The 501st, it’s not all about Cons and Parades…

Recently, I received an e-mail from the Legion PR office from a local mother concerning her young son, D.H.  D.H. is 6 years old.  D.H. is the smallest kid in his school and because of his size and the fact he wears oversized glasses, he is constantly bullied and has limited friends.  D.H. suffers from severe ADHD and because of this is failing in reading comprehension.  He loves Star Wars (especially the Dark Side) and asked his mom to use Star Wars as a way to help him learn.  His mother reached out to the Legion in an effort to find out if free resources were available to assist her in her quest to help D.H. because of her family’s limited means.

When I first heard about D.H., I instantly put out word to the Florida Garrison and the Swag run for D.H. began.  Instantly, members from all over Florida responded.  I began collecting books, patches, cards, etc.  I made contact with Books-a-Million in Lakeland, Florida to find out if they were willing to host a special troop for us.  Not only were they willing to offer their facility, but they were kind enough to donate items for the swag run as well.

On April 6, 2014 D.H. and his parents arrived at Books-a-million for a surprise meet and greet with some of his favorite characters.  Darth Vader, a Biker Scout, a Magma Trooper and even the Mighty Tarful!  The look of amazement on D.H.’s face at coming to face-to-face was unbelievable.  He was completely awestruck.  At first he was shy, but he quickly warmed up even telling Tarful that it was a shame that Chewie couldn’t have made it.

Watching this child open up and watching the tears it brought to his mother’s eyes, at that moment there was no doubt why we do what we do.  Moments like this, when this child went from a shy silent kid clinging to his mother’s leg to hanging out with us, talking laughing and joking around about “teddy bears with rocks” and trees, seeing this child come alive when talking about Star Wars; this is when you realize we don’t just dress up in plastic for cons or parades, we don’t just help raise money for charity organizations, by doing what we do we actually make a difference in the lives of children and that is why we do what we do.

* I received an e-mail from D.H.’s mother.  She indicated that D.H. is loving his gifts and is non-stop talking about meeting all of us, it was such an encouraging moment for him.*

Click on an image below to enlarge.

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