Today so many of us are feeling sad and mad and pretty helpless after hearing of the shooting in the Oregon District. We’ve watched it on the news happening in other cities. 249 times in fact. But now it’s happened to us. How many of you were checking in with friends and family all day, checking, praying that none of their names would appear on the victim list. Many of us got calls and texts and email from others around the country and even the world, because when they hear Dayton on CNN they think of us?
Might first thought this morning… I had no words…
My second thought- Dayton is strong.
Between the tornado’s, the Klan Rally and now this, we’ve faced our share of tragedy. But we’ve also learned just how STRONG we really are. We didn’t wait for the government and FEMA to get here. No, we just pitched in and started helping one another out. Because that’s what Dayton does. We are doers. Less that 12 hours after the shooting I got calls from restaurant friends offering to help feed the first responders, a place for them to just chill and get thanks for our community. I had a friend who is president of a company that owns a funeral home and several cemeteries offer free services. Other friends are putting together memorials and prayer vigils ( next one- tonight 8pm at the Corner of Fifth and Pine in the Oregon District). So many people are thanking our first responders, who were quick and efficient in handling the killer, many transporting victims in their own vehicles to get them to the hospitals so quickly. And our community recognizes this:
Dayton first responders and Police are the best! In our small way we want to thank you in our own way by inviting you to come have a meal on us. – Tanks
We want to offer all the first responders a place to relax for a moment and offer to feed them. — Liz Valentis, Wheat Penny Oven and Bar
I’ve seen so many posts on social media reminding people to be kind, reach out to others, and for those that do, to pray. And finally when the victims names were released this afternoon tears for those lives lost to young. I keep thinking how awful it is for the families who lost a loved one, and then how much worse it must be for the parents of the shooter, their son, who also killed his sister. We must find a way to support them all, and Dayton will. Already local businesses have made decisions to support the victims:
We’ve discussed at length and have made the difficult decision to open today because we won’t let fear and hate rule our community. We also want to be a place where the community can come be together. All sales in the Taproom today will go towards helping the victims and their families and our friends in the Oregon District. – Warped Wing
This sketch from local artist Maggie Reckers has already been shared over 1.1K times on Facebook, as we are looking for ways to connect during this time of sorrow. It’s those connections we make that will pull us all through this dark time. Please if you are feeling overwhelmed or helpless, know that reaching out to others, just having conversations if the first step. As the days move on there will be many opportunities to join groups that will be working to find solutions, taking political action and more, but for today, let’s just make sure we reach out to one another. If you’re struggling with what to tell your kids, Dayton Children’s has tips here.
“Hug your loved ones and be grateful” was the post on Oregon Hat Shop Brim’s page, and that’s where we can start.
Without going into the theories that will arise behind this shooting, we do know that one of the best things we can to to help is to reach out to those we know who are struggling. Whether it’s mentally, financially, socially, if we all take a moment to try to connect and offer assistance or referrals to places that can help. The more connected we become, the stronger we’ll become as a community.
If you’d donate to help the victims, The Dayton Foundation has set up The Oregon District Tragedy Fund.