I actually remember a good deal of the first Be Someone’s Superhero. I’m not 100% sure but I think it was our first charity event. Not just playing games and raising money for charity.
I was approached to be the 3rd team in an effort to raise money for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. At the time Uncanny! (the comic store we did in-person events at) had 3 locations and a group wanted to run an event at each location at the same time and also on Twitch. Of course, I said yes.
The Monday after I said yes, I went to the emergency room and was admitted for surgery. My gallbladder had begun to thicken and was going to burst. I had my surgery, came home and that Friday I was at the Plymouth Meeting Mall prepping for the event. I was there 3 days a week for about a month. Talking to stores about raffles, getting food for our volunteers and cosplayers, thinking about how I would set it all up. I was excited and scared. I wanted to do it but didn’t know if I could pull it off. In 2016 we were smaller, I had trouble asking for help and Lily was about 2 years old.
All events are work but in the early days, when we didn’t have a track record or the relationships we have now, it was 10 times the amount of prep. Also, in-person it is so much harder lol!
It was fun, we laughed, we played games, we raised money. It was amazing. Most importantly, we raised money for kids.
What I didn’t know then, that I certainly know now, is what we were specifically raising money for. Of course, we knew it was CHOP but so much more than that. The money raised from Extra-Life goes to the kids continuing to be kids while in the hospital. Toys, movies, iPads, consoles, you name it, and more specialized things. These things help to comfort them. As the Extra-Life Philly Guild Leader says… We help kids to be kids, even in the hospital.
When we continued, I wanted to give everyone the chance to be a Superhero to someone they never met. You donate money, you donate time, and somewhere, someone you don’t know smiles, because of you. To me, that is a powerful feeling.
I love Marvel, I love My Hero Academia, I love Dungeons and Dragons. I watch all of these and play amazing heroes. Heroes who save the day, who do it with a smile, who make the world better. How could I, a high school dropout, make the world better? Well, I assembled my own version of the Avengers and together we’ve raised over 10k for different charities in 8 years. I got to hear stories firsthand from adults who were children in children’s hospitals or adults and kids about being bullied.
When I was a kid I would roll my eyes when they would constantly tell us that we could change the world. How? The world is huge! I am one person! Where do I even start? That is a lot for someone who doesn’t even understand puberty or algebra. I had to find my change and dig into it. I had to step up and do what I could, what I was good at.
Every person who donates, who helps, who contributes, is a hero. Each step is us making the world a better place. Even if you think your small $2 donation isn’t going to help anyone or change anything… You are so wrong. That is the bliss of charities. These heroes stepped up with what they are good at. They can take that $2 donation and turn it into more.
The people who run and work for charities, they have the amazing power to stretch it. They might know a farmer who will sell them a $20 case of veggies for $2. Shocked? Me too! They bust their butts to find these amazing people who also want
to help. They can get things at a discount, sometimes a HUGE discount. Things we could never manage. That is why money is the #1 needed resource. It’s great to donate items but they can do far more with the money that you spent on that DVD or that box cake mix. They can turn it into 20 DVDs, or a case of fruit that won’t sell because it isn’t ‘pretty’. Seriously, the amount of food that farms throw away is staggering.
So on Saturday, when you donate $2, there will be an elderly person getting a meal thanks to you. A kid getting healthy food that’s hard to get or an adult making sure their family has full bellies. It touches us, it touches the people at Player vs Hunger and it touches every single person they help.
I hope to see you on Saturday, and you’ll be our Superhero.