Initiating the Good Guy Initiative
APRIL 29, 2022
Here’s a line you’ve probably all heard before: good deeds often go unrecognized. In fact, you’ve probably heard that line a lot. It’s almost like it’s a prereq for the Good Guy job title. No one gets thanked for saving kittens from trees anymore. Yet these thankless jobs make the world go round. Where would we be without the boys in blue? It’s really no small tragedy that firefighters, nuns, moms, civil servants of all forms often go completely unrecognized. But, it does leave one to wonder, does it have to be that way. The Good Guy Group thinks it doesn’t.
Who’s the Good Guy Group you ask? Well, they’re a small collective of community-driven real estate agents, working under Glasshouse Realty Group. They are looking to challenge the age-old truism that good deeds must go unrecognized. They’re plan to do this will strike a balance between giving back to Dayton’s superheroes by helping them find a home while also rewarding and recognizing them for all their do-goodery. Their process works like this: they ask their clients to nominate people who, diligently without recognition, have served their community. The group then, after partnering with local Dayton area businesses, provides said good guys with some kind of reward for their good deeds. Pretty simple right? The rewards range from donations to preferred non-profits to free oil changes for life, maybe a new roof, or Christmas presents for kids who would otherwise go without. Last year their gifts totaled over $20,000 and they are looking to do more in 2022.
The members of the team themselves also all fit the good-guy bill. They are headed up by Zac Banks, local police officer by day, real estate agent by night. This little super league not only features a police officer, but also a firefighter and EMT, a nurse, and a detective. All have taken up real estate as another source of income, and, being generally great people, can’t help themselves from trying to help others. All in all, the crew members are Zac Banks (aforementioned super cop), Cassie Gutt, Julie Harris, Jose Perez, Monica Evans, Sarah Treon, Tom Sneeringer, Ellie Dials, Michael Art, and Andrew Lang.
The first Good Guy Initiative winner was a mom of five named Toby. She went above and beyond the motherly call to action in 2005 when she uprooted her family and moved them down to Haiti to run an orphanage for young girls. The orphanage was called The Hope Center for Orphan girls. The goal she had in mind when she went down there was simple. She wanted to raise the girls in a family and not an institution. She wanted to model for the kids the kind of healthy home life the kids deserved. For example, in an institutional setting, although the children are cared for and have their needs provided for, they won’t receive, as an example of what Toby had in mind, a model of a healthy marriage. They will feel a sisterly kindship with the other orphans, but Toby wanted those kids to feel like they were loved just as much as her own two kids. She tried to be a model for them of a real sense of love and togetherness. She never wanted the girls to feel like they were being taken care of out of obligation. She instead wanted them always to feel like they were included, like they were a part of the family and loved.
She instead wanted them always to feel like they were included, like they were a part of the family and loved.
Toby did this in Haiti from 2005 to 2013. In 2013, her family had to make a tough decision to leave Haiti for reasons outside of their control. She remained in contact with the girls in the interim, and in 2021, she decided to start a non-profit called Raising Hope Ministries to provide for their education. She hopes also to expand the scope of the organization to make real the educational dreams of more orphaned kids in Haiti. Making those dreams a reality includes more than paying for schooling however, she also plans to provide for their housing, food, and their basic needs while they make their way through school.
Toby was the perfect first candidate. 1) she’s a good mom (there should be a Nobel prize for that alone) 2) she wasn’t content with only mothering her own kin but was compelled by a truly superhuman compassion to be a mother for kids who, without her, may have never known what it meant to have a mom (and thereby not having a model of good motherhood themselves) and 3) she’s going to provide for the education of underprivileged girls so that they can help make Haiti a better place. And, that’s just the short list. She’s set the bar pretty high.
The Good Guy Group honored her by giving her a platform to tell her story on their Facebook page and by donating to her new nonprofit, Raising Hope Ministries. The group’s plan is to do this sort of thing once a month. They have gathered a list of candidates, just like Toby, whose stories need to be told and whose compassion might otherwise be overlooked and they are going to release little biopics on them all one by one each month. But! They are always looking for more nominees and will always lend an ear to hear you tell their story.