TinyNote from Robyn 11.24.19

If you were to simply refer to Facebook to learn about TinySuperheroes, you might be led to think that I do most of the work.

True that I am the one on most of the videos, but far from true that I do most of the work. I hope to give you a good glimpse into that now.

Our crew is amazing. I am blessed to spend everyday with people I love who care as much about each TinySuperhero as I do. It’s quite a unique way to spend the working hours of your life and I hope to never take that for granted.

But our crew extends far beyond the people who are actually on staff at TinySuperheroes.

The best way to give you a taste is to tell you what happened yesterday.

Late in the week we decided to have a “shipping party” on Saturday. It’s our more fun way of saying we need to hunker down, focus and get a large number of capes out in one day.

With minimal notice we filled HQ with over 20 people, generously giving their entire Saturday without hesitation, to help us ship capes.

There were parents, aunts, cousins, friends, roommates, moms of roommates and at least 8 kids running around.

Ellen, Megan, Nancy & Tesse folded tissue paper and made welcome packets. Ben and Dave folded capes. Then Francine, Maggie, Terri, Karli & Ali added a welcome packet, wrapped the cape in tissue and closed it with a sticker. Followed by Terri who placed them into their bags and sealed them. Finally, the bagged capes were passed onto Jason & Kristi who labeled them and handed them to Joe & Tim who did a final count. Simultaneously we had Vern & Caroline making sure everyone had the materials they needed, me running around like an aimless chicken and Dan working on and building more efficient ways to do all of the above.

We were there from at least 9-5 and shipped 1,853 capes! You read that right, we shipped 1,853 capes yesterday!

So while I might be the one talking to you on Facebook Live, THIS is a quick picture of what our crew looks like, and trust me, not everyone was there!

I hope the love that is put into each cape is felt wholly by its recipient who deserves to feel and know that they are Extraordinary.

❤️, Robyn

A TinyNote from Robyn 11.17.19

There were a few years when my son, Rory was about 4-6 years old that he would wake up in the middle of the night screaming with writhing pain in his legs. There wasn’t anything I could do to take the pain away, other than give ibuprofen and hope it kicked in.

Growing pains came as an unexpected challenge to me as a mom. Here is something that we hope and expect for our children – that they will grow – yet with growth, for whatever reason, comes extreme pain that is only relieved by time and movement.

Last night I was investigating a series of emails telling us that kids’ capes were being shipped to the wrong addresses. When I’m focused on getting capes out to kids (to lessen their wait and be sure they all receive them before the holidays) emails like this make my heart sink to the floor.

Almost unanimously issues like this are caused by human error (me being the human behind the error) and in this particular instance it was one sort in Excel gone wrong that led to 200 capes shuffling to the wrong places.

When I finally found the source of the problem, I realized these were growing pains – unavoidable things that hurt me and sometimes others, and that the only way to get past them is to keep moving.

I am sad for the confusion that mistakes like these cause, but I have to smile because growing pains are direct indicators of growth, and even though they hurt, it is evidence that our Squad is growing.

I have sat next to a screaming Rory for many nights as he fought through his growing pains, and I want to thank you for sitting with me through as I fight through them as well.

Now, back to shipping capes!

Love,
Robyn

TinySuperheroes Holiday Party 2019

Join us for for the annual TinySuperheroes Holiday Party!

There will be a touch of magic, lots of food, fun activities, and you will be surrounded by the TinySuperheroes community! (An elf dropped by HQ to tell us that Santa even said he was coming!)

It all begins at 9am and will end at 11am. It all takes place at the Kirkwood Children’s House Montessori: 315 Sugar Creek Rd, St. Louis, MO 63122.

Make sure to RSVP here:

(That way all of the elves can properly prepare to make sure the party is ready for you and your TinySuperhero!)

Wait, there’s more! There will also be an opportunity to schedule a private, sensory friendly Santa photo session with Rikki Lauren Photography and Santa Frank! Schedule your Santa Session here:

Last year was so much fun, and we know this year will be even better! Read all about last year’s party here: https://tinysuperheroes.com/santavisitshq/

Meet the Crew: Megan K

Megan gets ship done. Whether it’s patches, gear or capes, Megan is the one making sure these items get to our TinySuperheroes!

Megan also has her ship together. She is organized, a multi-tasker and efficient, which are all key qualities to have here at HQ! On top of working at HQ, her and her husband, Dave, are raising four boys of their own: Ryan, Nicholas, Patrick and Colin. And then of course there is their bear named DOG. Oops! I mean their dog named BEAR!

Megan’s sister is Ellen – who is one of Robyn’s best friends and a favorite here at HQ! So, that is how Megan came to be on the TinyCrew! She also used to babysit Sheldon, Robyn’s youngest son, when he was first born. ‘

Megan is always doing for others. After I went back to work after adopting Maria, she took care of Maria one day a week. On top of taking care of her four boys and Maria, she would often make us dinner! Megan and Dave give so much of their time and energy to their church and the boys’ schools. They volunteer for EVERYTHING it seems!!!! On top of that, she is so much fun. She is involved in book clubs, dinner clubs, plays on a softball team, gardens, cooks, runs, and says yes to just about any and all social invitations. I love her energy and willingness to spend time connecting with all the people in her life and make deep friendships. She is the best mom to her four boys. She does everything from making dinner every night, driving to sports practices, and everything in between. Megan is a wonderful fit for TinySuperheroes because she is compassionate, self-less and such a positive person. She will give without ever counting the cost or expecting something in return. She has the biggest heart.” – Ellen

Megan’s Garden – Look at the Pumpkins she grew this year!

Some of Megan’s favorite things include hiking, the beach and her garden. Watch out though, she may have a green thumb, but she doesn’t like everything that is green. Her kryptonite is cilantro!

Just for fun… here is an amazing picture of her as a kid!

We are so lucky to have Megan here on our crew. She is the perfect fit!

Why Every Patch Can’t Be Free Forever

First off,  I want to express how grateful we are that you believe in our Patches Program, and we are so happy that you enjoy it so much that you want more! That warms our hearts.

Trust me, we wish we could send every single TinySuperhero a specialty patch for free. They deserve it! We also wish we could keep the past missions open forever for free. 

This is just not feasible right now, and please let me explain why. 

Robyn draws every single patch! (Isn’t that cool?) And we all know she is a VERY busy person running TinySuperheroes – making sure the 200 kids nominated every single day get their cape – and still raising three young boys! But these patches cost money. It takes time for them to arrive at HQ. Also, each one comes with a card designed to match that patch. Each patch is packeted with iron-on instructions and sealed in a tiny plastic bag. Then, the card and patch are packaged together and put into an envelope by our friends at Project Inc!  Then, there is the cost of postage! With over 40,000 kids on our Squad, and thousands of kids participating in the Patches Program, this takes LOTS of (wo)man-power and a good handful of moolah! We do this every single month for free for our TinySuperheroes, and we are SO happy that we do. 

Seeing the happy faces and the amazing accomplishments is beyond worth it every single time.

So, we know that the specialty patches such as the surgery patch, diagnoses patches, official member patch, etc., are very powerful and so cool, so we want to make them available to you! But our  TinyCrew can’t afford to make them free. These specialty patches help to fund the monthly missions! Thank you for your patience and understanding.

A TinyNote from Robyn 10.29.19

 TinyNote from Robyn:

Yesterday I had the opportunity to share our TinySuperheroes journey with 550 kids at Robinson Elementary School, a school in the same district as my own kids.

This morning I was dropping Sheldon off at daycare, and one of his teachers inquired if I was at Robinson yesterday.

She was asking because her granddaughter is in third grade there, and last night they went to Subway together. On their way, a family was crossing the street. They had a daughter with special needs who was waving at them as she crossed.

Sheldon’s teacher asked her granddaughter if she knew her and her granddaughter replied, “No, but I think she is a TinySuperhero!”

Which led to the conversation about how I had presented at her school that day.

This may seem subtle, but this is Extraordinary.

Among many things we are trying to do here at TinySuperheroes, the overall goal is to change the way the world sees disability – which we believe will empower our Squad and open doors for them that were otherwise closed.

I want children (and adults) to see others with special needs and recognize what makes them Extraordinary, instead of what makes them different. Yesterday, this sweet third grade girl did just that. I am bursting with pride for her openness to our message and pray it continues to spread.

A TinyNote from Robyn:

Yesterday I had the opportunity to share our TinySuperheroes journey with 550 kids at Robinson Elementary School, a school in the same district as my own kids.

This morning I was dropping Sheldon off at daycare, and one of his teachers inquired if I was at Robinson yesterday.

She was asking because her granddaughter is in third grade there, and last night they went to Subway together. On their way, a family was crossing the street. They had a daughter with special needs who was waving at them as she crossed.

Sheldon’s teacher asked her granddaughter if she knew her and her granddaughter replied, “No, but I think she is a TinySuperhero!”

Which led to the conversation about how I had presented at her school that day.

This may seem subtle, but this is Extraordinary.

Among many things we are trying to do here at TinySuperheroes, the overall goal is to change the way the world sees disability – which we believe will empower our Squad and open doors for them that were otherwise closed.

I want children (and adults) to see others with special needs and recognize what makes them Extraordinary, instead of what makes them different. Yesterday, this sweet third grade girl did just that. I am bursting with pride for her openness to our message and pray it continues to spread.

The Super Shriver’s Spina Bifida Event

“Since the beginning of Reghan’s diagnosis on August 16, 2012 we have been blessed by family members, friends, co-workers, childcare parents, church family and our community.  Many individuals helped us during our over 5 week stays in St. Louis between October 23, 2012 and Reghan’s birthday on January 6, 2013. Once we came home after her first surgery, there were families from our church that provided daily meals for us until we headed back to St. Louis to welcome our baby girl into this world. I had a special pen pal from the time we found out about Reghan’s diagnosis who hand-wrote letters to me every week sending me encouraging words.  There have been hundreds of prayers all over the world lifted up on Reghan’s behalf. There have been wonderful organizations that have been there when our plans have not worked out like we had hoped. We have learned over the years there is always a plan B if not more. It truly does take a village to raise a child, especially in our situation, and we are so grateful for those who have been there just when we needed it.

Supre Reghan and Super Ian

Since Reghan turned one we have taken October, which is Spina Bifida Awareness month, of trying to “Pay Kindness Forward” with the help of others.  On Reghan’s first birthday we made care packages and called them “Bear Hug” because sometimes that is exactly what you need in a time where there is no certainty in anything.  We have continued this tradition choosing a different project each year.

TinySuperheroes Headquarters, we cannot thank you enough for letting us team up with you to make our local Stroll, Roll and Play for Spina Bifida one of the most memorable events to date.  The Super Shriver Cubs were able to pull off their secret mission to induct several of our local Spina Bifida Warriors and their Super SideKicks in to the TinySupehero Squad this past Saturday.  What a GREAT morning! We were battling the chances of rain, so this momma was holding her breath the whole morning until our last member was able to be there. 

The parents always enjoy our October Get together so we can talk about how much our kiddos have grown over the last year.  The kids LOVE being together and getting to play at a total inclusive park in our town! Our little group has grown over the years as we have been able to reach out one family at a time. We love meeting our new members of our Spina Bifida community that live in & around the Columbia area.  The following events happened but not necessarily in this order (due to waiting, warming up activities, and trying to hurry before the rain came in…which it did!)

Our main event was very exciting!  We had so much fun gifting our friends their new capes and watching the kids run around for the next half hour playing TinySuperheroes! 

Making our Launch Mission Tiny Superhero Tool Boxes!

Each kiddo had the opportunity to do their Launch Mission and creating their TinySuperhero Toolbox!

The kids worked hard on their October Growth Mindset Poster Mission!

This was our warm up activity (them not knowing it was a TinySuperhero mission) we used “Happy” phrases coloring sheets.  “Oh Happy Day!”, “Choose to Be Happy!”, “Create Your Own Sunshine!”, “There is Always Always Something to be thankful for!”

We love TinySuperheroes because it includes the whole family. It was so exciting when we were able to give a few of our TinySuperheroes friends who have Spina Bifida their capes.”

Thank you so much, Super Shriver family. You guys are truly amazing, and we are so PROUD to have you on our Squad.

Meet the Crew: Kristi

TinySuperheroes HQ is a magical place… but it is also a very busy place! Lots of times it can feel like a tornado is tearing through causing chaos. But in the middle of all of the crazy, there is Kristi – who can turn it into a much-needed calm and peaceful atmosphere! She does this just by being who she is, and we love her for that!

Kristi brings her harmonious vibes into her role as customer support! If you haven’t worked in customer support, let me assure you, it can be a tough job! But Kristi exemplifies patience and positivity every day.

Kristi gets to work directly with our families. She hears so many stories of how INCREDIBLE all of our TinySuperheroes are. She encourages, consoles, and solves any and every problem that arises.

“I love talking to our families and fix any problems as they arrive. I love hearing some of the amazing stories that our families have to share.”

Kristi has been part of the TinySuperheroes Crew since August 2019, but Robyn and Kristi are long-time high school friends! Life has a funny way of putting us on the right path… and well Kristi was definitely in the right place at the right time!

“Robyn and I were both out at a girl’s night this summer and started talking about work. She mentioned they were in need of someone to help with customer service and by the end of the night we had decided this could be a great fit!! I came to see the office the next morning and we made it official!”

(2016… Can you find Robyn and Kristi?!)

Kristi has a beautiful family. Her husband, Jason, and her met in college and even lived in Chile for a year! They have two kids, Judah (who is 9) and Ruby (who is 7)! They also have a pup named Tika, a bunny named Willow and three chickens: Clementine, Bessie and Vivienn! (You can find Tika hanging out with Patches at HQ all the time!)

Super Tika!

Kristi is also a VERY talented artist! In her spare time, you can find Kristi drawing, drinking tea, traveling (especially to somewhere by the ocean), reading books, teaching yoga, or watching Spanish television shows on Netflix.

So, if you ever email us, text us, or message us, most likely you will be talking to Kristi! Make sure to be kind or ask her about her chickens!

Worth the Wait

We know waiting for a cape can feel like FOREVER, especially when we are used to speedy quick Amazon-like service. It makes it even harder to wait for something that we are SO excited to receive in the mail.  While we wish we had drones (with a cape on the back) that could do same-day delivery to your front door… We aren’t quite there yet!

But I promise, your cape is worth the wait. 

“Our cape was definitely worth waiting for. Our son feels so brave with his cape. He has found a better understanding of who he is and how he can change the world. His confidence has more than doubled, and now he tries to teach others about kids his powers…..” -Super Mom Tae Keller

“Waiting for my TSH’s cape was so worth the wait because once it arrived, she was so excited! It’s kind of like waiting for Christmas for them. When they open the package with their cape and see what’s inside, the squeals of joy, the huge smile, and the gleaming in their eyes from the sheer joy they feel makes it so worth it!! 💓💓💓💓” -Super Mom Brandu Haislip

Our TinyCrew works hard to make sure that these capes are made, packaged and sent with care and love, so this is one reason it may take a little longer than other products that you receive. 

We also have hundreds of kids waiting to be sponsored, and while we work very hard to find sponsors, the list is long and always growing. But that is powerful because that means our Squad is becoming larger! In order to change the way the world sees disability and illness, we need man-power! 

“To be honest, the cape is just a small part. Having a place to belong is what makes this so special. TSH is so much more than the cape. Get plugged in! Join your TinySquad if available. Do the missions! And over everything else, say thank you to the volunteers/workers who are so committed to you and your children. Thank you, Robyn and the entire team for ALL you do ❤️” -Super Mom Rachel Rucker

“The cape is completely worth the wait. Since we received the cape in the mail I immediately brought it to my child in the ICU. I hung it from the end of his crib to remind all doctors and anyone who passed his room that he is a fighter and a superhero. It was also an amazing reminder for me as well for when I would walk into his hospital room. It has a way of bringing so much joy and comfort in hard situations. After a 9 month hospitalization, a heart transplant, grade 4 brain bleed. My Jett flew out of the hospital with his cape on and proud to be a complete and powerful tiny superhero. 💚♻️😍” -Super Mom Suzi Leahy

While you wait, there is plenty to do! It is so much more than a cape.

Start your first mission and earn a free patch for your cape!

Join our Facebook Group and find support from families like yours.

Get involved in your TinySquad to meet other TinySuperheroes in your state! (Coming soon! TinySquad landing page.)

“Super Lucas’s cape was not only worth the wait, but has been invaluable in terms of helping him build both self confidence & self esteem. The cards that come with the patches have shown him that there are other kids out there like him, and he’s even become pen pals/Instagram buddies with the superhero who inspired the kindness mission.” -Super Mom Katelynn Graham 

We thank you for your patience, and we are SO excited for your TinySuperhero to receive their cape and join our Squad!

Thank Goodness for Super Grandmas

“I don’t know what kind of magic is in these capes, but Super Steven won’t put it down. It’s become a security blanket for him already, in just the short time that we’ve had it. 
Here he is snuggled up with his
grandma. So thankful, and so excited to start the missions with everyone.” –Alanna Ippolito 

Whether they are called Nana, Mimi, Yaya, Grammy, Gigi, or something completely different, one thing we know for sure is that Grandmas are amazing.

They don’t only notice all of the accomplishments of their TinySuperhero; they celebrate them!! They bring so much love, they bring joy, and sometimes they even bring cookies!

It is no wonder that our TinySuperheroes and Super Moms see their SuperPowers multiply when they have incredible people like Grandma around!

Thousands of proud grandmas have nominated their TinySuperheroes! We are so thankful to have these wonderful, faithful women as part of our TinySuperheroes community.