Proud “Nominate a Goodie” Partner
Tom Beland of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico was the kind of child who ate his early morning cereal in front of the television set waiting for the cartoons to start rolling.
Beland’s father was a janitor during the day, and was always drawing cartoons for people. Tom wanted to be able to draw like his dad, and has made his living as a comic book writer and artist. Beland has always identified with Spiderman.
“I was kind of nerdy kid, like Peter Parker,” Beland said. “I have always supported that character.”
In 2006, his dream came true. Beland was asked to write for Marvel Comics.
This story isn’t about Spiderman exactly. It’s about Beland doing the right thing. Beland was nominated as a GOODIE by a high school friend, Nancy Duvall of Salem, Oregon. She read Beland’s Facebook post yesterday and sent it to whodidgoodtoday.com.
“I was standing in line at Starbuck’s yesterday morning, and I was wearing a T-shirt that looks like Spiderman’s costume. It’s one of my favorite shirts, and for some reason, I can write comics much easier when I wear it. There’s a woman with her daughter, who was around 14 or so. They order and then they talk to another woman, and they talk it up and laugh and then they all leave.
I look down at the counter and notice a small bag. I thought it was something Starbuck’s sells, and I look inside of it and there were two tiny boxes that were gift-wrapped and a receipt for $637. I looked around the store and there was no one else there.
I figured it was the woman and daughter’s bag and so I walked outside and they were way down the mall and so I took off running for them. When they finally heard me, they stopped and turned around and I asked them if the bag belonged to them. The daughter screams in joy and the mother was beyond thankful and hugged me. It was jewelry they bought.
So I’m walking home with my coffee and a car stops in front of me and it’s them. They’re both laughing and the daughter tells me that when her mom saw my shirt in line at Starbuck’s, she told her daughter “look behind you… the guy thinks he’s a superhero.” And then I ended up actually BEING a superhero and saving their day.
I saluted them and said it was all in a day’s work.
At 6-foot-2, Beland is always that guy who helps people at the grocery store with items on the top shelf, or helps out in any way he can when he sees a need.
“When Spiderman first became Spiderman, he appeared on a TV show to make some money,” Beland said. “A robber tried to take the receipts for the day’s ticket sales. Someone yells to Spidey to stop the robber as he runs past.”
“Spiderman doesn’t stop him,” he continued. “He had this attitude of ‘I am Spiderman, nobody tells me what to do.’ Later he found out that the same robber is the man who killed his uncle. That is where the line ‘with great power comes great responsibility; comes in.”
For Beland, like Spiderman, doing good is a responsibility.
“Spiderman is fallible, that’s why I identify with him,” Beland said. “But when you see a bag left behind of $600 in merchandise, do you give it to the clerk, or do you bust your ass running down the mall? What would Spiderman do? That is what I did. There is always a cool moment out of doing the right thing.”
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