Like most of the world, I was captivated and awed by the generosity of San Francisco and the bravery of #SFBatKid last Friday. In case you missed it, 5-year-old Miles Scott, who has been battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia for years, asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation to be Batman.
The national organization, 11,000 volunteers, and countless supporters online made that happen, turning the Northern California city into Gotham for the day, and allowing Miles to fight crime and be a hero. Bat Kid rescued a woman from the train tracks, detonated a bomb, foiled the Riddler during a bank robbery, and saved Lou Seal, the San Francisco Giants mascot from the Penguin, all while cruising around town in a customized Lamborghini tricked out to look like the Batmobile (albeit with a booster seat, according to reports).
Not to be outdone by the power of social media, The San Francisco chronicle published a special edition touting Bat Kidís heroics, and Miles was awarded the key to the city.
In addition to the riddles, Miles captured hearts all over the world. If you havenít checked out his adventures yet, take some time this week to log on and share with your kids. Theyíll have the opportunity to learn about real super heroes.
What I find most impressive about this whole story is that more than 11,000 people volunteered their time, their talents, their expertise, and donated their money to make this happen.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation uses a rigorous eligibility process, and works in collaboration with the kidsí medical teams, families, and support groups to facilitate the wish fulfillment process. Last year, the organization granted more than 14,000 wishes (one every 38 seconds, according to the website) everything from showing kids snow to meeting their favorite athlete or celebrity.
The mission of the Make-A-Wish-Foundation is simple: ďWe grant the wishes of children with life threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.Ē In the case of Miles and the City of San Francisco, their mission was accomplished.
Iím sure there are a number of charitable organizations along the Emerald Coast that are also hoping for a successful holiday season. As we are getting ready to purchase and buy gifts, there will be plenty opportunities to donate toys, cash, and time for families and kids in need.
Whether you an angel tree at your church, donate a turkey dinner for a family in need, or send cards to servicemen and women overseas, no act of generosity is too small.
If youíre looking for a worthy cause to support this holiday season, Iíd encourage you to check out Bike For Tots. Founded by local business owner Bill MacBride, Bikes For Tots aims to get a bike to every kid along the Emerald Coast who wants one, but canít afford one.
To Bill, an avid biker to this day, bike riding represents the best parts of childhood ó the freedom to explore the world at your own pace, the chance to make new friends, and the opportunity visit new places. You can donate online at www.bikesfortotsfoundation.com, or visit Robinís bikes in Miramar Beach to pick out one for a lucky kid.
Not every act of generosity has to be on the same scale as Bat Kidís adventure, but every act should be as heartfelt and as important. So whether your passion is bikes or books, arts and crafts, or exercise, thereís an organization that is depending on your generosity to make a difference this holiday season.
Follow Susan Moody on Twitter @susanjmoody and visit her blog, The Emerald Coast Insider, at www.emeraldcoasttreasurebox.com.