Christina Yuna Lee Memorial Fund Raises About $350,000
About $350,000 has been raised for charity in the first week of the Christina Yuna Lee Memorial Fund, a verified GoFundMe campaign honoring the Korean American woman who was stabbed to death in her Chinatown apartment in Manhattan. .
Lee’s death, one of the latest in a string of unprovoked attacks on people of Asian descent, has galvanized New York’s Asian community. More than 300 people attended a funeral mass in his honor last Friday at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Palisades Park Township, New Jersey, where his parents are parishioners.
“This is the definition of horrible. … We stand with our Asian community today,” Mayor Eric Adams tweeted after the crime.
When it was established five days ago, the memorial fund’s goal was to raise $100,000 for Lee’s favorite nonprofit projects. That goal was surpassed in three days, and the campaign now hopes to raise at least $500,000.
“On February 13, our daughter, sister and friend Christina Yuna Lee was taken from us in a senseless act of violence,” GoFundMe campaign organizer Angela Yujin Lee wrote on the fund’s page.
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The GoFundMe page remembers Lee as someone who “radiated positivity, joy, and love” and “supported his friends in everything they did.”
“Her death is part of an alarming pattern of unchecked and heinous violence against women, namely Asian women and women of color, which can no longer remain inconsequential,” the statement added on the GoFundMe page. .
Christina Yuna Lee, 35, was stabbed 40 times by a man who followed her inside her apartment building, according to New York police. Assamad Nash has been charged with murder, burglary and assault in connection with the attack.
Police did not classify the death as racially motivated. But coming amid a rise in incidents of bias against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, the murder has sparked renewed calls from the community for protection.
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Angela Yujin Lee asked people to honor Christina’s legacy and values by supporting the organizations and places that mattered most to her.
The post reached 18-year-old Yunji Lee, a student at Fordham University in Tenafly who donated $200 to the fund.
“I was heartbroken when I heard the news,” Yunji Lee told NorthJersey.com, part of the USA TODAY Network. “I want to spread the word against hate crimes against Asians. I want to help make sure our voice is heard.”
According to the GoFundMe page, the first $100,000 in donations will go to the following organizations:
Prospect Park Alliance. The Brooklyn park was Christina Lee’s favorite in the city, Angela Yujin Lee wrote in her statement. When Christina Lee lived in Brooklyn, she often traveled there to “meditate, reunite with loved ones, and find peace in its vast green expanse. … We plan to fund a tree planting in her name and l ‘installation of a memorial bench.’
Women. The organization serves survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual violence of all ages.
Planned parenthood. As a Planned Parenthood donor, Christina Lee was “a champion of every woman’s right to choose,” her family wrote.
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Elizabeth Street Garden. Lee believed in the power of green and open spaces as opportunities for self-actualization and exploration, according to the GoFundMe page. Elizabeth Street Garden was one of her favorite places in New York, and she often went there to read, draw, listen to music and hear poetry.
SafeWalks. Founded in January 2021, SafeWalks was created in light of the brutal attacks on several women at the Morgan L subway station in Brooklyn. SafeWalks is for New Yorkers who don’t feel safe traveling with travel companions.
The additional funds raised will provide more money to organizations and others that were important to Christina Lee, the statement said.
Lee’s death “shook us to the core,” his family added. “Nothing will give her back to us. But with your help, we can make her 35 years on Earth mean something for generations to come.”
Follow Mary Chao 趙慶華 on Twitter at @marychaostyle.