Elijah Dunnavant is considered a superhero at Greenhill Humane Society, a non-profit organization in Oregon’s Lane County. His volunteer hero-job helps to make the animals adoptable and brightens the day for kids and adults when they see him dressed in his superman suit. Dunnavant became a volunteer superman with Poolie’s Angels, an Oregon charity dedicated to helping kids in costumed events, and joined their effort at the Greenhill Humane Society by showing up as Superman. The response is overwhelmingly positive.“Kids get wide-eyed; they think I’m the real superman and walk up to me and ask me if, I can fly.”
Dunnavant stays in character when kids ask him for an autograph and hand him a piece of paper by signing it with a big “S.” A real connection occurs in these moments.
“I believe spending my time doing cosplay is a great outlet for me with my job. It’s hard to find ways to de-stress and this is a great way for me to express some positive energy and another way for me to give back to the community. Because of what the superhero costume represents, it can draw attention to the things we care about in the community and put a spotlight on it.”
In the end, the superman costume reveals someone who cares. The connection of caring requires an intentional choice to be committed to others with the resolve to make a difference; however, It’s easy to put off and wait until it’s convenient. So, a choice to give the time and effort to volunteer must be made as well as following through with the decision to make volunteering a priority. For Dunnavant, the sacrifice of his time to volunteer has become a way of living.
Dunnavant’s volunteer role as superman has provided many opportunities to connect with others to make a difference. He has managed to take volunteering to the next level by giving people an unexpected and welcomed surprise when he walks in as Superman. In just a few years, Dunnavant has managed to accept the challenge of taking on a variety of volunteer opportunities: “I do volunteer work in addition to coming out here (Greenhill Humane Society); I go to different events that happen during the year. We volunteer with Toys For Tots. We help out when they are doing a Toy Drive during the holiday season. We will do children hospital visits through the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.”
Dunnavant’s story does not end with volunteering as superman. He’s also chosen the path of serving the community as a deputy sheriff for the Lane County Sheriffs’ Office. A deputy sheriff is focused on serving and protecting the communities and surrounding areas, which can be intense much of the time.
Even so, he enjoys his role. It’s hard to overstate Deputy Dunnavant’s positive impact on the community, which is delineated in one of his instagram posts with words to live by: “Your greatness is not what you have, it’s what you give.”He demonstrates greatness, saying, “I enjoy volunteering as superman in the community; I also enjoy serving as a Lane County deputy sheriff.”
Deputy Elijah Dunnavant is an inspiration, approaching life with the passion to give, making a meaningful contribution to the world as a volunteer superman and a Lane County deputy sheriff.