Heroes Behind the Mask: Justice Corps of Iowa

I get to meet and talk to some pretty amazing people with this blog!  And this week’s interview is no exception!  They are fellow Extra-Lifers (check out their website linked below if you want to donate in their name!) which automatically makes them an A+ in my CAUSEplay book! And they are sure busy!  They only mention a few upcoming events but they are booked out from what it looks like on their Facebook page! I hope you enjoy this week’s feature!  –Mala

Group Name: Justice Corps of Iowa

Mission Statement: Inspire smiles wile lifting hearts!

Location(s): Iowa

When was the group started? And by who (do not have to answer this last part if you do not want to)?
The group was formed officially formed on January 26th 2015 by Jeremy Lester aka Superman-Iowa
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If you are the creator of this group what inspired you to create Justice Corps of Iowa CAUSEplay in general? If you are a member of the Justice Corps of Iowa what made you want to join this particular group or CAUSEplay?
It was very apparent that there was a need for a group of Superhero and Villain characters to help brighten up the people in the communities of Iowa. From kids and families fighting family altering sickness to corporations raising money for causes, we try to help wherever we can!
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Brief history/overview: In the beginning 6 months before the Corps formed there was an event at a local Barnes and Noble. 5 of us met there and became friends instantly. Over the course of time we started realizing that we could be doing more than just going to Cons (which we still love and do!). And start offering what we do to the communities.

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 consider ourselves to be a community organization. We travel all over the state to spread or love of comic book culture and helping others.

We do have overhead expenses like business cards, website, and costume maintenance. We do not charge for charity or fundraising events. We do not charge to visit a sick child. We make little bits here and there from birthday parties and corporate events and that money gets pooled and then donated to causes in our area.

We have talked about getting a 501(c)3 status. Especially now with our growth!

How can someone join Justice Corps of Iowa?
We are based out of Des Moines. We are the only group in the state that represents our brand. People can send private messages and learn more about how to join us!

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 try to stick with the Superhero and Villain Genre. We like to provide the most authentic experience for the people we meet. So generally we are looking for well built costumes that mimic film or comics. We try to avoid the Halloween costumes because we feel they do not portray that “real” experience for the people we meet.

People who ask join us are asked to submit a picture or video of them in costume and we as a group do a vote on acceptance.
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Do you accept crossplay costumes? Gender bent costumes? Customized characters?
We try to provide a realistic experience. If it’s been in a movie or a comic book we allow it.

Do you have people willing to help with the costume making process or a resource guide to help with the process?
Our costumes are a mix of work done by us and commissioned work. Whatever makes them look the most realistic to the characters we are portraying.

How many people are currently in your group?
We have just recently became a group of 19. But we offer close to 40 characters.

How is the leadership determined?
It was done by a group vote when we formed.
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What have you done for charities (types of events)?
We do all kinds of events! From 5k to raise money, Pinky Swear Foundation. We work with Make a Wish and Children’s Cancer Connection

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Do you create your own event or make appearance when requested?
We haven’t actually made our “own” event yet! But most of the events we partake in are requested by organizations and companies in Iowa.

How did you build you “clientele”?
We believe a lot of our clientele has been built by making friendships with people and our beloved fans that like and share our Facebook page! We have also had great support from local organizations like the Iowa Comic Book Club, the Des Moines Register, Make a Wish, The Children’s Cancer Connection, Iowa Kidsnet and many more! Thank you all, we love you!

Do you have particular organization(s) or cause(s) you work with regularity?
Many mentioned above, but we do not play favorites. We go where we are needed!

What is the most amazing thing Justice Corps of Iowa has accomplished so far?
The most amazing thing we have accomplished so far is building a family. We have all grown close and made friendships that you can only hope to have. We support each other and others and we do it together! That is amazing!

Where do you see Justice Corps of Iowagoing in the future?
Expanding, growing, and inspiring more smile and lifting more hearts all over Iowa! Our future is bright and we can’t wait to see what it brings!

Do you use any fun terminology specifically for Justice Corps of Iowa?
Lol! We call ourselves the JCI. But there are many internal jokes. For example one of the members meant to write Whoo in excitement to something we were talking about but his autocorrect changed it to Foot. So now whenever someone expresses joy they write Foot!

Do you have advice for someone interested in creating a CAUSEplay group or getting into CAUSEplay?
Follow your heart, tear down your walls, and always be a friend.

Anything else you want to add about your group or CAUSEplay:
We have grown a lot and we have fun things coming so please like and share our Facebook page!

What future events do you have?
DBQ comic con September 26th and Cedar Rapids Comic Con on February 6th
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Facebook: Justice Corps of Iowa

Website: justicecorpsofiowa.com


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