#Heroes March 20

Coach4aday blog posts are ideas that are shared to help people grow and learn.
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Each year the blog takes on a different focus. In 2019 the goal is for each post to bring you the reader a lesson, quote, message, or story that can help you grow.


Last night a friend of our family Lauren Metzger asked me to be the speaker for the Annual Meeting of  United Way of Robeson County.  I was flattered to be asked.

The meeting recapped the past year of how the organization served our area and recognized those organizations and individuals that served others.

Some photos from last night.

Most people are aware that United Way is a volunteer driven organization that looks to address the most pressing health and human needs of people in their area. In Robeson County there are lots of needs. That means it takes lots of volunteers and a dedicated staff that want to serve others.

I spoke to the group about heroes. Since I wrote out my remarks I am going to repurpose them as today’s post.

United Way Remarks -March 19, 2019 by Dan Kenney

Some of you may or not know that since January 1, 2014 I have a blog called Coach4aday and have written a post every day. That happens to be 1900 daily posts without missing a day. To write these daily entries I get ideas from books, music, life experiences, friends, beer, but honestly most ideas come from the internet.

Recently I came across a blog post on the TOP 100 Movie HEROS of all time. Eventually I will do a post on Heroes maybe tomorrow.

Some of the hero’s listed in the top 20 included:

  • Rocky Balboa played by Sylvester Stallone in the Rocky movies
  • Rick Blaine played by Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca
  • Indiana Jones played by Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Norma Rae played by Sally Fields in Norma Rae
  • #1 Hero was Atticus Finch played by Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird.

The actors in the movies are not real-life heroes. They just pretend to be heroes and each of the actors listed above is very believable. Real life hero’s live in our communities. They have jobs that we would not deem as glamourous as being an actor. Yet they are hero’s because of choices they made in their daily lives.

Let me tell you about three of them.

1. Todd Holland works as a UPS Driver. He works in Avery County NC. He was having a normal day for a UPS driver which is hectic. He dropped off a package at someone’s front door. This was a house he made deliveries to frequently. As he dropped off the package, he noticed a package he had dropped off two days earlier still on the doorstep. He was busy and his schedule the rest of the day was hectic -He got in his truck and begin to head to his next delivery when his INSTINCTS told him something was wrong. He went back pounded on the door. No answer. The door was unlocked he went in and on the floor, unconscious was a man. He called 911 and his actions saved the man’s life. While he was in the hospital Todd looked after his dog and house.

Heroes have instincts

2. Alex Ibarra is a seven-year old boy who lives in California. He is obsessed with soccer and owned 54 soccer jerseys. His most valuable jersey was an autographed jersey from 21-year-old Christian Pulisic who is a member of the US National Team and part of Chelsea in the Premier League. Alex was moved by the two hurricanes Irma and Maria that impacted Puerto Rico. He decided to do something to help the people impacted in Puerto Rico, so he decided to raffle off his most prized possession. Eventually his story got around on social media and Christian Pulisic got involved. He replaced the jersey that Alex was donating and contributed to the raffle. Alex was able to raise $4,000 for Puerto Rico relief efforts.

Heroes find ways to help others

3. In Elmira NY a week before Christmas Rachel Schoonover was beginning her first night of 2 week break from her job as a 6th Grade Teacher. She and her 4-year-old son Declan were home alone as she went to pour herself a glass of wine. The wine glass shattered. Shards of glass severely cut her artery at the wrist. Blood sprayed everywhere. She wrapped her wrist in a towel called 911, she called her mom, and continued to bleed all over her kitchen.

Responders from the Elmira Fire Department were the first to arrive on the scene, and as they tied a tourniquet around Rachel’s arm to slow the bleeding, they simultaneously helped her son Declan into his pajamas and kept the two of them calm as they waited for an ambulance.

Since Rachel’s husband was still at work and her mother had not yet arrived, there was no one to stay behind and watch her son. Some of the firemen immediately volunteered to stay behind and hold down the fort until someone else arrived.

After being whisked to the hospital, Rachel received some stitches and a tetanus shot before being discharged later that very same night – and she was surprised by what she found when she got home.

These men wiped down her fridge, coffee maker, speakers, cupboards, bathtub, floors, and even individual K-cups that had been hit. They put her dirty towels in her bathtub, threw away the glass, and cleaned up the blood in her sink. They didn’t just respond they exceeded anything she was expecting when she got home.

Heroes Do More Than is Expected

I could go on with other stories about heroes that aren’t in the movies, but I am going to stop.

What I am going to close with is who I am standing in front of.  To me United Way volunteers, staff, donors, and directors are the real heroes.

Each of you is here this evening because like Todd Holland you listened to your instincts and give your time, talent, or treasure to a United Way cause.

Each of you is like Alex Ibarra in that you found a way to help people, often people that had a greater need than yourself.

Each of you is like the Elmira NY Fire Department you have done more than was expected by those that you served.

In real life heroes don’t pretend like actors do. In real life heroes won’t be found on some list on the internet. Where you find heroes are in caring communities across this country.  You find heroes in our community.

Tonight, I am blessed to tell each of you THANKS for being a hero to many in Robeson County.


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