From Tampa to Pittsburgh, Chicago to Memphis, comic superheroes are being spotted all over the country — and they are fighting grime. In their off-hours, Spider-Man, Captain America, and Batman, to name a few, are washing windows at children’s hospitals. Their mission? To bring happiness to the youngest of patients.
“We donned the Spider-Man costumes and we rappelled down the side of the buildings,” said Harold Connolly, president of Highrise Window Cleaning of Clearwater, Fla. “We knocked on the glass, waved hello – there were a lot of big smiles.”
Connolly organized two superhero window-washing sessions at hospitals in Florida so far this year, and he isn’t alone. Images of wide-eyed children in awe of their favorite superheroes washing windows have gone viral online, prompting hospitals and window washing companies nationwide to hop on board.
Last week in Chicago, Captain America, Batman, and Spider-Man’s mission for the day was surprising children into forgetting that they are in hospital beds at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Mission: Complete.
The three superheroes, window washers from Corporate Cleaning Services, were fighting grime as they rappelled down from the 23rd floor. The heroes circled all around the building, waving, giving a thumbs up and creating soap designs as they went. “The superheroes’ lines were hanging right in front of our window,” Erickson says. “The kids just sat there waiting for 45 minutes to see which one it was. It was Spider-Man. When you see your kids excited and smiling – as a parent it was more than I could ever ask for.”
Hundreds of kids, staff and families were mesmerized by the superheroes swinging around the building for hours.
“I have been here a lot of years but I have never seen anything like it — nothing can brighten a day like a superhero,” says Kathleen Keenan, hospital spokesperson. “These three men truly became real-life superheroes when they were on that building and their ropes became their webs. It was magical.” Keenan added: “It was like each kid had their own superhero for a moment, it was like there was no glass between them.”
Last July, Michelle Matuizek, office manager of Allegheny Window Cleaning, Inc., saw pictures of window washers in London dressed as Spiderman.
“The kids went wild. They were all over the windows, smiling and screaming – it was just magical,” Matuizek says. “The nurses, the kids, the families it was a wonderful experience for everyone. We are going to do it again next October.”