Xiao Zhen Xie is paying it forward.
The 75-year-old grandmother made headlines this month after she fought off a man who attacked her on San Francisco’s Market Street. The assault occurred amid surging violence against Asian Americans, and just one day after a Georgia mass shooting left eight people, including six women of Asian decent, dead.
Xie’s relatives said the elderly woman had sustained a number of injuries during the attack, including one to her wrist and two serious black eyes. The family would go on to launch a GoFundMe campaign to help cover the various medical expenses. The crowdfunding page listed a fundraising goal of $50,000; however, the campaign received an overwhelming amount of media coverage and has since generated more than $950,000—nearly $1 million more than what they were seeking.
Though Xie’s family has expressed gratitude to all their supporters, they have decided to donate all the campaign funds to help combat anti-Asian hate and violence. Xie’s grandson John Chen shared the news in an update posted to GoFundMe earlier this week.
“When we visited our grandma yesterday and today her overall mental and physical health has improved,” the message read. “Her eye is no longer swelled to the point of not being able to open it. She is now starting to feel optimistic again and is in better spirits. She said we must not summit to racism and we must fight to the death if necessary. She also stated multiple times to donate all the funds generated in this GoFundMe back to the Asian American community to combat racism. She insists on making this decision saying this issue is bigger than Her. This is my grandma, grandpa, and our family’s decision. We hope everyone can understand our decision.”
It’s unclear which organizations and initiatives the family will support.
The San Francisco Police Department identified Xie’s attacker as 39-year-old Steven Jenkins. The suspect is accused of assaulting an 83-year-old Asian man before Xie. He has since been charged with two counts of assault and elder abuse.