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Asian American Attacks: Volunteers Chaperoning Seniors in Oakland Chinatown to Ease Concerns

OAKLAND (KPIX) -- Since the Atlanta spa shootings earlier this week, a group that offers chaperone service to seniors in Oakland Chinatown said they saw a big increase in the number of volunteers.

The organization Compassion in Oakland was recently started as a way to make a difference in response to the rising number of attacks against Asians in the Bay Area.

"I'm disgusted by all the hate and violence going around the country, but especially in the Bay Area where I was born and raised," said Trevor Doyle, a volunteer with Compassion in Oakland.

"When I saw the violence, I thought it was my duty to help out," said Aaron Chow, another volunteer.

"I stay in Emeryville. So I figured since this is like happening in my community, I figured I can help out and see what I can do to improve the community and make it safer for everyone," said Harry Mapodile, a third Compassion in Oakland volunteer.

A diverse group of young volunteers was walking the streets in Oakland Chinatown Friday afternoon. Their main job was to escort and walk with people from point A to point B.

"Seniors are really independent and they don't want to give that up. And we understand that. And that's why I think It's more of like a buddy system," said Compassion in Oakland co-founder Katrina Ramos.

Ramos and her friends founded Compassion in Oakland about two months ago when they heard about people targeting Asian seniors.

"A lot of people are asking to have a chaperone when they're going to their appointments, so either to dentist appointments or just down the street at Asian Health Services," said Ramos. "About 350 people signed up this week alone, within the last couple of days. Also, there have been a few more chaperone requests than normal."

With more than 1,200 volunteers, Compassion in Oakland is trying to expand to other Bay Area cities.

People interested in volunteering for the organization and seniors who want a chaperone in Oakland can get more information at the Compassion in Oakland website.

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