A few weeks ago, my sister emailed me a link with the message, "We HAVE to do this for Dad."
The link was to a contest called the CEFCU Payback Project, where individuals could nominate their "unsung hero" with the potential of 1) raising money for one of three charities and 2) winning a grand prize.
A few weeks later, we submitted a video story of my dad, not realizing the emotion it would take out of both of us to compile it, and never anticipating the outpouring of support we would receive as a result.
I could take this opportunity to tell you why we feel my dad is so deserving of this award. But the truth is, he is a representation of all the people like him who are just as deserving. My dad, and the way he has chosen to live his life, is the epitome of strength, giving and humility - all great characteristics of the heroes of old and the heroes of modern day. He gives EVERY DAY - quietly, and with grace and honor, no matter what he does.
Dad didn't know we created this video. My sister and I knew he wouldn't necessarily welcome the attention. He found out about it while volunteering at Habitat for Humanity ReStore, when a couple of ladies working there were shedding a few tears while watching it. But as much as my dad shies away from any sort of recognition or accolade, I think he appreciated it. Because deep down, I think it made him realize that he is an inspiration - not only to his children, but to anyone who has the pleasure of knowing or meeting him.
Please take 90 seconds to watch the video and you'll see what I mean.
CEFCU Payback Project: SUPERMAN
I'd love for you all to cast your vote for Jack Talcott, aka Superman, which you can do every day until December 12. Every time you vote, you can designate one of three charities and CEFCU will donate $1 for every single vote. My dad has given much of his time over the past decade to Habitat for Humanity, so that's where my designation is going, but that is up to you.
And if we win? First of all, the monetary prize will go toward my mom's care at Liberty Village, as she recovers from this past summer's aneurysm and brain surgeries. For now, that bill is being footed 100% by my dad, and it's a pretty hefty sum. But above and beyond any dollar amount, what we win is the chance to inspire others to "Be Like Jack." To be great. To be humble. To be a hero every single day. And God knows what the world needs now is a few more heroes.