A 75-year-old Asian woman who has received nearly $1 million in donations since she was attacked on a San Francisco street plans to give the money away to the Asian American community, her grandson said.
Photos of Xiao Zhen Xie's bruised and swollen face have been shared on news broadcasts, social media and websites since the March 18 assault. Steven Jenkins, a 39-year-old white man, was arrested in connection with the incident, which occurred just days after the Atlanta-area spa shootings that left six women of Asian descent and two other victims dead.
With violence against Asian Americans on the rise in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and racist language linking the virus with people of Asian descent, Xiao Zhen Xie wants to do her part.
"She said we must not (submit) to racism and we must fight to the death if necessary," John Chen, her grandson, wrote in an update on the GoFundMe fundraising platform.
Chen said the family initially started the GoFundMe to pay for her medical bills. The initial goal was $50,000. By Wednesday, however, that amount had grown to nearly $940,000.
In the update, Chen announced the revised plans for the money based on his grandmother's wishes.
She "stated multiple times to donate all the funds generated in this GoFundMe back to the Asian American community to combat racism," he wrote. "She insists on making this decision saying this issue is bigger than Her."
He also updated donors on his grandmother's progress.
"When we visited our grandma yesterday and today her overall mental and physical health has improved," Chen wrote. "Her eye is no longer swelled to the point of not being able to open it. She is now starting to feel optimistic again and is in better spirits."