Submitted By isabelmoreno
Quiet Heroes Movie stars and athletes are often held up as heroes and role models because they lend their name to a cause or visit a child in the hospital, followed, of course, by a convoy of reporters. These “heroes” are showered with media attention and admiration. But in every community, there are also quiet heroes. I know several of these quiet heroes, ordinary people of all ages who work to make their community a better place. One of my heroes is Deb, an outgoing grandmother of three who works with Habitat for Humanity. Deb can wield a hammer with the best of them, but it is her talent for feeding people that makes her contribution special. Deb spends the morning chopping, slicing, and mixing in a kitchen filled with delicious aromas. By 11:30, she is on the road to the construction site. In winter, she may bring hot vegetable soup or Brunswick stew. On warm days, lunch may be homemade pimento cheese sandwiches, fruit, and iced tea. But day after day, Deb uses her money, time, and talent to keep the Habitat crew going. Another hero in our community is Pete, an accountant, who uses his clear, expressive voice to share the joys of reading. He is a member of the Rolling Readers, a group that visits elementary schools to interest children in reading. Pete reads every week to a class he has adopted. To keep the children reading over the summer, he gives each child a book furnished by the Rolling Readers program. Pete also shares his love of reading by volunteering for the Radio Reading Service for the blind and print-handicapped. Once a week, he gets up at six a.m. and drives to a small recording studio. He takes the morning paper and selects the articles he will read from each section of the paper, judging from experience when he has enough to fill the hour. Then he goes into a recording booth and reads, editing out mistakes as he goes along. By reading to others, Pete manages to turn what is usually a solitary activity into a shared joy. Last, but not least, in this list of heroes is Andra, a high school junior who has organized a “Friendship Brigade” to serve senior citizens. The Friendship Brigade mows lawns, runs errands, and does chores for low-income senior citizens that it has “adopted.” The brigade has also sought business sponsorship to provide for various needs such as wheelchair ramps and smoke detectors. Andra says that her reward is knowing that she and her friends are helping older people live more independent lives. To me, a hero is not necessarily a movie star who jets in for a personal appearance accompanied by a hair stylist, a personal trainer, and an appointment secretary. More often, heroes are ordinary people who, without fanfare, work to improve their community and their world.…...