Submit your nominees to highlight good deeds

Mark Somerson

Heroes don't necessarily save lives. Sometimes, they simply change them for the better.

Dispatch readers have until April 14 to nominate ordinary people who do extraordinary things for Dispatch Media Group's "Everyday Heroes" project.

You might know a neighbor who delivers meals to shut-ins. You could work with someone who volunteers to pick up litter along protected streams or teaches English to recent immigrants.

The project involves all Dispatch Media Group companies — The Dispatch, Columbus Monthly, Alive, Columbus CEO, Columbus Parent and ThisWeek Community Newspapers.

"In a metro area of more than 2 million people, we know that there are hundreds of heroes out there," Dispatch Editor Alan D. Miller wrote in a column on March 5. "They come in all shapes, sizes, ages, colors and political persuasions. And one of their many beauties is that none of that matters. What matters is the size of their hearts and their contributions to society. 

"At a time when we all could use some good news and a reason to unite around a cause, this provides an opportunity to do both. So please tell us about those who have impressed you with their quiet, yet noteworthy contributions to others."

Ray Paprocki, publisher and general manager of Dispatch Magazines, said the time is right for this project.

"We live in polarized, divisive times, yet there are many people who are working to heal, unite and improve our communities in ways that may not make headlines," he said. "We want to tell their stories and celebrate their extraordinary selfless acts."

After April 14, a panel of editors and others will read through the nominations and identify a group of about two dozen semifinalists to highlight in a publication that will appear in The Dispatch in September.

And the panel will identify five people whose extraordinary selfless acts set them apart. All of the finalists and semifinalists will be invited to a special event in the fall to celebrate them and name one as the Everyday Hero of the Year.

The nomination form is available online at