Texas has a lot of big hearted people, after all everything is bigger in Texas, and this week is another amazing group of CAUSEplayers! I have been following them for a few months and love the positive attitude and great example that is adds to my personal Facebook feed! Not to mention the variety of things they have going on from visiting children’s hospitals to supporting local comic book shops and even hula hooping at a library. And from experience hula hooping in costume is not easy!!!-Mala
Mission Statement : Heroes With A Heart is dedicated to being involved in our community by being a positive influence in the hearts of children and adults and inspiring everyone to become a hero.
Location(s): San Antonio, TX
When was the group started? And by who?
Our group was started in October of 2014 by a group of friends with the same goal and heart in mind. That goal being to use a common hobby and turn it into something that would help benefit our community.
If you are the creator of this group what inspired you to create Heroes With A Heart CAUSEplay in general? If you are a member of the Heroes With A Heart what made you want to join this particular group or CAUSEplay?
I would say the inspiration came from our first hospital visit together. We decided to get together and go visit patients at Methodist Children’s Hospital. It was an amazing time. The kids were so excited to see us and we were so happy to make a difference and put a smile on their faces during a time that can be scary or disheartening. Since that first visit we realized we wanted to do more things like that and help more kids.
Do you have a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization status or other designation? If not, do you consider yourself a charity group or just a group of friend who do good? And are you looking into getting a 501(c)3 status?
We are currently a charity group but we eventually hope receive our nonprofit organization status.
How can someone join Heroes With A Heart?
They can email us at info@heroeswithaheart or message us on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/HeroesWithAHeart
What type of costumes do you accept? Do you have a costume approval process, if so what is it? What do you look for in a costume?
We accept Super Heroes and Princess themed characters. We do accept some villains and anti-heroes and other themed genres. Basically what we look for is that the costumes be family friendly and appropriate for young children as we do visit many small children in hospitals and schools. We do have a committee in charge checking potential volunteer’s costumes to make sure they meet that criteria.
Do you accept crossplay costumes? Gender bent costumes? Customized characters? Yes, yes, and yes
Do you have people willing to help with the costume making process or a resource guide to help with the process?
At times we do get together and help each other out. We do have some members more experienced that are willing to help out their teammates on a project.
How many people are currently in your group?
We currently have 20 members. 11 of which are full time members and the other 9 are volunteer members.
Leadership structure: We have a Board of Directors comprised of a President, Vice President, and a Secretary/Treasurer.
How is the leadership determined?
Once a year the full time members will submit votes for the Board of Directors to serve for that year.
What have you done for charities (types of events)?
Most of our events are hospital visits and local shelter visits that we schedule with the coordinators of those locations. We have participated in a few awareness events such as the Ferrari Kid Fundraiser event that was held recently and we do make school visits on request. For school visits we have been asked to speak on different topics like promoting leadership character traits as well as encouragement during state testing.
Do you create your own event or make appearance when requested?
Most of our events we create ourselves by scheduling visits. We do make appearances when requested if we are available.
How did you build you “clientele”? Mostly we have built it by reaching out to the local hospitals and shelters. Some contacts we have made by participating in events like different local cons.
Do you have particular organization(s) or cause(s) you work with regularity?
I would say we work most often with local hospitals like Children’s Methodist Hospital.
What is the most amazing thing Heroes With A Heart has accomplished so far?
The most amazing thing we accomplished so far was our event for Free Comic Book Day! It was incredible. We partnered up with our local Dragon’s Lair and Texas Comic Con and took FCBD to as many kids as we could in hospitals and local shelters. The idea came from a team member when we were deciding on which comic book store to hang out at on that day and his idea was, “Why don’t we take it to the kids who can’t make it out there instead?” It was brilliant. Dragon’s Lair donated over 300 comic books and Texas Comic Con donated some little toys for the kids who aren’t quite reading yet. We divided up into teams and visited Methodist Children’s Hospital, North East Baptist, University Hospital, and Haven for Hope all in a single day. It’s a tradition we hope to continue every year.
Where do you see Heroes With A Heart going in the future?
We definitely hope to become a non profit one day and do more to help our community. Maybe start programs that teach kids how to use their own gifts to help others.
Do you use any fun terminology specifically for Heroes With A Heart?
HWAH is more than just cosplayers. We have members who we refer to as “Hero Support”. They are handlers who help take care of the cosplayers and take photographs for our page.
Do you have advice for someone interested in creating a CAUSEplay group or getting into CAUSEplay?
Make sure you do it from your heart. It isn’t about becoming famous or anything like that. We do what we do because we see a need in our community and the joy it can bring to a child is priceless. Cosplayers can have an amazing effect on the mind of a young person and you can use your talent to help inspire them and motivate them.
Anything else you want to add about your group or CAUSEplay: Thank you for the opportunity to tell our story! We really appreciate it. If you know someone who can benefit from what we do please pass on the contact info!
What future events do you have?
We will be at Texas Comic Con on August 7-9th doing some fundraising and talking about our group. We will also be at the Ready, Set, Learn Back to School Fest with Texas A&M at Mission Academy on August 15th. It’s a back to school community event. We may have some more events pop up so please follow our Facebook page for more info