The nation is reeling from yet another mass shooting, this time in the small town of Monterey Park, Calif., where eleven victims died and another nine were injured on Jan. 21 following the city’s Lunar New Year festival.
Members of the majority-Asian American community in Southern California were shocked and devastated to see a time of celebration where tens of thousands had gathered transpire overnight into a moment of sorrow as people mourn and honor the lost lives.
“Violence of this nature is always meant to frighten and instill fear in the community and those who want to sell these things. And if we let that fear take over then we let them win,” Council Member Thomas Wong told TIME. But as a “community,” he added, “we can still come together and [be] resilient.”
Here are some ways you can support the Monterey Park community.
Donate to a verified, event-specific GoFundMe fundraiser
GoFundMe has a centralized hub with verified fundraisers for people affected by the Monterey Park shooting. By Monday night, there were three fundraisers in the hub, though more may be added by GoFundMe’s Trust & Safety team.
The Los-Angeles based nonprofit Classroom of Compassion is raising funds to make 11 public altars to honor the lives of those lost. The organization says it will set up a “pop-up space on-site” where mourners will be able to leave flowers, notes, or paintings to add to the memorial. “We hope to provide art resources that promote healthy and safer expression of intense emotional experiences,” the fundraiser description said.
A team of nonprofits and organizations including the Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California, Gold House, and others have set up a fundraiser with a $500,000 donation goal, to support “the many individuals who are now suffering from this senseless violence.”
And another fundraiser was organized on behalf of Mary Ma, the daughter of Ming Wei Ma, who was the owner of Star Dance Studio and one of the victims of the shooting. The fundraiser, which has already surpassed its initial goal of $30,000, was established to help the family cover funeral costs.
Donate to other organizations addressing related issues
While the motive of the shooter’s actions remains unknown, there are multiple organizations dedicated to serving the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
Stop AAPI Hate, for instance, was created in response to a wave of xenophobia that stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization uses funds to help track and respond to any hate or harassment faced by the community.
Changing Tides, a program of the Little Tokyo Service Center based in Los Angeles, seeks to normalize mental health in the Asian American community, through events and other outreach programs. Founded in 2018, it hosts walks for suicide prevention, peer specialist training for trauma informed care, and more. Consider donating here.
Donations to both organizations are U.S. tax deductible.
Visit a public memorial
The Monterey Park City Hall has a memorial at 320 W. Newmark Avenue for the community to mourn, a press release on the city’s website said.
Other makeshift memorials have been placed throughout the city, with candles, flowers. and balloons decorating locations like the entrance to the dance hall where the gunman opened fire.
If you are seeking help, you can also visit the Survivor’s Resource Center at Monterey Park’s Langley Senior Center. The center is offering counseling and legal assistance. Please call (626) 307-1395 for more information.
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