Like many, Arthur J. Jipson has thought of the famous Mr. Rogers quote as it relates to the Memorial Day tornadoes and the recent mass shooting in Dayton’s Oregon District.
“Look for the helpers.”
The helpers have been many in this community fighting to recover from the assaults on the community's soul.
Jipson — a University of Dayton associate sociology professor whose areas of study have ranged from white racial extremism to meaning behind roadside memorials —said he is an optimist when it comes to people’s willingness to help when it comes to natural and man-made disasters.
“I think the historical record has lots of examples where people felt they had to help,” Jispon said. “We can use religious terminology and say they are ‘called to help.’ ”
That willingness to help was exhibited in the aftermath of the 15 Memorial Day tornadoes that uprooted lives in the Dayton area and the Aug. 4 mass shooting in the Oregon District that left the gunman and nine others dead and nearly 30 injured.
People often feel the need to justify their actions — be those actions positive or negative, he said.
Some are compelled to action.
“We want to help because we want to actively bring about the community we want to live in,” Jispon said. “Folks have different labels for that: a healthy community, a loving community, a caring community.”
Often times people do things under the radar.
“I see a lot of quiet giving where folks are not looking for the accolades or the pat on the back,” he said.
Still, he said people like to hear “thanks.”
The helpers who stepped in during the recent tragedy include the police officers and other first responders who rushed to the scenes, elected officials and those from local nonprofits and business who thought outside of the box to help those in need.
The helpers you many not know about also include people who went beyond their job descriptions to assist neighbors, friends and strangers.
They distributed water. They cared for those in shock and in physical pain.
The used muscle to remove debris and words to bring comfort.
The helpers were many in the city that is a gem.
Several have not stopped. New leaders have emerged.
Instead of choosing one Daytonian of the Week this week, we wanted to instead say thank you to many deserving individuals.
Here are the names of more than 100 heroes who have helped in big ways and small ways since the tornadoes and shooting. These Daytonians were nominated by Dayton residents who’ve noticed their good deeds and helpful actions:
Sabrina Cox, Carli Dixon, Hamilton Dixon, Andy Rowe, Dino Dimitrouleas, Elesha Snyder, Daj’za Demmings, Frederick Leon Cox, Brittany Smith, Angie LeBlanc, Jeremy Ganger, Austin Smith, Rachel Anne Jensen, Ashley N. Browning, NaAsiaha Simon, Tiffany R. Wood, Neah Rainey, Dawn Martin, Libby Ballengee,Tiffany R. Wood, Holly E. Vance.
Guy Fragmin, Carly Barrett, Tony Smith, Markita Bell,
Tameka Ludd, Rhea Monee, Matthew Tepper, Shana Lloyd,
Tara Michel, Kait Gilcher, Aja Delaney, Melissa Rodriguez (Mel Rod), Emily Mendenhall, Luke Feerer, Teresa McSwain, Michelle Marquitz, John Doctor, Shelly Owens, Tyler Clay Combs, Rachel Dawson, Michael Wright, Sylvester Darnell,
Chris Wright, Ernestine Grigsby, Greg Payne, JD Carson, Hayley Carson, Ty Bobo, Deontae Dillard, Jason Thomas.
Shelly Owens, Markita Bell, Val Hunt Beerbower, Dawn Martin, Angee Monford Davis, Breanna McGowan, Manicka Thomas, Reggie Henderson, Christina Mendez, Cameron Walker, Morton Branham, Amanda Hensler, Jason Harrison, Kimberly Brooke, Samil Pullen, Anissa Lumpkin, Wyonna Chenault, Megan Fiely.
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Beth Klein, Lee Lauren Truesdale, Natalie Phillips, Jim Moser, Nicole Rutter-Hirth, Stephanie L Fantauzzo Johnson, Hollie Littlefield Cambria, Kelley Pickrel-Fiscus, Cortney Solinger Loyd, Chad Diggs, Chris Wright, Darshan Sehbi, Marcy Walker,Chris Hall.
Lisa Jordan Ailes, Crystal Echols, Judy Wilson, Zontaye Richardson, LeKeisha Nicole, James Williams, Darla Williams, Elisha Hicks, Laura Mercer, Jon Morgan, Caleb Ingram, Kelly Kline Cappoen, Patrick McKee, Sarah Moore, Scott Sliver, Laura Rapoch, Michael Vanderburgh, Joel Burton, Shirley J. Fuchs, Matthew Sliver.
Steve Bowen, Steve Saucer, Robert Lyons, Joshua Ward, DaQuawna Farrow, Norris Cole, Mary Montgomery, Haley Carson, Jeff Graham, Kerry Ivy, Jonathan J. Washington, Jerricha Hoskins, Stacey J. Tweedie, Aysha Valerio Osten.
To these 100 + Daytonians who made a difference, Dayton thanks you and the countless others who will continue to help the community heal.