Woman Raises Over $100,000 to Give Wary Asians Free Taxi Rides in NY

Isa Peralta
·2 min read

In the span of just two days, a woman in New York has raised over $100,000 to help members of the Asian community pay for taxi rides. Last week, Maddy Park created the Instagram account @cafemaddycab, according to WABC. The account features a Google form that Asian New Yorkers can fill in to request help when they need to pay for a taxi ride. Money is sent through the mobile payment service Venmo.

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“Paying cab rides for: Asian women, LGBTQ, Asian elderly in NYC in need,” the account’s bio says. Park decided to start this initiative because of the recent rise in hate crimes against people of Asian descent. After watching news reports covering anti-Asian attacks, Park feared for her safety while commuting. "Last week I took the train,” she told WABC. “It was a 30-minute commute and I realized every minute of that commute I was terrified. I was scared that any moment in time someone might say a racial slur or attack me. Worst of all I thought that if something were to happen to me, nobody would stand up." Park knew that not everyone living in New York can afford taxi rides in lieu of public transportation, so with the help of her friends, she started @cafemaddycab using $2,000 from her own pockets. "I just said look, I have $2,000, if you need a ride, just charge me on Venmo."

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Word quickly spread about her account, and she soon began receiving donations from people around the country. "It really opened my eyes to how many people are actually supporting the Asian community in New York City,” Park said. Park also shared that "People who are donating are people from all across the nation, across all races, ethnicities and they just sent me messages saying, listen, we really want you guys to be safe too and we're donating so that more people can take rides in the city.” According to ABC News, Park is looking for other ways to provide support since many Asian senior citizens do not know how Venmo works.

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The project thrived to the point that donations were temporarily closed as it surpassed Venmo's weekly payout limit. Park moved onto PayPal on Tuesday. To contribute to @cafemaddycab, you can send donations to cafemaddyCAB@gmail.com on PayPal. Feature Image via WABC

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