CUPERTINO, CALIF – May 25, 2021 – Since early May, Sponsor a Ride has been underwriting local transportation in urban areas for at-risk Asians who feel threatened by ongoing violence – specifically females, seniors, and the disabled. They provide free Uber, Lyft, and cab rides for individuals who meet the criteria and apply. As of May 20, the service has been available nationwide.
Now they’ve upgraded their Circle of Heroes – the page on their website and social media that honors businesses, non-profits, and individuals who sponsor rides – to provide more publicity for donors. “People who help out should be commemorated – a LOT!” says SAR co-founder Anna Chu Lin. “We absolutely could not do what we do without them. They should be recognized eternally for helping Asian Americans in need, especially those who are fearful of walking or using public transport nowadays in areas where Asians are routinely harrassed or beaten.” In practice this means that Heroes are mentioned in the group’s social media and press releases.
“We strive to tell everyone on our social media accounts what Heroes have done,” says another co-founder, Amy Chang.
“Some of the travelers we sponsor have already been threatened or even attacked in areas that they once considered safe. If we can offer them a secure trip, we may very well have saved them from assault. And the Heroes who make that possible should be recognized for it.”
The group emphasizes that the assistance they provide is measurable, visible, and immediate. “There are a lot of organizations you can support who do things like hold webinars on anti-AAPI violence, put on concerts, and institute anti-hate programs in elementary schools” says Chang. “We support those, but we wanted to concentrate on things that have an immediate impact on Asian-Americans’ lives, right now.
“Helping a senior, student, or disabled person get to a doctor’s appointment or a necessary work meeting meets that goal.”
And what happens when violence against Asians decreases (if it does)? “We would love nothing better than to be put out of business!” says SAR Logistics Coordinator Mirna Saraswati, “because that would mean the anti-AAPI hate crimes have gone down. But we may well decide to continue, concentrating on providing free rides for Seniors and the disabled of all races, because that will always be needed. In any case our promotion of members of the ‘Circle of Heroes’ will continue forever.”