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.

A TinyNote from Robyn 9.15.19

A TinyNote from Robyn…

“Where is my Cape?”

“Where is my Cape?”

We totally understand why you are asking this question, and we are genuinely happy that you are excited to get your cape!  We try really hard to communicate with you as much as possible, but we know there are gaps, so I wanted to try to fill one of them today!

I’ll start with this – our shipping strategy isn’t perfect. We are actively working on making it better. The big changes we want to make will take time.  One of our high-level goals is to reduce the wait time for capes (TinySuperheroes should not have to wait for their capes!), and that is our main consideration in the decisions we’re making on shipping.

But, that will take time for us to build, so I’m going to tell you how we do our shipping now so that you feel more in tune with us!

When it is time for us to ship your cape (I could write 3 of these posts to answer questions on how we know it is time…but for now, we’re starting here…), here is what happens and who is doing it…

1. Approximately 1 week before we print your shipping label, we send you an email and a text with the opportunity to share your Squad Page again!

We do this because we hear from a lot of folks AFTER they get their cape that they were hoping to raise enough to get their cape personalized.  When this happens after we have already shipped it, it creates a lot more work and more costs, so we want to make sure that anyone who is hoping to have their cape personalized has enough notice and time to do so before we ship.

2. Robyn does some double checking to make sure we have your address, size and color correct, and then Robyn prints your shipping label at HQ.  You get notified that your shipping label has printed, but it has not shipped yet.

3. Someone from our TinyCrew takes the labels and drives in their car over to Project Inc. We’re about 10 miles away from each other.

Project Inc is an organization that we partner with for shipping.  For over 60 years, Project, Inc. has transformed the lives of adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities in the St. Louis area.

4. Our friends at Project Inc. package your cape, put your shipping label onto the package and give it to USPS.

Depending on how many labels we give Project Inc at one time, your cape will be given to USPS from Project Inc. within 1 – 7 days.  

5. When USPS scans your package for the first time, you will get an email with the tracking number and your cape is officially on its way!

We know this takes longer than Amazon Prime, and it even takes longer than we want it to, but using this process, we have sent over 30,000 capes to Extraordinary kids in 2019 alone, and we greatly appreciate your patience and support!

PS – there is one way to hack our system. When a TinySuperhero’s Squad Page hits the personalization goal of $150, our seamstress Terri steps in and works her magic quite quickly. We ship those capes directly from HQ!

If you ever have questions about where your cape is, we’d love to hear from you at Capes@TinySuperheroes.com

The Journey

It all starts with a cape.  If our capes do nothing more than bring a smile to a child for a brief moment, it’s worth it. However, TinySuperheroes is so much more than a cape. It is a whole journey, and the cape is just the beginning. 

The TinySuperheroes Journey aims to change the world, and with enough TinySuperheroes on our Squad, we might do just that. We want to change the way the world sees people with disability or illness. We want people to see differences as a superpower, as something to be proud of, because if we were all the same, the world would be a boring place! 

A kid is nominated to be a TinySuperhero for many different reasons. But, each kid is battling a fight that is hard and important. This has caused our Squad to be FILLED with kids of all ages and abilities from across the world. And once they receive their cape, they are an official TinySuperhero Squad member! With the force of thousands of children with unique abilities, thoughts, and experiences on our Squad, immense change is possible. 

Each month, our Squad gathers together (with the help of the internet) to complete a free mission and unlock a superpower. These superpowers are moral qualities to help prepare our Squad for challenges they may face as they navigate the world around them, and the mission always provides a tool as a reminder of this superpower that they are capable of. Some of the superpowers that our TinySuperheroes have unlocked so far include Love, Hope, Mindfulness, Truth, Kindness, and Curiosity. By seeing other kids do the same activity at the same time makes our Squad feel like they aren’t alone in their battles. Our missions have helped combat bullying, increase inclusion, and raise awareness. For each mission completed, we mail a patch to each TinySuperhero’s home for their cape. This builds a sense of accomplishment, and not to mention, it is just plain fun! 

This is all shared through social media. We have a support group, composed of mostly Super Moms, with over 15,000 members. We have had moms from small towns with a TinySuperhero with a rare diagnoses connect through our group. They have felt isolated and alone, and through our community, they have found support, love, and answers. Our community is a powerful entity and growing rapidly every single day.  

One of our favorite things to do is celebrate with our Squad! We have created a Birthday Program to make sure every Squad member feels special on their birthday! (There is even a really cool birthday patch for their cape!) We also like to celebrate important life milestones – like walking for the first time, talking for the first time, and more!

We are there for our TinySuperheroes even as they gain their Angel Wings. Our Angel Squad may be the most sacred, powerful aspect of our Journey. We provide the opportunity to honor, love, and keep alive the memory of our TinySuperheroes who pass away. We have a special patch that we send the families of our TinySuperhero Angels. We remember them on their birthdays. We remember them on the anniversary of their Angel days. They become part of our Angel Squad, and they are a very special group. 

Our Journey doesn’t end there, though. We have many goals. We want to be in hospitals- from the very beginning of the diagnosis, our cape is there. We want to be in schools to help teach about inclusion. We want to be in therapy sessions to provide our Squad with even more tools. We want to have local meet-ups in every state. Just like our Squad, TinySuperheroes is growing and learning every single day, and we are so excited to see what the Journey has in store for us in the future. 

So, what makes TinySuperheroes different than buying a cape for $5 at the local Walmart? Our Squad. Our Community. The Journey.