SAN FRANCISCO - The attacks on Asian Americans has saddened a lot of people many of whom are asking how they can help. Everyday citizens are stepping up to show support in their communities.
Stop the AAPI Organization reported 3,800 hate crimes toward Asian Americans over the past year. Many people are raising their hand to be an ally.
Grief over the shooting at three spas in the Atlanta area and anger over the assaults on Asian Americans in the Bay Area prompted people to take action.
On Nextdoor San Francisco, Dave Rogers offered to walk an Asian elder to an appointment.
"I don’t want someone in my neighborhood down the street feel like they can’t walk to the corner store, can’t go to the doctor’s appointment, or run an errand or go to the grocery store out of fear of leaving their house, that’s ridiculous," said Rogers.
Rogers has a message: we have each other’s backs.
He’s not alone. Monday marked the first day for citizen patrols, an extra set of eyes in San Jose’s Japantown.
"It was very important for us and for our organization for us to have some sort of positive action. The fact that it’s needed is quite sad," said Wisa Uemara, San Jose Taiko Nonprofit.
Their presence felt as seniors picked up lunches at the local senior center.
"The seniors we got in contact with," said Franco Imperial, the San Jose Taiko Nonprofit. "We got an elbow bump here saying thank you. Another senior was very surprised. We were out there so soon."
It’s not just a deterrent for crime but peace of mind for those stressed.
"Some of them have expressed they are feeling a little scared, a little concerned," said Jennifer Masuda, Yu-Ai Kai Senior Center executive director.
Another San Jose resident is passing out alarms to elders in San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco Chinatowns and offering free marketing to Asian-owned businesses like San Jose Tropical Fruits hit with vandalism.
"This hits home to me," said Jenna Nguyen of San Jose. "This is who we are. I want to support my people and my community."
Stop the AAPI Hate said it has received hundreds of thousands in donations. The nonprofit said while donations, foot patrols, and supporting Asian businesses are key to stopping hate. The single best thing to do is intervene and speak out.
"If you don’t our silence is being complicit, your lack of action is being complicit," said Russell Jeung of Stop the AAPI Co-Founder.
David Rogers who posted on Nextdoor said people are reaching out to him, also wanting to help. He’s now started a list of volunteers in the neighborhood.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.