If the goal of whoever scrawled racist graffiti on the home and truck of Marvin Phillips on Friday night was to make the Tenino, Wash., family feel unwelcome, it backfired spectacularly: Dozens of community members got together to scrub away the graffiti—which included "KKK" and the n-word—and repaint everything before the family could get back from a camping trip, ABC News reports. "I want the racist cowards to know that we WILL NOT stand for this in our small town," the Tenino Beavers Youth Football & Cheer wrote in a Facebook post calling for volunteers. Around 50 turned up, including Wayne Fournier, mayor of the town of 1,700. The family got back just as the crew was finishing up.
"It's too cruddy of a world to have this kind of stuff happen in your own community and not do something about it," a local firefighter tells KOMO News. "Main thing is we wanted to make sure the family didn't see this. Nobody [needs] this kind of junk in their life." Phillips, a military veteran, says the racist graffiti is the first animosity he has encountered since moving to the town a year ago. "I'm 58 years old, so this isn't the first time I've seen or heard something like this," he tells ABC, but he's glad his five children, ranging in age from 6 months old to 10 years, didn't have to see it. He says he's overwhelmed by the kindness—and is praying for the vandals.