When Madeline Park wound down Café Maddy Cab in July 2021, she hoped that the fund, which reimbursed cab fares and gave out free ride vouchers for Asian, elderly and LGBTQ people who felt unsafe on New York City subways, wouldn't be needed again.
Park, 29, started the fund in April 2021 after realizing she was terrified to take the subway to work. She put up $2,000 of her own money, and through donations, raised about $250,000 and reimbursed more than 7,800 rides in four months.
But crimes against Asians in New York have continued. In 2021, there were 131 hate crimes against Asians, according to data from the New York City Police Department. That compares to 28 in 2020 and only one recorded in 2019. There have been 17 more attacks this year through the end of March.
Now, the fund is relaunching this month with a fundraising target of more than $800,000 and the goal of running for as long as it's needed in the community.