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Be a Superhero: Spider-Man Cast Kicks Off Volunteering Campaign With Day of Service

By joslyngray |

The Amazing Spider-Man doesn’t premiere until next week, but the movie’s star-studded cast is already encouraging people around the country to be superheroes.

Cast members including Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy), and even  Rhys Ifans (who plays villain “The Lizard”) are all participating in events in Spidey’s hometown, New York City, tomorrow (Tuesday).

What can your family do to be just like “your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man”?

In New York City, volunteers will be bringing hot meals to senior citizens in Manhattan, beautifying a community garden in the Bronx, tutoring children in Queens, and helping Harlem high school students with SAT test prep and college applications, among other activities.

“Be Amazing, Stand Up and Volunteer” events are also taking place in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Houston, Miami, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. The website has links to different volunteer activities in all of those cities. If you don’t live near one of those cities, not to worry: the website is full of inspiration, and the organization is encouraging everyone to Facebook and Tweet their volunteer activities.

The day also will support the Stand Up to Cancer foundation in honor of Laura Ziskin, the charity’s co-founder. Ziskin, who lost her battle with cancer last year at age 61, co-produced every Spider-Man feature film, including this summer’s The Amazing Spider-Man.

“I was asked to be in The Amazing Spider-Man by Laura, who was my friend and my first co-producing partner,” Sally Field told The New York Daily News.  ”She was an amazing hero. She raised millions of dollars for cancer research, and got teams of doctors together to work on the cause. She didn’t live, though, to see the amazing work she did.” Ms. Fields plays Peter’s Aunt May in the new film.

The film’s studio, Sony Pictures, will make a donation to the charity in honor of Tuesday’s event.

While the cynic in me knows that this is all a promotional tactic for the film, the do-gooder in me absolutely loves this. I’m a huge proponent of volunteer work, so seeing stars promoting volunteerism — especially within the context of a family movie like Spider-Man — is awesomesauce. The website has tons of ideas for volunteering, but it doesn’t need to be that complicated. Picking up trash at a neighborhood playground, helping a neighbor with yardwork, or bringing food to a soup kitchen are all simple things with big impact: your kids will see that helping others is something you truly value.

This summer, my older daughters and I have been helping one morning a week helping the cats at the shelter at our local Petsmart. They’re only 11 years old, but that’s certainly old enough to do real work: they’re cleaning litter boxes, washing food bowls, and wiping down cages. Of course, they also get to play with kittens, which is superawesomefuntime for the girls and serves to help socialize the cats. All three of my girls are helping me plan next year’s Brownie Girl Scout activities, and even my youngest child is able to help me sort outgrown clothes to donate.

There are, of course, selfish benefits to volunteering. When they’re done scooping cat poop, my daughters get to spend hours playing with the cats.  I don’t think they mind mentioning their “job” to friends, either. And that’s okay. When I was 14 and 15, I worked all summer long, 9 to 5, as a volunteer at my local hospital. It was air-conditioned, I had something to do besides watching the idiot box, and I had something great to put on college applications as well as applications for my first paying jobs.

What kind of volunteer service does your family do?

(via: The New York Daily News)

(Photo Credit:

Read more from Joslyn on Babble Pets.  You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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About joslyngray



Joslyn Gray is the mother of four children with a variety of challenges ranging from allergies to ADHD to Asperger Syndrome. She writes candidly and comedically about this and her generally hectic life on her light-hearted personal blog, stark. raving. mad. mommy.. Read bio and latest posts → Read joslyngray's latest posts →

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