So many people responded that Jerome said they asked some groups to go to other heavily affected areas instead because Brookville had enough helping hands.
The chief received a call from Montgomery County Common Pleas Court officials, who asked if they could send inmates in their Secure Transitional Offender Program to help clean up. The inmates in STOP, along with lower classified inmates from the Montgomery County Jail, helped relief efforts.
Groups delivered food to the victims, volunteers and first responders through the city.
Police Major Tom Simon credited support from other communities’ school districts. Sports teams that volunteered included Dixie, Valley View and Tri-County, but Simon said there was a whole lot more from Preble and Montgomery counties.
Jerome said most trees and brush were gone by Wednesday night because of the volunteers and Brookville Rental, which sent equipment to move anything they could, for free, to help with the relief efforts. The city credits other volunteers for their use of heavy machinery for free.
A Farmersville tree company drove through Brookville and just stopped to help with tree removal, Simon said.
One of Brookville’s firehouses was the established reception center for donation drop-offs, which came by the truck load. Old Fire Station 1 had to be opened and cleaned out to be used as another reception center.
Truckloads of supplies that came in included water, clothes, food, hygiene products and medical supplies. Brookville officials told donors to take them to other hard-hit cities and townships where the need was greater.
Local law enforcement agencies and fire departments donated to the relief efforts, Simon said.
Officials from both the fire and police departments credited the city’s HyperReach program to give updates to their citizens. HyperReach is a program residents can sign up to get email or text alerts about city issues.
“The entire week has been emotional, and I’ve witnessed more love and kindness than you could even imagine,” said Kaelie Copley, Brookville resident. “I’m so proud to be a part of this community, this family, who will pick anyone up when they have fallen and stand by their side until they’re ready to stand on their own again.”
Copley’s husband, Dustin, was one of the men who helped a local woman find her brother’s ashes.
Both Simon and Jerome said the help was overwhelming and thanked city staff for their efforts.
“I grew up in Brookville, and seeing the community come together was just simply amazing, and the support we received was absolutely amazing,” Simon said.
The city asked those who wish to volunteer or donate to contact the Volunteer Reception Center at 937-512-5700.
Anyone in the city who needs relief supplies this week can pick them up at the old fire station on Mulberry Street across from the post office from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.