First, I must apologize for the lack of superhero updates the last couple of months. The Superheroes have definitely been out and about, and in fact have even made regular visits (and friends) with residents at Clark Fork Manor. We are finally ready to get back on track reporting our kindness-based shenanigans!
The mission I write about today is one that was quite special to me and is one I know will keep my bucket full for a long time. It was the much anticipated and highly awaited Cottey mission. For this act of kindness, I gave my Missoula Superheroes big hugs and then crossed a few state borders to join our friends, the Superhereos of Kindness stationed in Nevada, Missouri, for a mission on their turf. Superheroes of all ages started helping a couple days in advance of the actual mission. Friends of the heroes at Missoula Community School baked away to hold a bake sale to help fund the cost of my plane ticket to join our Nevada heroes. I have never seen anything like this bake sale! The most beautiful (and delicious) pies I have ever seen! Lemon bars that still make my mouth water. It was decadent, to say the least. And the support, my goodness, I still don’t know what to say about the support. I left knowing my friends at home not only helped me make my travels, but also wanted this to happen as much as I did.
The following day, the morning came in which I was going to meet our fellow Superheroes of Kindness that I have come to love but have never met. After giving my family a gentle kiss on the forehead while they slept, I stepped out my door, donned my cape, and took to the skies. (Ok, really, I hopped a plane, but as I sat by the window on my flight I envisioned myself flying in the sky, cape flapping in the wind and I’ve decided to stick with that vision.) When my feet finally touched ground again and my cape settled, it was time to meet the person not only in charge of planning the superheroes missions but also in charge of keeping the heart of the heroes pure, Phil Bures. Let’s just say it was like two little kids in a tree house, recounting their favorite superhero moments and truly believing they, too, had superpowers. Before I began to get to know the town of Nevada, I checked into my hotel, which I have to thank the optimist club of Nevada for sponsoring!
I arrived two days before the actual mission so that I could soak up the atmosphere of the town. After all, the superheroes program exists in part to model that no one is too small to make a difference in their community. I needed to get acquainted with the town in order to see the impact they make with each mission. My fabulous hosts led me on a tour of Nevada and I was able to sit down in the evening and chat with some of the folks who have helped get the superheroes up and running as well as helped make some of the details of this mission possible. It was a unique moment where I got to hear why the superheroes were important to each and every person there. They all had some similarities, but some different aspects that hit them as well. It was fascinating seeing how both our groups have the same heart, but can hit different people and communities in different ways.
Then the day arrived to put on our capes and hit this town like never before. I have to admit it was a bit weird putting on a cape and not being the person running the show or the person in charge of the children. But I was excited to get the opportunity to let go; get caught up with the overwhelmingly happy feeling that these trips bring without having to pay attention to the details. I had kind of met the children and their teachers before as we had Skyped for the Missoula heroes’ first birthday. It didn’t take long for the children to inform me I came from Montana or to return high fives. I knew instantly that friends surrounded me. In fact, two of these friends stayed by my side every time we walked, seeking me out and of course making me smile. The mission started with meeting the pink fire truck from KC Chapter of the Guardians of the Ribbon. This truck has the important mission to raise awareness for cancer and all who are affected by it. The truck was brought in special for this mission. The children were focused on the fact the fireman was wearing pink but I was focused on the number of adults (not just at this moment but throughout the mission) who were touched by the opportunity to sign the bus in honor of someone they knew who had battled cancer. It was deeply impacting to see how clear it was that this group knew exactly what their town needed.
This is a unique mission in that you can get different viewpoints (ahhh, perspective). If you would like to read this mission from the perspective of the Missouri heroes, click here.