By Michelle Talsma Everson
An award-winning law veteran, Sean Reavie is the founder and president of the board of directors of Put on the Cape: A Foundation for Hope. This month, and all year-round, Reavie and his team of real life superheroes raise funds to empower children suffering acute physical and sexual abuse by adopt advocacy and child crisis centers in Arizona to ensure the children visiting have all their needs addressed.
“Put on the Cape (POTC) uses superhero mythology to empower children victimized by physical or sexual abuse or who may be witness to heinous crimes,” Reavie explains. “Superheroes overcome adversity and tragedy and use their new found strength to serve others… POTC raises awareness for family advocacy centers and the work done within those walls. The centers have no budget for toys, clothing, food, and basic necessities like diapers, underpants, toothbrushes, shampoo and other basic needs people sometimes take for granted. We organize events around the country asking for donations of superhero action figures, Barbie dolls, superhero themed t-shirts, and those basic necessities. Our mission is to provide those items to the centers, so they can take the time they normally spend fundraising and focus 100 percent on the child.”
Superhero September started in 2015 as a one-time promotion that grew each year—so much so, it was the catalyst for creating POTC. “I decided that Superhero September limited me to holding events in just September,” Reavie shares. “I incorporated all events, intellectual properties, and trademarks into Put on the Cape: A Foundation for Hope.”
Like many nonprofits, POTC is feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their fundraising efforts.
“It [the pandemic] has devastated our ability to do what we’ve done for the last five years. Our signature events were designed to go right to the public. We had seven events planned for March and April and had to cancel them all,” Reavie says. “Our sponsors are hurting and unable to donate as they have in the past. I began to realize I needed to change our approach to fundraising and our advocacy.”
To help make up the difference, the POTC team is turning to localized virtual events. To find these events, community members can go to putonthecape.org and click the link for upcoming events or find Put on the Cape: A Foundation for Hope on Facebook and look under the event section. All events are virtual and support seven child advocacy centers and 10 cities across the Valley.
In addition to the virtual events, community members can get involved by organizing a donation drive to support the center in their city, Reavie explains. “All centers have a wish list of items they need to give to children and their families. We can give them [community members] that list and they in turn can empower their business or school to participate. You can make a difference with donating one action figure or $10. I have seen first hand the change in a child when handed their favorite superhero action figure. They become happy, animated, and child-like again. Someone stole their right to be a little kid. We aim to give it back to them.”