Only through difficult times do we discover who our heroes are and maybe also redefine the meaning of the word “hero.” For many years, we thought that heroes are those with extraordinary powers like flying or becoming invisible. We thought that heroes are those who can protect us from the bad guys. Today, we see a true superhero whose only superpower is his kindness. His name is Zane Powles, and the enemy he fights is hunger.
Zane Powles, an Assistant Headteacher at Western Primary School in Grimsby, decided to help his students during the Coronavirus Crisis. This time, not through teaching but by delivering food packages to those who need it the most. “A cheese bun, a piece of fruit, some crisps, mixed flavoured crisps, and either cookies or cakes, today.” These are the components of the magical packages that he distributes every day to 78 children.
The coronavirus has hit the economy hard, and it has hit harder those living from hand to mouth. Not everyone can afford to stay at home. So, with the disruption of life due to the pandemic, many disadvantaged families were left to battle with fierce enemies: poverty and hunger. Fortunately, they didn’t go through this battle alone. This teacher fought with them. He prepared and delivered food packages to the kids who already qualify for free school meals. Carrying food every day is nothing compared to what those families already go through. Some people go the extra mile. Mr. Powles walks five miles every day to distribute food.
It’s no wonder that he is hailed as a hero in his community. He doesn’t see himself as a hero. He says he is just doing his job. And the welfare of the children is part of his job. A grateful mom comments that what he does for them “helps a lot because it means we don’t have to go out to the shops all the time to get food in for the kids, so we can keep our families safer.”
One of the cute little kids who get one of the packages from his teacher tells him “You’ve nearly saved the world by giving people packed lunches and keeping them alive.” The kid is right. Saving the world is not an impossible task. Every little kindness counts. It’s worth mentioning that there are other heroes behind keeping the kids happy. There is the catering contractor of the school that provides the food and the bags that Mr. Powles prepares and delivers.
One of his students has called him “a legend.” Another drew a sign with the words “Well Done, Mr. Powles” written on it. We would like to say that we share the sentiment of the kids and we would also like to say: Well done, Mr. Powles. You’re not just a hero for these kids. You’re the hero of everyone. Thank you for showing us that there are still good people in this world who think about others. I’m sure the kids will remain grateful for everything you’ve done for them. Kindness can be as simple as a food package delivered at your doorstep. The kids cannot ever repay you for your kindness. I really hope they pay it forward one day. Watch Mr. Powles prepare and distribute food, here.
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