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The Kirkwood Call

Kirkwood High School student newspaper

The Kirkwood Call

Kirkwood High School student newspaper

The Kirkwood Call

Charity Issue: True superheroes

Tiny+Superheroes+works+to+build+kids+confidence+who+have+disabilities+and+build+acceptance.
Lilly Maney
Tiny Superheroes works to build kids’ confidence who have disabilities and build acceptance.

What makes someone a superhero? Super strength? Lightning-fast speed? Telekinesis? At Tiny Superheroes, this title means so much more. For Tiny Superheroes, a superhero is someone who’s courageous, strong and displays their extraordinary qualities everyday regardless of what’s going on in their life. At Tiny Superheroes, they have made it their mission to celebrate every superhero they can.

Robyn Rosenberger, founder and CEO, said she was inspired to create this organization after reading a story about a little girl who was born with a severe skin disorder. She was in the process of making superhero capes and realized that this young girl needed a cape.

“She was the first [person I made a] cape [for] and I got hooked,” Rosenberger said. “I kept seeing kids on Facebook who were overcoming disabilit[ies] or challenges or were sick and I just kept sending them capes.”

Rosenberger said learning kids’ and families’ stories and getting to know them has been an amazing and inspiring experience. She said Tiny Superheroes has become a lifestyle for her, it’s added something to her life that she felt she was missing.

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“[The work we do at Tiny Superheroes] is something that I really want in all of my life because I want kids with disabilities to feel whole, seen and valued,” Rosenberger said. “And really, don’t we all want that?”

“[The work we do at Tiny Superheroes] is something that I really want in all of my life because I want kids with disabilities to feel whole, seen and valued.”

According to Rosenberger, Tiny Superheroes has sent 120,000 capes to kids all over the world. However, the most memorable part of her job is the individual connections she has with the tiny heroes.

“There is a local tiny superhero who has become a really good friend of mine, and multiple times now, she’s met other kids through therapies, special school district or adaptive sports, and she wants to empower other kids,” Rosenberger said. “I would say that when you get to do a cape delivery with a tiny superhero for another tiny superhero, it’s the peak of what I do.”

“I would say that when you get to do a cape delivery with a tiny superhero for another tiny superhero, it’s the peak of what I do.”

One young girl that’s worked with Rosenberger is Maria Kendall, who has cerebral palsy. Ellen Kendall, Maria’s mom, said discovering Tiny Superheroes came with so much empowerment for Maria going into a big procedure.

She had [a procedure] at Children’s Hospital where she was going to be under anesthesia and they were going to take her back for the first time without us,” Kendall said. “The night before, she was really worried about it. [On the day of the procedure,] we were getting ready to go and she went [to grab] her cape. She marched into the hospital with her cape on and it gave her so much confidence.”

Kendall said Tiny Superheroes has given Maria a sense of belonging. The Kendalls have become involved in various aspects of the organization, such as bonding events with other families, which has helped prevent the isolation that can come with having a disability.

I think celebrating differences instead of being discouraged by them, and seeing the blessings and positives that come from having a disability instead of just focusing on what’s hard or the negative aspects of it [is important],” Kendall said. “The biggest impact [of Tiny Superheroes] is a different view [towards] disabilit[ies].”

Kendall said one of Maria’s favorite parts of being a tiny superhero is the trading cards. Kids are able to make trading cards that have their photo and their “superpower,” or disability, on it, and they can trade with one another.

“She loves to read about all the kids and I think it makes her feel not alone.”

“Maria has a whole book of trading cards with so many different kids,” Kendall said. “She loves to read about all the kids and I think it makes her feel not alone.”

Rosenberger’s husband, Joe Rosenberger, is the operations manager at Tiny Superheroes. He said Tiny Superheroes helps kids realize that being different is not a bad thing and he’s happy his own kids are growing up in a world where differences are something to be proud of, not ashamed or afraid of.

“My kids have had the exact opposite experience [than I had as a kid],” Mr. Rosenberger said. “When they see people that are different they want to talk to them, they want to interact with them or they want them to be part of our Tiny Superhero squad. To learn that at such a young age for my kids has been extremely special [with] the foundation of their growing up is that being inclusive is extremely important.”

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About the Contributors
Sophia Webb, features & in-depth editor
She/Her Hobbies and Interests: dance, writing & spending time with friends and family Favorite movie: Dirty Dancing Favorite Quote: “May your heart remain breakable, but never by the same hand twice.” -Taylor Swift
Lilly Maney, artist
She/Her Hobbies and Interests: drawing, baking, reading, and marvel Favorite song: The Gold by Phoebe Bridgers Favorite Quote: "But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer." -Samwise Gamgee (Lord of the Rings)  
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