Paint rollers and brushes in hand, more than a dozen “superheroes,” — complete with shiny leggings and capes — swooped in to help paint the building exterior at Loving Hearts Outreach, Washington, Monday, Oct. 14.
The Missourian spoke to the group, in which members only use their superhero names, including Storming Sunflower, Inner Light, Grace Lightning, The Bright Side, Captain Fun B, Tranquil Tortoise, The Little Lady That Could, Super Stretch, Miss Cheesiest, Sunshine, Bridge Weaver, Fair Weather Smog Bandit and others.
The superheroes were participating in the 23rd “Haul of Justice” Superhero Bike Ride, which began at the Community Arts Movement Project (CAMP) in St. Louis.
During the event, which takes place in a different state each year, people ride bikes across the state aiming to serve people they meet.
Each with a different background, their mission is the same. They’re a “pedal-powered army of superheroes devoted to selfless service.”
The superheroes trained at the Superhero Training Academy prior to taking off.
Inner Light said she is inspired by Ghandi, who said “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Another superhero said he’s been preparing his whole life for an opportunity like the one he is now seizing.
“This is the world that I want to see, people living unto their highest potentials and helping people out,” said Laughing Moon. “So I may as well live it.”
Group members also said they appreciated that the ride is “completely human powered” through bicycles or other forms of transportation.
Others said they only want to serve.
“I feel a strong urge to serve and love my neighbor. I feel like this is a beautiful opportunity to do that and to trust in each other,” said Grace Lightning.
During the ride, one scout rides ahead of the group looking for potential service opportunities, in this case, Captain Fun B took the lead.
So far, the group has organized a storage area at CAMP, helped children fix bicycles, planted food, helped can and jar food, completed plaster work, helped on farms and served at the Kabat House in St. Louis, where they got neighborhood kids together to play games.
In Washington, the group helped at Harvest Table, Loving Hearts and planned to help with several other small projects in the community.
At Loving Hearts, group members donated $200 of their own money in supplies for the project.
Michelle Crider, administrative assistant at Loving Hearts, said she was thankful for the group’s help.
“We would not be here if it weren’t for volunteers. It’s fantastic when a group from outside our community wants to pitch in,” she said.
Crider said it’s especially humbling that the group doesn’t seek recognition for its service.
The group of superheroes is camping at the home of Greg and Jenny Conner off Highway A in Union.
During their stay, the group said they’re open to other calls of service. When they’re finished, they’ll move to the next town.
To request service, people may call 641-919-8433. Group members weren’t sure how long they would be in Washington before moving on.
To find out more about the Superhero Training Alliance (STA) people may visit superherotraining.org