Hearts Against Hate

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Adrian Chen

consistent care: Hearts Against Hate is now on their fifth cycle of creating care packages for Asian American elders.

Rhea Gupta, Staff Writer

Hearts Against Hate, a youth-led nonprofit that strives to fight against anti-Asian hate crimes, held a card drive in partnership with Northwood’s UNICEF club to create safety care packages from Nov. 1 to 19.
After the card drive, 50 care packages were assembled during lunch on Dec. 6 by Hearts Against Hate and UNICEF club, where students’ handwritten cards were combined with items such as whistles, flashlights and face masks to better equip Asian American elders in the case of a hate crime. These care packages are distributed at senior apartments, living homes and temples.
“We are trying to spread awareness physically about Asian American elderly because they don’t have access to social media outlets where most of the news coverage is publicized,” Hearts Against Hate founder sophomore Kristie To said.
The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in China, fueled anti-Asian racism and xenophobia worldwide, initiating multiple hate crimes targeted towards Asian Americans, specifically elders.
“UNICEF’s collaboration with Hearts Against Hate was the perfect opportunity for our club members to participate in advocacy during a pandemic,” UNICEF secretary senior Allison Lee said.
The increase in Asian American hate speech has been seen even in Irvine. At an Irvine Council meeting on Oct. 26, Vice Mayor Tammy Kim faced a xenophobic attack when speaking about the possible construction of a new veterans cemetery in Irvine.
“A white elected official is never questioned on their origin or their ethnicity, or made to feel that they need to be grateful,” Kim said to the local blog LAist. “But it’s those of color, those of Asian American descent who are treated consistently as perpetual foreigners.”
At Northwood, To hopes that through Hearts Against Hate she will be able to leave a positive impact on the Asian American community by fighting against anti-Asian hate and racism. Hearts Against Hate has already received grants from America’s Promise Alliance, and is poised to grow even further.
“In a year, I hope to have expanded my organization nationally and work with more AAPI groups,” To said.