By Shereen Siewert

A fundraiser that aims to cover repair costs for a vandalized Hmong American Center van is underway, raising nearly $6,000 in less than two days.

The van, used to transport elders to get vaccines and deliver food and supplies to people in need, was vandalized with red spray paint late Monday or early Tuesday. Derek Heikkinen launched the GoFundMe page on Wednesday.

Donations, with messages of support, quickly followed.

“Ignorance breads fear and hate,” wrote Katrine Passineau. “I love and support our Hmong community and hope others will too.”

The GoFundMe page can be found here.

Members of many Asian communities are becoming the targets of a growing number of hate crimes in the U.S. A survey conducted by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino found that even as the number of hate crimes in 16 cities, including New York and Los Angeles, fell 7% on the year to 1,717 in 2020, crimes against Asians jumped 150%.