Ronald McDonald House

Last week, we featured Superheroes for Sam.  For Sam to have treatment, his family must travel to Milwaukee.  There, the Ronald McDonald House hosts the Sommer family.

While RMHC is a well-known charity, it is not one you often hear about.  Its mission is to provide a comfortable, home-like environment for the families of pediatric patients who must travel for treatment.  Along with the better-known program, RMHC operates the Ronald McDonald Playroom, an area with shower, sleep and laundry facilities in-hospital for the families of local patients.  RMHC also operates the Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles, a mobile clinic providing low-cost health-care for children.

There is an assumption because of the name that McDonald’s provides all funding for RMHC.  However, this is not the case.  McDonald’s is the largest corporate donor, and individual McDonald’s restaurants do contribute to their local chapters, the majority of the funding comes from other corporate or individual donations.

In addition to donations of money, chapters are in frequent (if not constant) need of volunteers and supplies.  Each chapter has a wish-list of supplies, as well as items of frequent need.  For example, see this wish-list from the Louisville, KY chapter.

If you would like to help RMHC by donating or volunteering, you can find a nearby chapter here.


Superheroes for Sam

Sam Sommer is six years old and has acute myeloid luekemia.  AML is rare in children his age but it is curable.  Sam is, as of this writing, undergoing treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

At the Superman Sam site, a blog about the progress of Sam’s treatment, his mother has put out the call for people to mail Sam pictures of themselves wearing their favorite superhero t-shirt, a photo-project she calls Superheroes of Sam.  Each picture will be hung on the wall of Sam’s hospital room, as part of Team Superman Sam, to show him how many people around the world are supporting him.

If you want to participate, print a photo of yourself and mail it to:

Sam Sommer, E582
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
P.O. Box 1997
Milwauke, Wisconsin 53201-1997

For my part, along with the picture, I sent Sam a few old issues of Superman and a disc containing 170+ episodes of the classic Adventures of Superman radio show.

Superheroes for Sam is awesome in its simplicity.  To change the world, we do not need great, sweeping actions.  The tiniest thing helps.  We can better this place one family at a time.  And it will take you no more time than taking a photo of yourself, printing it out and putting it in the post!  And it will cost you no more than $0.45!

This is just not for Sam but for his family as well.  His family may feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders, but we can show them that the world is actually behind them and supporting them through this difficult time.

The Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance (COVA)

A major impetus for the creation of Cowls and Capes was the July 20 atrocity in Aurora, Colorado.  Too often madmen inflict their insanity on the world without response.  We simply accept that the world the world is a bit darker and move on.  But if there is anything to be learned from the story of Batman, it is that our darkest moments can be our most inspiration, from which something positive is born.

Thus, it is fitting the first featured charity of Cowls and Capes is COVA, the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance.  COVA, a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization is dedicated to helping victims of crime in Colorado heal and overcome.

COVA is taking donations to help those affected by the movie theater shooting in Aurora, CO.

From the website:

COVA has been asked by Aurora Police Department to coordinate donations for victims of the Aurora mass tragedy. Checks can be made out to COVA and mailed to: 90 Galapago Street, Denver CO, 80223. Please include “Aurora Tragedy” in the memo line. You can also donate online through COVA’s Giving First profile at: “like” us on Facebook for the most current information on how you can help.

After the last news report is filed, for the seventy victims and their families, the recovery, physical and mental, continues.  For months.  For years.  If you can help, please consider doing so.