by M. Yesenia Summers
(Plain Press, June 2017) Imagine a young child looking out of his hospital window. The weather is grey and gloomy; inside the room the atmosphere isn’t much better. Mom, dad and other family members are forcing artificial cheerfulness. This young boy is fighting a serious illness and sits in a hospital bed waiting for the next time he may need to be poked with a needle or carted off to another room for yet another procedure. The steady rhythm of approaching footsteps causes the room to become silent. In walks Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and other super heroes. Disbelief and joy spread across the little boy and his loved ones faces, where did these heroes come from? Why are they here?
This group of amazing men and women are called, “Super heroes to Kids in Ohio”. This non-profit organization began in 2010. The group initially started visitations at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s wards but has expanded to visiting hospitals throughout northeast Ohio. These selfless heroes come from all walks of life. All the heroes are volunteers, they spend their own money on their costumes and give freely of their time. Just like you and I, they have jobs and families they need to attend to.
For example, Dr. John Hanick, aka “Spider-Man” has a busy schedule but carves out time to be involved in the organization. When asked why he got involved in the group, he responded, “Children are not supposed be sick or in hospitals, so when they are, it can be scary and confusing. I heard of this group who brought smiles and laughter to these children and their families simply by visiting them as their favorite superhero or princess. With all the stress and terrible things going on in the world, what a great way to reach out and help lift up our little heroes”.
The organization has three main goals: (1) To provide simple acts of kindness (2) To recognize individuals who have battled through adversity (3) To encourage the involvement of “community” in making a positive difference in the lives of others; especially children. Not only does Super Heroes to Kids in Ohio visit hospitals, it is also involved with the Special Olympics, A Special Wish Cleveland, Make A Wish and various other charities.
Perhaps you would like to assist the organization. Here are some ways you can do just that. Brian Chulik, aka “Batman” suggested the following steps. First, you can visit www.superheroesandtokidsinohio.org and donate money through PayPal. One example of how the money helps children and their families is the Ronald McDonald House. Every year $5,000 is given where a sick child and loved ones can stay for free at the Ronald McDonald House while treatment is being administered. Also, money helps other organizations such as the Special Olympics and the non-profit organization, Jeremy Cares. Fundraisers also allow the organization to raise money. You can learn more about upcoming events on either their website or on their Facebook page, Super Heroes for Kids in Ohio.
If you want to transform into a super hero or princess, visit the website for information. After a background check and simple rules, you may have the opportunity to change the life of a child. The organization is always in need of more heroes and princesses.
Not enough can be said about the extraordinary kindness the volunteers of Super Heroes to Kids in Ohio show to children and their families. This group of generous men and women serve as a reminder that everyday people can accomplish exceptional acts. After the heroes depart each child and family member is left with a sense of happiness and the knowledge that heroes really do exist.