Millions Raised for Children of Mom Killed in Atlanta Spa Shooting
Photo Credit: ERIK S LESSER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
When their single mom, Hyun Jung Grant, was tragically killed after a gunman opened fire at three massage spas in Georgia earlier this month, her sons were unsure how they would survive.
Randy Park, one of Grant's two sons, put together a GoFundMe campaign barely a day after his mother was killed.
She was one of my best friends and the strongest influence on who we are today.
"This is something that should never happen to anyone. She was a single mother who dedicated her whole life to providing for my brother and I. It is only my brother and I in the United States. The rest of my family is in South Korea and are unable to come. She was one of my best friends and the strongest influence on who we are today," wrote Park on the campaign.
"Losing her has put a new lens on my eyes on the amount of hate that exists in our world. As much as I want to grieve and process the reality that she is gone, I have a younger brother to take care of and matters to resolve as a result of this tragedy. Frankly, I have no time to grieve for long. I will need to figure out the living situation for my brother and I for the next few months, possibly year."
He goes on to explain that he and his brother, Eric Park, had been advised to move out of their home to save money and find somewhere else to live. Additionally, he talked about having to plan for her funeral and was in need of funds to simply obtain "basic living necessities" for himself and his brother.
Despite Randy setting his goal at $20,000, as of Wednesday evening, the fundraiser garnered more than $2.8 million.
The Support of the World
Many people, touched by the Parks' story, donated and offered kind words to the family. The mass shooting shook the Asian American community (six of the eight people killed were of Asian descent) amid a rash of violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander people. Some of the donations were from fellow Asian Americans who related to what the boys went through.
"We are all family. We care about each other, and we care for each other. What harms one of us, harms all of us. I lost seven sisters and a brother in Atlanta on Tuesday in an act of violent hatred, and so many, many more in previous days, weeks, decades, centuries," wrote one donor. "I hope you can find empowerment from this tragedy."
Of their mom, the boys told The New York Times that she helped them with their college tuition and would take them to the mall, the aquarium, and/or a Korean restaurant on her days off from Gold Spa, where she worked and was ultimately killed.
Randy updated the GoFundMe to thank donors and explain how they changed his life.
"I don't even think I have a proper grasp on how much this is. I've never had a good understanding how much money was worth but every cent of it will be used only in pure necessity. I will live the rest of my days grateful for what has essentially given my family a second chance," he wrote, concluding: "My mother can rest easy knowing I have the support of the world with me."