Batman and Superman have been seen around Detroit many times over the past year, thanks to magic of movie making. The film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, stars Ben Affleck as Batman and Henry Cavill as Superman and you can often catch the stars around Detroit. Both stars have said terrific things about the city and the can-do spirit of its people.

That can-do spirit shows up in Detroit’s own superheroes, the city’s first responders.

As Christopher Reeve, who also starred as Superman in the 1970s and 1980s and faced his own challenges as a paraplegic, said, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”

That certainly fits Detroit’s first responders, who have been working with equipment that needs replacing and in offices that are far from luxurious. There is help for those superheroes.

The Detroit Public Safety Foundation (DPSF) has launched the Detroit Superhero Challenge ( to raise funds for critically needed equipment and support for Detroit’s the Detroit Police Department, Detroit Fire Department, paramedics, and other critical first responders.

“A critical part of Detroit’s resurgence is the strength of our public and emergency safety system,” said Catherine Govan, executive director of the Detroit Public Safety Foundation. “We know that the surge behind Detroit’s reinvention is due to the strength and grit of all citizens. That’s why we’re asking everyone, near and far, to give what they can — no donation is too small — to help purchase the equipment and supplies needed by those who willingly put themselves in the line of fire every day to protect us.”

So here is what you can do. Show your Detroit spirit and take the Superhero Challenge while making a pledge to support Detroit Police, Fire, Safety and First Responders. Send them a short video about why you support Detroit (or share on their Facebook page). It will be featured online. Pass the challenge along to ensure that Detroit’s Superheroes have what they need to do their job. All proceeds go to the Detroit Public Safety Foundation and they are tax deductible.

“We urge everyone to take the Detroit Superhero Challenge by going to and giving to this worthy cause today. While there, we hope everyone will also post a short video telling the world why they support Detroit,” says Govan. “As we approach the season of giving, we hope everyone will remember the men and women on Detroit’s frontline by contributing and posting a video to the Detroit Superheroes Challenge.”

Volunteers are already helping out the police department. For example, early this month the Detroit Police Department’s 9th Precinct on Gratiot Avenue got a makeover thanks to volunteers from several companies and organizations.

According to a story on WXYZ, the precinct got new paint, new sinks and a new kitchen. Exposed board and crumbling bricks were fixed as was the out-of-service drinking fountain inside.

“Throughout the day, an army of volunteers went to work turning the decaying building into a safe, clean, working environment… a place to be proud of and a place to leave the troubles of the day behind,” WXYZ says. The police station is now a “community police precinct” where members of the neighborhood can also use the building.

Here is a list of companies and organizations that helped with the 9th Precinct makeover:

  • Absopure Water Company
  • AmeriCorps
  • Art Van Furniture
  • Board of Police Commissioners
  • Behr Paint
  • Councilman Andre Spivey
  • Delta Faucets
  • Detroit 300 Comm. Action Team
  • Detroit Public Safety Foundation
  • Neighborhood Youth Initiative Project
  • Fathead
  • Skillman Foundation
  • Home Depot Foundation
  • Two Men and a Truck
  • Motorola Solutions Foundation
  • Preferred Business Service
  • Original Hagopian


Another company, Strategic Staffing Solutions, adopted the Detroit Police Department’s Mounted Unit. S3 will pay for the general care of the Mounted Unit’s five horses care, including hay, feed, vitamins, medications, bedding, vaccinations and vet costs, and new shoes and trim every six weeks.

In addition, DTE Energy provided a new truck and trailer to safely move the horses from the barn in Palmer Park to downtown.

As Christopher Reeves said, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” We can all be heroes by contributing to the Superhero Challenge.

Ed. Note: This post originally appeared on DetroitUnspun and is used here with permission.

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