Update on Aldie hate crime

Update: More coverage in the Loudoun Independent, Loudoun Connection, and the Leesburg Today.

Many people have asked what they can do to help with healing and restoration in the wake of this cowardly attack. A group of concerned citizens and faith leaders met Monday night with one of the homeowners and started making plans to turn this ugly incident into something positive that can bring the community together. We are making plans for a community work day in October to restore their landscaping, and will be announcing the details of that shortly. We are also in the process of setting up a foundation that will allow people to donate toward the restoration of Heyward and John’s property (insurance will not cover the damage, which they currently estimate at around $10,000), and will continue to exist as a resource in the case of any future attacks on members of our community in Virginia.

Our primary objective, of course, is to make sure that anyone who thinks that there is something to be gained by such ugly behavior realizes that they are mistaken. Heyward and John have set a wonderful example in that regard, making it clear that they are focusing on the supportive response of the community, and have no intention of moving. From the Loudoun Times-Mirror:

Most of the community has been supportive of the two men. Ellis called the friendship shown Drummond and him from many neighbors “a celebration of humanity.”

Drummond sent out a letter to neighbors Sunday to let them know about the incident. Since then, neighbors have stopped by to help clean up the damage, visit and bring flowers.

“You have to focus in on all of this beauty that’s being extended,” Ellis said. “Even though something very non-beautiful happened, you have to focus in on the beautiful part.”

Further press coverage can be found in the Leesburg Today, Loudoun Easterner (including my letter), and the Washington Blade.

Thanks to photoblogger Isis for sharing these images with us.

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