Grateful for the outpouring of cash and support after she was beaten and robbed last week, 94-year-old National Park Ranger Betty Reid Soskin has thanked her supporters and vowed to remain strong.
"I am going to reclaim my space from the violation," Soskin, the nation's oldest full-time ranger, wrote over the weekend on a GoFundMe page. It has raised more than $15,000 since she was attacked in her Richmond, California, apartment on June 27 by a thin, 20-something man who has not been caught.
Soskin said the money will help her "re-establish my home on the planet," which she is grateful for because she doesn't want to move. She said she will paint her home and put in new carpet following the brutal home invasion that captured the nation's attention.
As of Tuesday, Richmond police had made no announcements regarding who might have snuck into Soskin's apartment about midnight, breaking through the balcony's sliding glass doors to punch her several times and steal jewelry, a cellphone and electronics.
The thief also stole a coin given to her by President Obama, who honored her in December during the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in Washington, D.C. The Secretary of the Interior has since said the president would replace the coin, her boss told NBC Bay Area last week.
"There's a lot of people looking out for her," Leatherman said at the time.
In addition to the $15,000 GoFundMe effort organized by a community member, another fund was set up for Soskin by a nonprofit organization where she works, the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park. As of Friday, the fund had raised about $20,000, according to Park Supt. Tom Leatherman. Any extra money from that fundraiser will also go to help pay for a documentary being made that includes slices of Soskin's life, when she worked as a clerk for the all-black Boilermakers A-36 during World War II. Doug McConnell of NBC Bay Area's Open Road is creating the film.