The man, Dion Green, recently returned from Buffalo, where he helped families and the community there following the fatal mass shooting at a grocery store on May 14.
Green lost his father in the Aug. 4, 2019 Dayton mass shooting, a loss he feels every day, but started the Fudge Foundation in honor of his father, Derrick Fudge, to try to help others affected by violence or mass shootings.
Green said he is leaving Tuesday morning and should be in Texas by midday.
He lives in Dayton but works with other groups in Columbus who are trying to end the violence. Green gave a presentation to Columbus City Council earlier this month about the work he’s done here.
Green’s message is to let people know it’s OK to ask for help and plans on letting the families of violence know he will be available to keep helping, even when a lot of the other attention is gone.
“It just hurts my heart, so I just want to be there to let them know that you are not alone, I wish you weren’t part of this network,” Green said.
He hopes to be able to help because he can relate more to what they are going through than most other people.
“It’s very retraumatizing, but I also know what these families are going to feel today, next week, next month, next year, in three years. and especially if we keep seeing this cycle, we’re all going to be back on day one every day, every day, every day, and I’m tired of it,” Green said.
Even though it can be hard for him, he still wants to help other families experiencing the same thing he went through as a result of that early Sunday morning in Dayton.
“It’s my mission,” Green said. “I didn’t die that night. My father took five bullets standing right beside me, so there must be a reason why I’m still here on this conversation with you to be there to help those, lift them out of that dark space.”
Green said the shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde feel like that first day three years ago.
“These kids were two days away from enjoying their summers at a swimming pool, at an attraction park,” he said. “Now these families are planning funerals and don’t know what their next step is in life.”