A Black family left for a camping trip in the mountains of their home state of Washington. However, the Phillips family was unaware that when they left for their trip a group of vandals covered their home in racial slurs.
Neighbors were shocked to see the N-word as well as “KKK” messaging appear on the home and truck of the Phillips family. Instead of idly standing by, neighbors of the Phillipses decided to proactively erase the messages.
"It made me want to cry when I saw it," said Heidi Russell, a neighbor. "It was terrible."
Russell and other neighbors knew they had to keep the Phillips family from seeing such hate, so community members of the tiny town of Tenino bought painting supplies to cover the spray-painted words.
Many families and community members came together one morning to erase the messaging. An on-duty police officer even stopped by the house to give his support and lend a hand where needed.
"I'm here to protect and serve," said Officer Wilson. "It aggravates me when this happens. I'm here to make it right."
The neighborhood worked hard and fast to make sure that they could eliminate nearly all of the vulgar words before the Phillips family returned.
"Our biggest concern was getting this done before the family came home because they have small children and we didn't want them to see their truck or their home vandalized," said Russell.
After a full morning of painting, the neighbors had successfully removed nearly all of the vandalism. Almost immediately after they finished, the Phillips family returned from their trip and pulled into the driveway. Marvin Phillips could not believe the generosity his neighbors displayed.
"I'm overwhelmed and I'm shocked," said Phillips. "When I heard what happened, I was hurt. I don't know who did this. I was more concerned about the kids."
Luckily, his kids will always remember how love and support can truly drive away hate.
(Photo: Grant Faint/Getty Images)