I do, and where do I go? Working closely with Phillip Lim, and other leaders in the community — we knew we could help by doing what GoFundMe does best — connecting those who need help, with those who are willing and able to do so,” GoFundMe CMO Musa Tariq said in a statement. “Together, we can help those facing immediate needs in addition to organizations working to address long term, systemic issues.”
In addition to designer Phillip Lim, supporters of the initiative include big names in fashion, media and entertainment, and sports. Among the Filipino American leaders and personalities are Away co-founder Jen Rubio; journalist and immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas; and actors Manny Jacinto and Joel De La Fuente.
As of this writing, the AAPI Community Fund GoFundMe raised $544,373 and increased its goal to $1,000,000.
Individuals can also start their own GoFundMe for over a dozen identified AAPI organizations, such as Filipino Advocates for Justice, Asian Health Services, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, and Gold House. Beyond monetary aid, supporters are also encouraged to help amplify the messages.
Stop AAPI Hate — an online reporting center started by the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, Chinese for Affirmative Action and San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies department — received over 2,808 firsthand accounts from March to December 2020 of anti-Asian hate ranging from shunning to physical attacks.
In recent weeks, several incidents involving older Asian Americans have come to light, including the death of Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Thai immigrant, who was fatally shoved to the ground while out on his morning walk in San Francisco.
“These hate crimes are up by 1,900% and are a symptom of a larger issue rooted in systemic racism. It is a direct result of the xenophobia and colonialism that has existed in America for decades,” Lim said.
Individuals who have experienced an incident can go to the Stop AAPI Hate website and file a report in English or an Asian language, including Tagalog.