For Maddy Park, it all started on the train after seeing the news about hate crimes against Asian New Yorkers.
“I took the train last week. It was a 30-minute ride and I realized that every minute of that ride I was terrified. I was afraid that at any moment someone might say a racial slur or attack me. Worst of all. I thought if something happened to me, no one would stand up. “
The terrifying rise in Asian hate crimes across the country has shocked America’s conscience and left many of Asian descent feeling vulnerable.
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Park could afford to take a taxi, but he knew that many couldn’t.
So he put in $ 2,000 of his own money and, with a few friends, started @CafeMaddyCab on Instagram.
They offer to pay for taxi rides for older people of Asian origin or Asian women who do not feel safe and cannot afford it any other way.
“I just said, look, I have $ 2,000, if you need a ride, just carry the Venmo for me,” Park said.
Park, who felt that no one would stand up for her on the subway, quickly learned that people were standing up for her and her cause. Donations started pouring in.
“The people who are donating are people from all over the country, of all races, ethnicities and they just sent me messages saying, listen up, we really want you to be safe too and we are donating so that more people can travel in the city,” he said. Park.
In just two days, he has raised more than $ 100,000 to pay for taxi rides.
“It really opened my eyes to how many people are supporting the Asian community in New York City,” Park said.
Park’s good intentions run into some hurdles: Not all seniors know how to use Venmo, the mobile payment app that their system runs on.
He hopes they learn more and is also looking for ways to expand payment options.
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