Convictions, and the courage to stand up for them, are the guiding forces behind KnightVigil, a Real Life Superhero working out of the Tampa Bay area in Florida. His activities center around patrols and community outreach, working with a number of groups, including Team Justice and the Skiffytown League of Heroes—but ultimately, he serves a higher calling.
“I have always been involved in church and community service, and been given a host of skills and the capability to do good. I have had a lot of hardship in my life, and overcame a lot. And one of the reasons I have done this is because my faith has helped me overcome those obstacles, so I feel always rededicated.”
A significant portion of KnightVigil’s outreach is to the migrant workers who pass through Tampa on the circuit, and often don’t have the means to clothe, feed and properly look after their children. Not seeing anyone paying attention to the situation, he decided he had to act on his own, bringing shoes, t-shirts, jeans to those who needed them the most. “These kids, moving all over the country… they don’t have anything, they’re very, very poor. And in desperate need of care and attention.”
KnightVigil’s origin goes back to his childhood, influenced by the cartoons and television shows he watched avidly. “I kind of started designing my costume when I was seven or eight,” he says, “but I really started pulling it all together around 2001.” With just a “basic” uniform, he began hitting the streets, looking for ways to demonstrate his desire to help.
“100% of my faith is expressed when doing my work, kids, seniors, adults—anyone who needs help, I do what I can to help them. That’s how its supposed to be. I try to show that you can show love to anyone, if they’re in hospice, if they’re in need, if they just want someone to talk to, I show my faith through words and deeds.”
KnightVigil has a specific message for the people of his community and beyond—and it’s not necessarily Scripture. For him, it’s all about neighbors helping neighbors, getting together to make a difference by building community. And his striking costume, which evokes references to the knights of medieval times, goes a long way toward delivering that message. “Good work goes on all the time, and we don’t seem to notice. But when we put on our costumes, people do. And suddenly the thought flips through their minds that ‘Hey, I can help people, I can try to make a difference.”
In the end, as it is for all his fellow Real Life Superheroes, it simply boils down the same: We all have the power to change the world, if only we’d find a place to start. “All of us have unique and personal motivations, so just get out and do it, that’s the problem. But we’re doing everything we can to inspire people to bring back the love and spirit to the community.”