projekt202 Senior UX Designer Daniel Sanchez, joined by his super friends, brought much-needed smiles to families evacuated from Hurricane Harvey.
Earlier this week, Daniel/Superman, David Arroyo/The Flash and Marcus Thixton/The Hulk suited up to visit a Dallas-area Red Cross shelter. The superhero stopover was coordinated through Heroic Inner Kids, a nonprofit community outreach program benefiting children. The charity's creative and costumed volunteers visit children in hospitals, attend fundraisers for cancer research, and promote literacy by reading to children in libraries and at public events, among many other year-round activities.
The scope of Harvey’s unprecedented impact across Southeast Texas called for heroes from all areas.
“I met a lot of good people working day and night to take care of everyone we can here in Dallas,” Daniel said. “The staff and volunteers at the Red Cross are wonderful people and were so welcoming to all the displaced families in need, some of whom have been traveling since Friday or Saturday. At the front door, volunteers and children had written 'Welcome All' with hearts and smiles."
For families forced to ride out the storm in an unfamiliar environment, comfort and hope were provided by familiar figures in red, blue and green.
"We were there to try to give the kids and their parents something else to remember this tragic event by besides the sadness of having to flee their homes. For an hour, they got to forget why they were there," Daniel said. "The feeling of family was very strong. It was heartwarming to see all the big brothers and sisters showing love and looking out for their younger siblings.”
Recognizing that even the Man of Steel can get restless at his Fortress of Solitude, a play room was set up at the shelter to keep children entertained. Donated diversions included foosball, coloring books, board games and stuffed animals.
Superman, the Flash and the Hulk did their part, too, to help young evacuees fight boredom and fear.
"The kids were so glad to see us. They all wanted hugs and photos, and to tell us they’ve seen all our movies -- and who is their favorite," Daniel said. "Most of the boys wanted to arm-wrestle Superman. And by most, I mean 'all at once.'"
The larger-than-life trio personified the mission of Heroic Inner Kids: to inspire those with challenges to realize their own inner heroes.
Daniel recalled, “I got to hug a scared little girl and tell her ‘I’ve checked this whole place out with my super-vision. You’re safe here. I met all the kids for you. They’re nice. I know what it’s like to have to leave your home, but you’re going to be strong after this, just like me. You’ll see.’”
To help persons affected by Hurricane Harvey, here are some of the many available resources:
Donate to the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is working around the clock along the Gulf Coast to help thousands of people whose lives have been devastated by this storm. You can make donations online and designate where you’d like your contribution to be used.
Volunteer with the American Red Cross
Hundreds of volunteer opportunities are available across Central and South Texas. The need for volunteers and support will continue long after the storm has passed. Fill out an application here to find the right volunteer opportunity that allows you to best use your skills, interests and availability.
Additional ways to help
Texas Monthly created a list of over 20 Texas organizations that need support to help people impacted by the storm. Resources include local food banks, and nonprofits dedicated to helping children, people with medical needs, the homeless, those displaced from their homes, pets and more.
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