Heroes embody remarkable characteristics, perform unimaginable tasks, and achieve world-changing goals!
Just as Batman is a superhero who protects Gotham City, everyday heroes are individuals who serve and take care of all of their community members.
Yoobi had an awesome opportunity to interview an everyday hero, who strongly supports the seniors in his community, making sure they are staying active and healthy! His is @goldenagekarate and here is his story!
Q: What does an everyday hero look like to you?
A: An everyday hero looks like you and me. I think that if we all share something that we love with someone else everyone would feel valued and loved.
Q: Who is your biggest role model?
A: My biggest role models are my parents. They taught me how to be kind and to love all. I look up to them most.
Q: Why do you think the social problems you work on are important?
A: I think the inclusion of seniors is important because, if we are lucky ,we will all be in their place one day. I want people to remember that they are still valuable to our community even if they aren't as fast, as strong, or as well known as they used to be. They carry stories that we can learn from and they can really help us to show patience and kindness and slow down a bit. In my regular martial arts class, everything is fast, hard, and strong. In my class with my seniors, everything is about timing, patience, and carefulness. It slows me down as well.
Q: What advice would you give to other kids out there who want to engage in social activism?
A: A piece of advice that I would give is: if you want to do something you should not be afraid of failure or doing it wrong. Sometimes the smallest ideas grow into a much needed service. I would tell them to start small, build a good foundation, and then grow as much as they are comfortable with. I think that sometimes we feel like we only make a difference if that difference is huge but what a lot of people don't understand is small changes matter too.
Common heroes include Super-Man, Wonder Woman, Captain America, and Captain Marvel. Although these heroes are incredible, everyday heroes are valuable and necessary for the betterment of the world!
Everyday heroes bring love, light, and positivity into their local and national communities.
Yoobi had the pleasure of interviewing @solely.sunshine, an everyday hero that focuses on providing encouragement and support to those who need it! Let's see what inspiration this everyday hero was able to share with us!
Q: What are your favorite hobbies?
A: I love to write, which is what inspired me to publish my children's picture book, "Do Not Worry, Little Donkey," which is available on the Barnes & Noble website. I also do food photography and Polynesian dancing!
Q: How long have you been doing this work?
A: My love of helping others started when I was very young. Anytime I became passionate about a cause, I would take it upon myself to run a community service initiative. For example, in elementary school, I collected Cell Phones for Soldiers. In middle school, I created an event to teach religious tolerance called Rocking All Religions. Now, in high school, I have started Solely Sunshine. My passion for helping people with mental health conditions developed a few years ago, and led me to creating Solely Sunshine in May 2020 at the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic.
Q: Tell us about the most memorable experience you've had with Solely Sunshine.
A: Last year, Lady Gaga and her mom saw an LA Times article on my organization, Solely Sunshine, and my passion for mental health, so they wanted to talk to me about my organization. I spoke with Lady Gaga's mom and the Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation team who, subsequently, supported Solely Sunshine by writing an article and letters. Another memorable experience was when I was a guest on the podcast School Daze of Max and Harvey (Celebrity UK X-Factor) because they are one of my favorite singers. It was thrilling to share my passion with them. Just recently, I was a live guest on the Good Day LA show where I got to talk with Michaela Pereira. It was the coolest experience, and I am so humbled to have had these opportunities to grow Solely Sunshine, and overall be able to help more people.
Q: How can Yoobi fans get involved and help?
A: I would be honored for families, kids, and adults, to check out my website www.solelysunshine.com and write a virtual letter of encouragement, or handwrite your own letters to people with mental health conditions and mail them to my PO Box at Solely Sunshine 360 E. First St. #51, Tustin, CA 92780. I will then mail the letters to the mental health facilities. I have sent letters to 158 facilities around the world. You can also check out my book "Do Not Worry, Little Donkey" on the Barnes & Noble website.
Young heroes are just as mighty and powerful as the older heroes! Finding the passion for helping others each day is the biggest superpower any hero can hold!
Yoobi is happy to share some wisdom from an everyday superhero who started her passion at only eight years old. This hero used her resources to create buddy benches to encourage friendships! She is @sammiesbuddybenchproject and here is her story!
Q: How did you get the idea to start your project? Or what drove you to this cause?
A: I heard about the buddy bench concept when I was eight and loved the idea. A buddy bench is a place where, if you are shy and lonely, you can sit on the bench and it signals to others that you need a friend.
I wanted them for my school. To keep the costs down, I started collecting hundreds of pounds of plastic caps and lids that would be recycled into the buddy bench. I also made a comic to explain how a buddy bench is to be used.
I wanted to get buddy benches because I have been lonely and know others have been too and I don’t want anyone to feel that way. Everyone deserves a friend.
Even though I was shy at the beginning, I knew this was important and I was determined to get it done and reach out!
Q: What is your goal when it comes to your social activism?
A: My goal is to let others know they can make a difference no matter their age. You can start small and accomplish big things.
Q: How would you describe what you do?
A: I would say everything I do revolves around kindness.
I collect plastic caps and lids to have them recycled into buddy benches so that more friendships can be made. I help other groups start their own buddy bench project! I have helped over 150 groups all over the country get buddy benches.
When COVID-19 hit, I started “Sending Smiles,” where I mailed out one encouraging letter each day along with a laminated smile. I have sent over 500 smiles so far!
I also do a weekly podcast called “Sammie Smiles,” where I interview inspiring kids and adults. At the end, I always ask the question, “What makes you smile?”
I teach kids how to make cap art murals out of recycling caps.
Recycling and friendships! Win Win!
Q: Do you consider yourself an activist? Why or why not?
A: I would say I am more a kindness leader. I like to show people the importance of being kind and that it can start as small as just one cap. I started with a single cap and to see where it has led me is quite incredible.
There is no better feeling than working alongside your best friend to better the world! Often, superheroes have a buddy that help them save the day!
Two best friends, and brothers, that serve communities together as everyday heroes are CJ, @blankies4mybuddies, and Kollin, @kollinslittlelife. Together, the two have found ways to help comfort families through difficult situations! Tune in to see how this duo is changing the world!
Q: What motivates you to inspire others?
A: CJ answered, inspiring others helps us to get closer to living in the kind of world I dream of, where people are kind to one another all the time and want to help others. If just one person is inspired by the work I do, I feel good about that. Losing my little sister motivated me. I took the pain from losing her and turned it into a way to help myself, honor her, and inspire others to do the same. Kollin added, I just want to make people happy.
Q: How did your family/friends respond when you showed interest in starting your non-profit?
A: CJ responded, when I started doing charitable work, I was 5, so it was pretty much my parents' idea, but when I tell most of my friends and other people my age, they don't get it. My family and friends are overall pretty supportive and assist when asked. Everyone thinks it's so cute that Kollin wants to follow in my footsteps.
Q: What is your favorite part about the work that you do?
A: We love the feeling of just knowing that a blanket or anything we've given to someone will make them feel better, even if only for a moment. It's priceless to know we've had something to do with that.
Q: What's next for Kollin and CJ?
A: CJ will be featured in a new book series called Young Change Makers coming this summer. He will be on the cover of Book 2, entitled "Inspiring Others."
This Fall, we will be releasing our first children's book, "And Then There Was One: A Story to Help Kids Cope with Grief and Loss" as well as CJ launching his DIY blanket boxes to encourage kids to make blankets to provide for someone in need.
In December, we will host the 5th Annual Giving Bowl, a 7-on-7 charitable football game that allows children to play the game they love while blankets are collected, and the community picks up food to feed their families for the holidays.
Kollin is an integral part of Blankies 4 My Buddies, but as mentioned before, he has his own ideas. He will continue to collect toys to donate to kids as long as they keep coming. Kollin raised $255 for the Sesame Street Virtual Fun Run to help kids everywhere get the educational resources they need to grow smarter, stronger and kinder for his birthday. He's looking for his next opportunity to run and raise funds to support a great cause.
#yoobithehero - share your stories and let us see how you are changing the world for the better!
After this interview with our every day heros, we hope you are inspired to start with small changes, build a strong foundation, and continue to grow over the years! You are a superhero!