DataYard has been located in the heart of Dayton’s downtown community for over two decades. Naturally, when the heartbreaking news of Sunday morning’s tragedy scrolled across our screens, we were devastated along with the rest of the community. Some of our own staff were in the district that night but had headed home just before the madness broke out. Sunday morning was a slew of messages, everyone checking in on one another. The sigh of relief that our team was safe was instantly followed by the realization that others were sending the same messages with empty replies, making our stomachs sink. Coping in the wake of tragedy is an endless carousel of questions and “what if?” scenarios.
Our team somberly entered the office on Monday and had to deliver service like any other day, but the day was not the same. It was a day filled with confusion, mixed with a desire to do something in response. But how could we respond as a business? Our service isn’t poised to directly help or comfort someone hurting. We were at a lost as to how we could be there for our community, other than by just being there. It wasn’t until the end of the day on Monday that we discovered how we could help.
Monday afternoon we received a call from the Dayton Foundation with a request to help the victims of the Oregon District shooting. NBC Columbus was going to be hosting a telethon the next day, President Trump was visiting Wednesday, and American Airlines had already given $75,000. They were expecting to see unprecedented numbers hit the Dayton Foundation website over the next several days. We responded by immediately bulking up their resources so they were able to accommodate the traffic and security risks that come with national attention.