Archives November 2007

Public Service With a Side of Spandex

By Delphine Schrank
Washington Post Staff Writer

Beltway traffic marooned the roast turkeys, but that didn’t stop a dynamic duo of world-saving, justice-championing, despair-fighting masked crusaders — one with red cape aflutter — from charging down the streets of the capital yesterday, dispensing Chinese-takeout cartons of corn bread, dressing and green beans to homeless people.
Yes, superheroes are alive and well.
Be not fooled. This is no tryptophan mirage. Nor is this a post-prandial attempt to take refuge from a feast-induced family feud by diving into an old Marvel comic book.
On a day when area nonprofit groups and armies of the charitable assisted the needy by distributing food or hosting Thanksgiving dinners in shelters, members of the all-volunteer Capital City Super Squad ventured out in their trademark disguises, each representing an invented superhero alter ego. Their mission: bringing smiles to the faces of many a homeless person as they proffered cartons of home-cooked fare.
That blur of red-and-white lycra brandishing a plastic fork who you could’ve sworn dashed by your window yesterday? That’s Captain Prospect. The one with a pair of scales emblazoned in scarlet felt across her chest? Justice. Sworn members of the six-person Super Squad, the pair sacrificed family mealtime to do what they do: do-gooding. Sometimes that means circulating abuse-awareness pamphlets, but most often it means cooking and handing out food.
“Do you need a box, sir?” asked Prospect, a 31-year-old who allowed a reporter to tag along on the condition of anonymity, citing a possible compromise of his secret identity. He pulled a carton from a Whole Foods bag, as Justice, a.k.a. Jasmine Modoor, handed over napkin and fork.
Quotidian reality, however, sometimes imposes its limits.
“The poultry delivery didn’t make it because of traffic,” Prospect said, his cape flapping behind him as he leaned on a marble statue in front of Union Station. Nice Ninja, another squad member, was meant to provide the turkeys and chicken but was caught in a Beltway tangle for an hour, so Captain Prospect told him not to bother.
“See, your costume is very cute, but he’s scaring me,” said Anthony Jackson, 41, laughing as he accepted a carton from Justice. Jackson, who sat on a bench at I and Sixth streets in a handout jacket with the price tag still hanging from the sleeve, has been homeless for 18 months, he said, since he and his wife separated. “My life hasn’t been right since,” he said. He’d eaten in a shelter yesterday, but the carton was most welcome, he said.
“It beats what I’ve had all day. Nothing,” said Samuel Sterling, 52, on the bottle-littered mound of grass between Massachusetts Avenue and H Street where he had slept the previous night. As he plunged into the green beans, Sterling said he had worked as a handyman in New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina destroyed everything. He made his way up to the District and sleeps where he can, he said.
“Hey y’all, I like your outfit!” he called as the duo bounded off.
Dozens of others sitting on walls or benches silently nodded their thanks. But others politely declined the offer.
“I don’t want a handout. I want a hand up” to find a job, said Bernard Hamilton, 51, a former Marine who regularly sleeps on the marble wall in front of Union Station.
If they only had real superpowers, Captain Prospect and Justice said, they know they could do so much more. Prospect, who works weekdays in social services, would opt for invulnerability. Justice, a first-year student at Howard University’s law school, would choose foresight. Her superhero identity conveys her desire to one day practice law as a social engineer, rather than a “parasite,” she said.
Last summer, Modoor was planning her move to the District for school and browsing Craigslist for furniture when she stumbled on a notice from Captain Prospect calling for volunteers.
“I thought it was a very unique way to approach community service,” Justice said.
Captain Prospect, whose business card identifies him as “the Washington DC Superhero,” dreams of building up the network to a dozen active superheroes and applying for nonprofit status so the group can stop paying out of pocket and fund more ambitious projects.
Meanwhile, he said, “There really isn’t any good reason someone can’t put on a costume and do good deeds like a superhero.”

Get a personal visit from Citizen Prime!

Citizen_Prime_TD_VisitIf you can give a gift to a child, I want to shake your hand!

That’s right, this year’s Annual Toy Drop has a special twist to it. If you donate even a single toy befor December 10th, Citizen Prime will come out and pick up the toy personally in full dress uniform!
And remember, every donation goes to benefit the Phoenix Children’s Hospital kids.
(Phoenix or surrounding areas only, folks)

Nationwide Toy Drop on 12/12/2007 – Call to All Citizen Heroes!

Step By Step: How to Participate
Every child deserves a toy on Christmas and we wouldn’t be heroes if we didn’t make that happen.  Your help is needed across the country and its easy to do.  Here’s how:

  1. Read what the kids need on this page
  2. Contact Citizen Prime and let him know what you can donate
  3. Coordinate a place and time of your choosing to drop off the gifts.
  4. Check the website for pictures of the kids after Christmas.

Most importantly, tell us how you’d like to help!  We’re always happy to have Citizen Heroes, like yourself, assist in the Toy Drop.  Let us know what you’d like to do and we’ll help you be the best hero you can.

Toy Drop Guidelines

Due to hospital regulations, we have to abide by the following guidelines to get the toys in kids hands:

  • All gifts must be new and unwrapped.
  • Donations need to be received by Dec. 12,.
  • Hospital volunteers will wrap the gifts.  Nice, huh?
  • Access may be restricted to protect the patients health in the winter months.

Wish List
We are in need of items in all age groups.  We are most in need of items listed under “Infants,” “Toddlers,” and “Adolescents” as well as gift cards, holiday wrapping paper, tape, and ribbons.  The most requested items for each age group are in bold.  I goes without saying that we greatly appreciate every donation.
To make a donation, please contact Jim Wayne at ..:NAMESPACE PREFIX = SKYPE />..:NAMESPACE PREFIX = SKYPE />(866) 369-3395 to arrange pick up or drop off.


  • Infant Rattles/ Teething Toys (Sassy, First Years, Gerber, etc)
  • Crib Mobiles (Sassy Music in Motion Mobile, Fisher Price Aquarium Mobile, Fisher Price Flutter Dreams Baby Bird Mobile, Baby Einstein Color and Shape Mobile, Manhattan Baby Dev Stimulation Mobile)
  • Musical and Light-up toys
  • Books (Board and vinyl)
  • Infant Stimulation Toys (black, red, and white)
  • Infant Mirrors
  • Fisher Price Crib Aquariums
  • Infant Kick and Play’s/ Activity Gyms
  • Swings/Bouncers
  • Bumbo Baby seat (Infant Chair)


  • Shape Sorters and stacking toys
  • Pop-up toys/ cause and effect toys
  • Musical and Light-up toys
  • Books (touch & feel, pop-up, musical)
  • One-piece Activity Toys
  • Fisher Price Little People / Little Tikes play sets
  • Plastic Cars, Trucks, Trains, etc.
  • Large blocks
  • Vinyl Play/Tumbling Floor Mats (No larger than 5×5)
  • DVD Movies (Newer releases, G rated)

Pre School Age

  • Popular action figures (Sponge Bob, Dora, Diego, Spiderman, Superman, etc.)
  • Dolls (plastic, babies, Disney Princesses, Dora the Explorer, etc.)
  • Large electronic interactive toys (Leapfrog, etc.)
  • Plastic Cars and Trucks
  • Magna Doodles and drawing boards
  • Hot Wheels and Match Box cars
  • Books (interactive, musical, pop-up books)
  • Fisher Price Little People / Little Tikes play sets
  • Lego’s (small and large) and Lego people
  • View Masters with Disks
  • Bubbles
  • Play-Doh
  • Remote Control Cars/Trucks (rechargeable)
  • DVD Movies (Newer releases, G and PG rated)

School Age

  • Balls of all types (basketball, football, Nerf toys, toss games, etc.)
  • Small Lego Sets (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Bionical’s, etc.)
  • Craft/Art kits (beading, sewing, model airplanes, model cars, etc)
  • Any toys with Hannah Montana, High School Musical, That’s So Raven, or Sponge Bob theme
  • Books (I Spy, story, and chapter books)
  • Beading kits
  • Gift Cards in all price ranges (Target, Wal-Mart, Toys’R’Us, Blockbuster, Movie Tickets, Sports Authority, Best Buy, etc.)
  • Hand Held Electronic Games (20 Questions, Bop-it, Connect 4, etc.)
  • Walkie Talkies
  • Stress Squeeze Toys
  • Paint-By-Number Sets
  • Black Velvet Fuzzy Posters coloring sets
  • DVD Movies (Newer releases, up to PG-13, NO rated R)

DVD Movies (Newer releases, up to PG-13, NO rated R)

  • Bath gels, Lotions, Nail Polish and Nail Polish Remover
  • Craft/Art kits (Beading, sewing, Model airplanes, Model cars)
  • Gift Cards in all price ranges (Target, Wal-Mart, Toys’R’Us, Blockbuster, Movie Tickets, Sports Authority, Best Buy, etc.)
  • T-Shirts/Hats with Cartoon/Sports Logos and athletic shorts
  • Activity Books, Word Searches, Cross Word Puzzles, and Sodoku
  • Nerf Toys, such as basketball, football, sets, toss games
  • Photo Albums and Scrap-booking Supplies
  • Playing and UNO cards, UNO Attack
  • Diaries/Journals
  • Nerf Toys, such as basketball, football, sets, toss games
  • Craft/Art kits (Beading, Model airplanes, Model cars)
  • Photo Albums and Scrap-booking Supplies
  • Playing cards / Magic sets
  • UNO cards and UNO Attack
  • Black Velvet Fuzzy Poster coloring sets
  • Game boy Advance Game Systems
  • Game boy Advance Games (Rated E)
  • Game Cube Games (Rated E)
  • PS2 Games (Rated E)
  • X-Box 360 Games (Rated E)
  • Portable/personal DVD players
  • Discman/Walkman
  • No More Tangles Spray
  • Music CD’s (Teen music; no explicit lyrics, nature, relaxation, classical)

Arts and Craft and Creative Items

  • Boxes/Photo Frames to decorate
  • Beads/ individual beading kits
  • Individual craft kits
  • Markers (washable, fabric, Sharpie, etc.)
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Glue (tacky, Elmer’s, glue sticks, glitter)
  • Wiggly Eyes, Rhinestones, Sequin Decorations-Large Containers
  • Self Stick Foam Pieces
  • Lanyard String
  • Wiggly Eyes, Rhinestones, Sequin Decorations-Large Containers
  • Self Stick Foam Pieces
  • Lanyard String
  • Gel Pens
  • Sketch Books and Pencils
  • White and Colored Poster Board
  • Model Magic clay
  • Water color paper

1 Darn Cool School

  • Dora the Explorer books and items
  • Dora the Explorer CD-ROM computer game
  • Sponge Bob CD-ROM computer game
  • Sponge Bob books and items
  • Chicken Soup Book
  • Trivial Pursuit Jr.
  • Guinness World Records books 2000 and up
  • 500 Polaroid film
  • Klutz kits
  • Smithsonian motor-works engine building sets (Wal-mart)
  • Tonka Hasbro 5-10 wood kits, cars, planes, trucks
  • Bionicle Lego Sets
  • Dinosaurs Kits, Hard Cardboard or Wood
  • Prismacolor Markers
  • Nickelodeon Movie Theater by Readers Digest


  • Portable DVD players
  • Digital camera (Kodak Easy Share)
  • Gift Cards in all price ranges (Target, Wal-Mart, Toys’R’Us, Blockbuster, Movie tickets, Sports Authority, Best Buy, etc.)
  • Hair Clips and Hair Ties
  • Hairbrushes
  • 500 Polaroid Film
  • Disposable Cameras
  • Wall Posters (Character, Sports, Bright colors for kids and teens)
  • Mini Dry Erase Boards and Markers
  • Kodak Printer Paper Kit G600

Special Holiday/Birthday Donation Needs

  • Christmas wrapping paper (non-religious)
  • Scotch tape
  • Ribbon
  • Bows
  • Large (heavy duty) White Trash Bags
  • Handled Gift Bags (solid and patterns for all holidays) both medium and large size