If there is anything we have learned from terrorist attacks and their ugly aftermaths, it is this: Acts of kindness immediately will follow.
Strangers come together to aid the victims. Civic and national pride rises from the affected communities to show their collective support and display their determined defiance. The latter was the scene at Wednesday’s Europa League final outside Stockholm, where Manchester United fans watched their club beat Ajax just two days after a terrorist’s bombs exploded at a pop concert in Manchester.
Out of this latest evil act, the story of Stephen Jones will go down as some of the good to come from it.
The 35-year-old Jones was homeless looking for a place to sleep on the street outside Manchester Arena when the bombs killed 22 and injured over 100 people at an Ariana Grande concert. Jones tended to some of the victims, doing what he could to help. His heroism made headlines around the world.
But that is not the end of Jones’s story.
West Ham United owners were so moved by Jones’s selflessness that they sought him out to help his own situation. Through social media, they were able to locate him. And on Wednesday, the Premier League club announced that joint-chairman David Sullivan and his son Dave are repaying Jones for his heroism by providing new clothes, paying his rent for six months and finding him job opportunities.
“Dave and myself were both hugely impressed by the bravery shown by Steve, the emergency services and all those who rushed to the aid of those affected by the Manchester attack,” Sullivan said in a club statement.
The Sullivans aren’t the only ones lending a helping hand. A crowdfunding effort has raised over $50,000 for Jones.
“Steve deserves this chance to improve his own life,” added Sullivan, “after his selfless and heroic acts undoubtedly improved the lives of so many others.”