Neighborhood rallies around family after hate-filled vandalism
MILTON, Ga. - The Milton community rallied around the Karp family after hateful and Anti-Semitic messages were left in the Karp's driveway.
Milton Police charged five teenagers with vandalism and trespassing after they said the teens wrote slurs in shaving cream as part of a senior prank.
Community members living nearby heard about the messages left at the home and decided to have their children create handwritten cards and messages of love and tolerance.
"We were all shocked. As a neighborhood, none of us could believe that this happened this area," said Co-Founder of the Edenwilde Cares neighborhood charity group Caitlin Zygmont. "This area is so welcoming and so diverse, we were really surprised that something like that would occur."
The group delivered the cards to the Karp family and said they were grateful for the support.
"When this popped up, Waterside neighborhood is less than a mile from us, and so we wanted to come up with a compassionate way to show the family we were as shocked and appalled as they were and that we care," Zygmont said.
Young children all the way up to middle school students in the neighborhood participated.
"A lot of the kids were too young to write, so they did hearts and smiley faces," Zygmont said. "We all worked with our kids on understanding what happened, so messages of love and understanding and 'I'm sorry.'"
Messages Zygmont said are important to teach her children while they are young.
"I feel like you have to react to this especially when you're raising smaller children, especially to show them that it's not okay--that we don't just turn our back and ignore something that's happening--that we make sure we go out there and we make a difference," Zygmont said.
The group Edenwilde cares also raised money for a donation to the Anti-Defamation League.
The Atlanta Initiative Against Anti-Semitism was notified of the initial vandalism and released this statement when the damage occurred:
“This week’s act of hate against a Jewish family in Milton, GA is unacceptable and we support the swift response and action of the Milton police department. Anti-Semitism is not just a Jewish problem. It's a community problem because when one group is targeted, all are at risk. With acts of hate against diverse groups on the rise, our community must continue to come together and stand up against them. In addition to supporting our law enforcement, we, from parents, to educators, to religious and community leaders, must turn acts of hate into teachable moments that advance tolerance and respect for all the diverse people who call Atlanta home.
“AIAAS is a grassroots initiative that proactively deters and reactively combats anti-Semitism in Atlanta through community connections, constructive dialogue and grassroots action. Additional info at StopAntiSemitismATL.org”