Neighbors come together to remove hate messages before family sees them

Neighbors come together to remove hate messages before family sees them

(WWBT) - "It made me want to cry when I saw it. It was terrible."

Those were the words of Heidi Russell after she saw vulgar and racist messages spray-painted on their neighbor's home and truck, complete with the N-word and the letters "KKK."

According to NBC affiliate KING, an Enino, Washington family was away camping in the mountains when the vandalism took place.

But, instead of throwing a pity party for the family, Russell and other neighbors decided to throw a painting party.

KING reports they brought together a dozen families armed with paint and other supplies to erase the messages of hate and replace them with love.

"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," Russell said to KING.

Even the town's on-duty police officer stopped by to help paint.

"I'm here to protect and serve," said Officer Wilson. "It aggravates me when this happens. I'm here to make it right."

After a full morning of painting, KING reports the neighbors erased nearly all of the visible signs of the vulgar messages.

That's when Marvin Phillips and his family pulled up in their camper, home from their camping trip.

"I'm overwhelmed and I'm shocked," Phillips said to KING. "When I heard what happened, I was hurt. I don't know who did this. I was more concerned about the kids."

Thanks to the generosity of their community, the kids came home to a show of support -- instead of a show of intolerance.

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