(WYTV) – Tonight’s Hometown Heroes are members of a non-profit looking to provide awareness, education and outreach programs that support and uplift the special needs community and those with disabilities.
We caught up with two of the leaders for “Heroes and Halos” who say this honor is very humbling.
“I think for me, it’s about bringing people together, knowing that people are loved. Love is something that people use and when it comes down to it, it’s about loving people where they are at no matter what’s going on with them,” said Hometown Hero Maryalice Surgenavic.
“We got started because there was a need,” said Hometown Hero Kelli Hephner.
A need to be that helping hand for the special needs community and those with disabilities.
Hephner and Surgenavic are just two pairs of the many helping hands that support the mission of Heros and Halos.
“It was a calling that I had, that God laid on my heart to do,” Hephner said.
The organization got its start in the early 2000s. Then in 2012 after a safety day event, Heroes and Halos was officially born.
“I think it’s amazing to see where we started at. When we started, Kelli was running support groups out of a local church. Now to see that last year, for our angel tree for Christmas, we were able to support and help 302 children,” Surgenavic said.
But the support doesn’t stop there. Heroes and Halos also holds family fun nights, student ambassador programs, First Responder Training Team, and the list can go on.
“The more people we meet and the more stories we hear, it just makes us want to help them be successful, help them know how much they are loved. Just the simple thing of giving them love can save their lives and change it,” Hephner said.
Love is the fuel that has kept this ministry moving and growing.
“With everything that we do, it’s meeting people where they are, loving them for who they are no matter where that is and showing them that they matter,” Hephner said.
Hephner and Surgenavic say there’s more love, more hope and more help that is to be given to the communities they serve.
“Anybody can do this. Anybody can step up and volunteer. You don’t necessarily have to have an education or a background with individuals with special needs or disabilities. We’re always looking for people to learn and to come and join our team,” Surgenavic said.
As we get closer to the holidays, the organization is looking to help families during that time. Visit the Heroes and Halos Facebook page to see how you can get involved.