NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes has people expressing concerns about riding the subway.
Among them is a Brooklyn woman who found a way to get people free safe rides, who shared her effort – “Cafe Maddy Cab” – with CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis.READ MORE: New York City Council Passes Bill Requiring Department Of Education To Develop Food Waste Prevention Plan
Madeline Park shares here passion for cooking on social media, which she calls “Cafe Maddy.” Mixed in her cooking tutorials is a video addressing the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.
“Thank you for praying against hate,” she says in the video.
It was recent reports of hate which led to her own concerns while commuting to her job as a dentist.
“I took the train and I didn’t realize I would feel so terrified the whole ride,” she said.READ MORE: New York Rep. Elise Stefanik Likely To Replace Ousted Rep. Liz Cheney As House Republican Conference Chair
She didn’t want the cost of the cab to hinder people from taking one, so with the help of friends, she cooked up “Cafe Maddy Cab.”
“We started fund to pay for cab rides for Asian elderly, Asian women, Asian members of the LGBTQ community, that they feel safe enough to take cab rides instead of taking the train,” she said.
The effort started with her own donation of $2,000 to those who answered her call to action on Instagram. She was blown away by the response. In just two days, she got $100,000 in donations.
“It was really good to see that everybody was standing in solidarity with us and supporting us because in a lot of news articles and videos were seeing people turning a blind eye,” she said.
The way it works is those who take a cab for safety submit a form noting the reason, along with a picture of the receipt, which is reviewed. After getting so many requests, Park took time off work and put her cooking on hold. More than 1,100 requests have been completed, which she says couldn’t have been done without donations.
“I think it’s a huge message of hope. I hope this program or initiative, it comes unnecessary as soon as possible,” she said.
Park says she hopes this sparks a greater discussion with the city on how to find ways to help people who ride the subway feel more safe.
She says her idea has spread to other cities including Boston and San Francisco, helping people get safe rides around the country.MORE NEWS: Gov. Cuomo: Beaches, Pools Will Open Statewide Memorial Day Weekend
If you’re looking to help, or you need a ride, CLICK HERE.