Boy smiling wearing hat decorated with flower stickers

Hooray for Heroes, Big and Small!

By Jodi Anderson-Wolhaupter

Date Posted 7/24/2021

George Washington. Abraham Lincoln. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Some celebrated names are deeply etched in our minds.
History, though, has a way of highlighting particular people while sometimes editing out other important leaders and helpers of the movements and moments that impact us all. Sadly, sometimes people making incredible differences aren’t even that well-known. In fact, during our June 28 Author Zoom, Ms. Sarah Warren told us that while she was working on a project about Cesar Chavez, she discovered Dolores Huerta, a passionate teacher and advocate for the rights and families of migrant workers. While Chavez is perhaps more commonly known as the president of the National Farm Workers Association, how many know that Dolores was the founding vice president? Inspired by this new-found heroine, Ms. Warren spent 10 years bringing to life her book, Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers.
With an engaging smile and even an excited dog puppet, Ms. Warren reminded our kids that heroes don’t have to wear capes! They can be the everyday people around us doing the work of looking out for others to make the world a safer, fairer, and even more hopeful place. As she walked our group through a hands-on activity, kids were encouraged to think of a skill or talent they have. Then, they thought about a person in their life who helps them with their skill. Finally, they thought about who they could likewise help to better learn their skill or talent, too! Helping is a major part of how any person gains the strength to face their challenges and how they might support others, too.
While heroes don’t have to wear capes, some of our Kids4 crew did proudly wear their Hero Hats at our Becker Park event on June 26! Out of three causes, kids decorated their cap to show that they are a supporter of people, animals, or the environment. With fleece and Easter eggs, kids created fun toys for dogs and cats at the Animal Humane Society shelter. Coloring sheets and hands-on models were also available for kids interested in learning about pollinators and landfills. Finally, it was great to see the pictures and notes our kids painted on laundry baskets to welcome families at Haven Housing. A special, big THANKS to the families who brought extra items to donate to Haven Housing! Because Haven Housing is a north Minneapolis organization celebrating 40 years of assisting women and children experiencing crisis or transition, some adults with Kids4 would like to continue offering support. A monthly meal will be purchased and delivered for the families, so if you would like to contribute to the cost of that restaurant meal, let us know. Or, of course, it would be a fun treat for the children at Haven Housing to receive any special drawings or notes from our Kids4 kids! You can drop off any Haven Housing support at our monthly in-person events. Thanks for spreading the local love!
All in all, we learned that, if we take a closer look at history or the people in our communities, we’ll probably discover even more people to count as everyday heroes! What’s extra cool is that these “heroes on the sidelines” can actually transform our vision. By seeing and learning about more diverse, unique ways people make a difference, it broadens our minds and hearts! From the example of their work, we might also gain the super-power strength to get involved, speak up, and find the courage to stand up for the causes we care about, maybe even becoming heroic helpers in the process.

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