Calling all superheroes

At the Y with Jan Matthews

Published on March 17, 2017

At the Y with Jan Matthews

Popular culture has always recognized the value of a superhero. From Zorro to Wonder Woman, the Avengers to the Guardians of the Galaxy, the idea of a heroic character who dedicates superhuman powers to the forces of good has inspired generations to read, watch and run around the schoolyard.

That such power and strength is often hidden further deepens the intrigue: who suspected that a mild-mannered reporter would save the world from imminent destruction, or that a playboy billionaire secretly dedicates his life and work to altruistic purposes?

The idea of being more than you first appear can be both empowering and motivating, on the screen and in real life.

But once the credits roll and the story ends, it's important to remember that not every hero packs a cape and a roundhouse punch. Though we be mere mortals, bound by gravity and the routine realities of life, you don't have to look far to find examples of how one person's life has been helped by another. From paying it forward to buying coffee for the next in line, we each have the power to brighten someone's day or initiate a change for the better.

The goal of the Y's Strong Kids campaign is to encourage healthy lifestyles and positive interactions through sponsored memberships to our community YMCA. By not allowing circumstance to limit potential, the Y can then work to deliver programs designed to allow everyone to be the best that they can be. Currently, one in six memberships are sponsored to ensure that everything from the Early Learning Centre to the Full of Life activities, from swim lessons to the Wellness Centre, are accessible to those who not only want them, but perhaps need them the most.

Fighting super villains and saving the world from the brink of disaster sells movie tickets and comic books. Helping to build a stronger community through inclusion and support? That's the stuff of everyday heroes.


Jan Matthews writes her column for the Cumberland YMCA.