Real life superheroes live among us, as evident by a wonderful month-long event put on by one of Portland, Oregon’s greatest comic book shops. Throughout the whole month of October, Excalibur Comics is going to be accepting food donations to go toward the Northeast Emergency Food Program (NEFP). Their social media coordinator, Justin Zimmerman (also a good friend of the blog and an indie film and comic creator), has been volunteering with NEFP and both he and Excalibur Comics have paired together to not only feed children, but given them the joy of comics.
I reached out to Debbie Smith, co-owner of Excalibur Comics, and asked her to tell me a little bit more of NEFP and her involvement with the program:
The NE Emergency Food Program is a wonderful charity that helps people with all of their needs not just food. They also help people with clothes and other general household needs.
We have been working with Justin on his comic library that he set up in NEFP.
Every time as family comes in to the food bank the kids get to pick out a handful of comics. We donate comics weekly to the comic library. We have donated tens of thousands of comics in the last two years. We are beginning to get feedback from the families and teachers of the kids that the kids are reading better and more excited about learning. For me that is why we do it. Anything that my store can do to help the community around us be a happier healthier place we will do it.
NEFP itself operates through Luther Memorial in Portland, and aims to help needy families in the area fill their fridges and cupboards with food to help them get by. It is widely known that many people in the United States still go hungry every night, even with the availability of government programs to help cover the costs. It therefore falls on communities to step up and help the hungry in their midst, providing a basic need to the neediest among them.
To help with the cause, Excalibur is offering some pretty neat incentives to get people into the shop to donate. Anyone who donates food throughout the month of October will have the chance to snag raffle tickets for entry to win some amazing prizes.
The possible rewards range from original art created by renown comic book artists, the chance to be written into a Marvel comic book, or the chance to win a script. Excalibur Comics has really pulled out all the stops to bring attention to a wonderful organization in their community. Debbie’s father Peter, co-owner of the shop, summed up the mission perfectly: “It’s a reminder to ourselves and the community that we all have superhero hearts capable of a lot of good.”
It is endlessly refreshing to see local businesses stepping up to meet a need in the community, and even more delightful that in this case, Excalibur looks to model the superhero ideals written into the comics they have sold for years. So what are you waiting for? If you’re in Portland, Oregon or the surrounding area, stop in to the shop, donate some food or relevant supplies, pick up a few comics, snag your raffle tickets, and be ready for the big finale on October 29th when the store has a party to celebrate the good work they’re doing.