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Community comes together after hateful graffiti sprayed on Phoenix family's mailbox

Posted at 8:18 PM, Jul 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-10 09:49:48-04

A Phoenix family has decided to use a targeted attack against them as a way to bring the community together. 

This is an update to a story we first brought you last week when a Phoenix family found a swastika and the word "Jew" spray-painted on their mailbox of their home near 16th Street and Glendale Avenue. 

But, on Sunday instead of covering it up and moving on, the family decided to invite their neighbors to paint new messages for them. 

"There may have been a little bit of hate that sparked this," said Shoshanna Simones. "But, look at the love and the pride and the response. I think that's much more powerful."  

Shoshanna and her husband, Ari, were blown away by the number of people who came by their home to help paint away the hate. 

"Really my heart just sank," Ari said, describing how he felt when he saw the swastika. "Just sadness."

"We all just need to come together and say this is not okay," said neighbor Susan Atkins. "And that we need to protect each other and be there for each other."

Atkins wrote the word, 'love' with a peace sign in the middle as a sign of support. Her message is one of the many much more inspiring messages the community left in response to the vandals.

But, it turns out the vandal most likely came back again after our first story aired.

The Simones said they found more spray paint. 

"We had already put out our message that we were going to leave it up so people could see what had happened," Ari said. "And almost another slap in the face."

And despite the double dose of vandalism, police said - they do not have any suspects in this case.

"They should have to pay for what they did," said neighbor Janina Hillgruber. "And understand. I think that really mostly they need to understand what they did and why this is so important." 

But, now - control is back in their hands with a paint brush leading the charge.

"It really seemed like a way to book-end this whole experience on a positive note," Shoshanna said.