Finding the Hero in You

“Heroes” is a major theme that runs through ONE FOR THE MURPHY’S. Whether it’s saving someone from a burning building or diverting yourself from the wrong path in life, having courage is what it takes to become a hero. Step up to the challenges that make a difference in your life and the lives of others! To inspire you, here are some children who have risen to a specific “call to action.”

Angela Zhang: On her own, this teenager devised an experiment that could end up curing many types of cancers. Angela mixed medicine in a polymer that attached to nanoparticles, which then attached to cancer cells. Next, she aimed an infrared light at the polymer, melting and releasing the medicine that killed cancer cells and ignored the healthy cells in mice. It will take a few years of research to see how it works with humans, but thanks to Angela’s proactive experiment, the results looks extremely promising.

Eleven-year-old Katie Stagliano donated a 40-pound cabbage to a local soup kitchen that her family had grown in their backyard garden. When she discovered how many people were homeless and hungry, she began two major gardens, including one the size of a football field that she convinced a school district to give to her. She now supplies multiple soup kitchens with fresh produce year round.

Twelve-year-old Matt Norton of Florida jumped into a frigid, muddy pond when he witnessed a truck drive into it. As the vehicle began to sink, Matt swam to the passenger door, which was locked. He then swam around to the other side as the truck continued its descent. He managed to open the driver’s side door, reach in and grab a visible hand, and pull the teenaged driver to safety.

Through relentless fundraising efforts, 12-year-old Rachel Wheeler of Florida raised $250,000 to build homes in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. After using some of the money to build 12 homes, she bought an earthquake-proof cement structure to shelter 27 families near Port-au-Prince. The families that live there deem the housing tract, “Rachel’s Village.” She is now working on rebuilding a local school and has already raised half the funds she needs to complete this project.

Nineteen-year old, Andie Proskus, suffers from a muscle disease that has left her in a wheelchair. She doesn’t let that stop her from a mission to put smiles on the faces of children in her local hospital. Andie turns into a personal shopper for one lucky child at a time, filling “Andie’s Smile Boxes” with toys and other fun items, using gift cards that she receives for herself. Check out the special smile she receives in this heartwarming video!

I bet many of you out there know a few young heroes yourself, so today’s PARTY FAVOR is an easy pattern for making your very own HERO CAPE for that special hero in your life (which might even be you!)

And Now, Here’s a Completely Unrelated Vlog Clip About Famous People Named “Murphy,” Starring Santa Duck and Zombie Buddy

Just so you know, Erin Murphy’s dog is named Lulu. YES, YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS IN ORDER TO WATCH THIS VLOG CLIP…



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29 responses to “Finding the Hero in You

  1. Natalie Dias Lorenzi

    Lisa, what inspiring stories! I’ll have to pass these along to my own kids and students.

    And Erin, you *must* adopt Santa Duck! How can you resist that adorable beak??


  2. Cathy Ballou Mealey

    Zombie Buddy and Santa Duck – Don’t forget the Drop Kick Murphys! They are actually playing with the Boston Pops this season…


  3. Those are some amazing and inspiring kids! It just goes to show you don’t have to be rich and powerful to make a difference in the world. I think as adults sometimes we forget that.


    • I agree, Jeannie! Reminds me of the story of a tractor trailer being wedged under an overpass that was just a bit too low. Adults stood there for two hours trying to figure out how to get the truck unwedged without further damaging the bridge. A ten year old girl who had been caught in traffic with her family, rolled down her window and yelled, “Let the air out of the tires!”


  4. L.B. Schulman

    I had a lot of fun reading about these heroes. Kids seem to have a simpler response to problems sometimes and just go for it, without the fears that adults bring to the table. As for Zombie and Duck, I think Mike may have a new career. His acting skills were awesome. I will write him a recommendation letter for The New Muppets, when they get around to reviving it again. That was so funny, and I am sure it will convince the world to buy ONE FOR THE MURPHY’S.


  5. Laurie Boyle Crompton

    Love these inspiring stories!! Amazing kids!
    And I agree Lulu would love chewing on, um I mean, ‘playing with’ adopted sibling Santa Duck!


  6. Cynthia Levinson

    I love, love, love these stories. I want to write an entire book about each kid.


  7. These kids are incredibly inspiring, yes—but I am obsessed with Mike’s vlog, which gave me a great laugh this morning. Unfortunately, Santa Duck, Zombie Buddy is very right—Lulu would not be your friend. If you came to live in this Murphy house, you’d be Unstuffed Santa Duck. Stay safe with the Jungs!


  8. Lisa, the stories were wonderful, and Mike, I LOVED the vlog! Couldn’t stop laughing. This was my first time viewing Zombie Buddy and Santa Duck in action, so I think I’m going to have to have a look through the backlog (backvlog?). =)


  9. Mike Jung

    I feel mildly ashamed about sullying Lisa’s wonderful post with my absurd little vlog clip, but hey, what’s done is done. We have kid heroes in the children’s literature community too – I’m thinking of Riley Carney, who’s not only written FIVE traditionally published novels before the age of 18, but also founded Breaking the Chain, a nonprofit organization that promotes global literacy. She’s definitely one of my heroes!


  10. L.B. Schulman

    It’s going to be tricky when it comes to our debuts, Mike, as we have the exact same release day on October 1st. But I am still hoping that you will somehow find the time to present a vlog for me starring a sociopathic zombie and an insecure duck who falls prey to his seductive manipulations…


  11. L.B. Schulman

    Excellent. You will have several months to make you epic Gone with the Wind-type vlog for me. 😉


  12. Mike, I sure hope you’re still vlogging in 2014, because GLADYS would also love a zombie/duck spotlight! (I’m thinking that something about Santa Duck’s fear of being turned into foie gras by an intrepid little chef would play nicely… 🙂 )


  13. Pingback: One for the Murphys Blog Tour Schedule « Lynda Mullaly Hunt

  14. My favorite line from the video, “I’m duck enough to cry.” And, wasn’t the dog on “Mad About You” named Murphy?


  15. Ha! That was a good one! And, yes, I believe you are correct, Pat!
    Actually, I wanted a dog named Murphy for ages, but our little beagle didn’t fit the name. Then I signed with Erin and didn’t want to deal with the question, “Wait. You named your dog after your agent???” Not as bad as wanting to be adopted, but…


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