Community Support For Jessie Continues To Thrive

It's been more than two weeks since a shark attacked 8-year-old Jessie Arbogast. However, the outpour of support from his community doesn't appear to be losing steam.

On Sunday another benefit was held for Jessie. It was just one of many acts of goodwill that have come from Ocean Springs residents. The Knights of Columbus had no trouble reaching their goal despite their breakfast being one of several fundraisers aimed to help Jessie. Organizers say even weeks after his accident, some people still want to do what they can to help out.

"The response has been great especially today," Robert Foster said. "We've had people come in wheelchairs to support this, and to see that really makes you proud to be a member of this community."

At Jessie's church a sign reminds the congregation to pray for Jessie and his family. Some members of his church family say they are happy but not surprised to see strangers reaching out to help Jessie.

"We've shown this kind of support at other times when there's been crises and I think it's more spectacular now because we have a young child that's involved with this," Joan McClear said.

Fred Brooks decided his Ocean Springs home should become one more thing around town draped with yellow ribbons.

"I'm surprised to go into town, all the trees with the yellow ribbons, all the shrubs have the yellow ribbons," Brooks said.

Some people say eventually the level of public interest in Jessie will fade but not here at home.

"I think on a national level, we'll probably see a decline but our prayers are for this family and this young boy everyday," Ocean Springs resident Terry Miller said.

The Knights of Columbus raised more than $1,000 for Jessie and his family on Sunday.

by Danielle Thomas