Home » Good Samaritan, Reader's Choice, Winning Benefactors, Your Winners

Adam Hathaway — The Childrens’ Hero

Written by 28 Comments Email This Post Email This Post    Print This Post Print This Post

adam-lead6

Adam Hathaway doesn’t wear a cape or red vinyl boots (thank goodness), but he is a hero to thousands of children and an inspiration to countless people.

In 1983 Adam moved to Key West, Florida to live with his mother and her husband where his step-father had a government contract to house seized vessels, both wet and dry dock.  It was Adam’s job to  pump the boats that were leaky and clean those that were bought at auction, including the engine rooms and bilges.  If the job were not done quickly or well enough, his step-father would threaten him with physical violence and food restriction. He was never actually hit, but he had to witness his sisters’ physical abuse.  Adam was also the only one allowed to go to school because his mother fought tooth-and-nail for this privilege.  Eventually, he was able to join band and the honor society and excelled at his academics even though his dock work started as soon as he returned from school and ended long after the sun set.

As soon as he graduated from high school, he made his way to New Mexico to be near his father and attend college at UNM where he became a student government senator. When he saw the child care center needed aid, he discovered he had a soft spot for children and became an advocate for that operation. He even enlisted his fraternity brothers to re-paint the entire building.  Adam graduated with a Bachelor’s in Communication and is in the process of finishing his Master’s in Public Administration.

Adam is now a Master Mason and a Shriner in Las Lunas, NM, where he is the Hospital Chairman and responsible for arranging the Outreach Clinics so children in the program don’t have to go all the way to the Shrine Hospital for routine examinations and follow-ups. The Shrine center also provides transportation to hospitals for children and parents, a program he supervises.  Adam was instrumental in implementing a mechanism for children from Mexico to come across the border, attend the outreach clinics and get transportation to the LA Shrine Hospital.

Along with his other endeavors, Adam is also an active member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, a group that re-enacts the medieval times, where he runs the Toys for Tots Drive.  During the first Tots Tournament, approximately 13 years ago, 98 toys were collected. When Adam got involved he jumped in with both feet and challenged the other SCA groups to hold their own toy drives, which became a ripple effect throughout the SCA and now brings in over 30,000 toys each year.  The challenge has expanded beyond the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots initiative to hospitals, women’s shelters, the Salvation Army, the Freemasons and other non-profit organizations. Due to Adam’s activities, over 150,000 toys have been raised for children in need.

adam-body3

“I haven’t yet had a chance to meet those children (benefiting from the Toys for Tots program),” Adam said, “but I have interacted directly with the Shrine Children who come to the outreach clinics.  For many of them, the help the Shrine Hospitals provide means that some children can walk while others can lead normal lives.”  The Shrine Hospitals deal with orthopedics, burns and cleft lip/palate issues.

Adam does not do everything he does for gratitude, praise or notoriety, he does it to even out the odds so many children have to face. Long ago he swore he would be nothing like his step-father and he has surpassed that notion by far.

Because of him, the world is truly a better place.


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

Related Articles


28 Comments - (Leave a comment! »)

  • Mike – Louisiana said:

    . I really think it’s interesting what you’re doing, using journalistic methods to *sometimes* write about people who don’t usually inspire journalistic interest. Of course, that’s not all it is, but if you’re asking what part of your website I like the most, that’s it. Take the story about Adam Hathaway, incidentally written by you. That’s a story about a human being who isn’t, in the tradition sense, newsworthy. He grew up in an abusive household, took lessons from that and remembered them, and as he got older, used those lessons he’d learned and put his perspective into purpose, using his fraternal connections, both collegiate and Masonic, to help provide healthcare to children. That’s the kind of story I love. Not just for its relative “niceness,” but because it creates a clear arc of a person’s life, shows the reader the causality of the actions someone takes as they do what they will have done.

  • Mike-Indiana said:

    The story is one of two that struck me the most. Adam, being raised under a tyranny in the guise of parenting, then going on to graduate from the University of New Mexico, has somewhere along the way joined the SCA, issued an intraorganizational challenge, and prompted the gathering of better than 30,000 toys to be donated to Toys for Tots. I left the computer feeling electrified…positively charged…my own “baggage” reduced to the size of a wallet…ready to “shout my barbaric yawp from the rooftops of the world” (Dead Poets’ Society).

  • Jan Phillips said:

    Adam seems to be a wonderful man. I know about the Shriners as my husband is one also. As to the article, I thought it was a little on the dry side. It was very factual but needed a little more humanizing in my opinion.

  • Brandon – Oregon said:

    I found this to be very inspirational. I have felt for a long time that there are many good stories in the world, but they often get overlooked due to the media always wanting to find more dramatic and sensational stories. This web magazine is very inspirational. Thank you for this magazine.

  • Margie – New York said:

    I would surmise that Adam had at least one mentor and would have appreciated learning about who or the circumstance(s) and then the eventual effects. Adam is proof that one person can make a difference and shape the way others act and think. His process is an important part of who he is now. I would also assume he decided and was chosen to be a Mason for many reasons. It is a difficult path to be accepted as a Mason. This is not an ordinary organization – Masons usually apply and are chosen for many reasons but mainly for good works. A little more delving into his psyche and the reasons he was able to rise above his family situation and stay above it – may have made this piece more personal and emotional.

    Having said that I still appreciated this story. I give acolades to Adam, who was able to overcome his upbringing. Many people use the excuse of a dysfunctional family life to justify everything wrong in their life and/or they perpetuate the abuse. He is truly an exceptional person and a role model. I believe the purpose of this story was to reveal Adam and present his good deeds and ability to break through adversity and it did.

  • Lou – Oregon said:

    I enjoyed learning about Adam’s philanthropist work to better the lives of children world wide, however the writer failed to use descriptive details that might have made his story more profound. It seemed more of a newspaper report of timeline, I would like some vivid detail, step up emotional connection and relation to the audience/reader. The picture left something to be desired….I simply thought Adam’s photo may be clearer, less blurry and more professional in nature for such a prestigious award.

  • margie said:

    I leave this comment with a great deal of respect to the writer.

    I would surmise that Adam had at least one mentor and would have appreciated learning about who or the circumstance(s) and then the eventual effects. Adam is proof that one person can make a difference and shape the way others act and think. His process is an important part of who he is now. I would also assume he decided and was chosen to be a Mason for many reasons. It is a difficult path to be accepted as a Mason. This is not an ordinary organization – Masons usually apply and are chosen for many reasons but mainly for good works. A little more delving into his psyche and the reasons he was able to rise above his family situation and stay above it – may have made this piece more personal and emotional.

    Having said that I still appreciated the story. I give acolades to Adam, who was able to overcome his upbringing. Many people use the excuse of a dysfunctional family life to justify everything wrong in their life and/or they perpetuate the abuse. He is truly an exceptional person and a role model. I believe the purpose of this story was to reveal Adam and present his good deeds and ability to break through adversity and it did.

  • Stacy – Pennsylvania said:

    While I enjoyed several different and equally inspiring stories, I really liked Adam’s story because he represents the average person doing beyond average things simply to help others. I liked the fact that Adam could be any one of us – he did overcome an unpleasant family situation, but there are many people who have lived through the same types of conditions. A large volume of readers can look at Adam and think, “I can do something great too – I can be just like him.”

    I liked that Adam’s story included plenty of factual information to support the extent of his efforts, including quantitative data and the results of his programs. This attention to detail and effective interview/research technique is the basis of a great article, in my opinion. I would have liked to feel more emotion when reading the story.

  • Alex – the Editor said:

    Ronnie,

    please nominate at least one of the outstanding people in your community that you mention as a winner. Nominate them and let’s see if the readers want to read about them. If they choose the story I will let you write it the way you feel a story should be written. I look forward to hearing from you.

  • Ronnie – Florida said:

    Although this story is commendable and uplifting, the writer lacked spirit and descriptive language to draw the reader in. I was bored and found the story to be lackluster in its content and the characters needed more personality! The reader could not actually feel what they were supposed to feel! I personally did not feel moved, inspired, angry or really any emotion that the story should have been built on. I never felt the anger towards Adam’s step dad, nor did I feel sadness for Adam. The story needed more description and more verbal feelings to make the readers truly know who these people are!

    I am presently living in Venice, Florida, where there are so many amazing, courageous people that come from all walks of life and all areas of the world! I am sure there are the most interesting and heartfelt stories to be shared and can be a true gift to be told to the world!

  • ElLois said:

    I enjoyed the article. His background was no way a child should be raised and yet he overcame the obstacles placed before him and returned justice for injustice. This article kept my attention.

  • Amy -- Indiana said:

    This article is my favorite. I recognize that the article is about Adam, but I wonder what happened to his sisters that were mentioned in the article. Did they have the strength that Adam did to turn their experiences into something good or did they fall prey to the fate that so many abused children do and become abusers themselves?

  • Gemma said:

    This story I thought was inspiring in what it said but I did not find the piece very emotive in how I felt. I respected the fact that Adam got his frat brothers involved. Of course the article is full of information but I would have preferred to have understood a little more about Adam as a person, what he does now, what his next goal is etc.

  • Shari said:

    I think the article is well-written and love the fact that, instead of becoming an abuser like his stepfather, Adam used his childhood trauma as a catalyst to help other children in need. He has incorporated methods to help children in each of the groups with which he is affiliated. I only wonder if he was ever able to help his sisters or see his stepfather was punished for his abuse. What became of them? They were only briefly mentioned, but that time of his life seems like the main reason he chose his life path and I would like to have had a follow-up on that part.

  • Anita said:

    I found the fluid writing style made for a a very easy read and I especially liked the inclusion of statistics to give credence and perspective to his many achievements.

    I appreciate that he is an ‘ordinary’ person making a big difference but perhaps the article could have told the reader in the opening paragraph why he is an extraordinary person rather than not finding out until half way through why we are reading about him. Also his achievements could have been embellished upon further with the inclusion of some personal testimony from someone who has benefited from his philanthropy but I understand time and space constraints may not have made this possible. The relevance of the picture of him in medieval costume could have been explained.

    In saying that, I got the sense that this is a truly inspirational man who has overcome personal adversity to help others (many of whom he has not even met) so the article certainly achieved its aim.

  • Dida said:

    I was drawn to the piece about Adam Hathaway because of its title, “The Children’s Hero,” but when the author put “thank goodness” in brackets when describing that he didn’t wear a cape or red vinyl boots, it lost its appeal for me as a serious article.

    What could have given the piece more strength would have been to profile a family or a child who received help at LA’s Shriners Hospital because Adam literally went the extra mile to get them across the border…. additionally, give the reader the child’s first name and draw me in to that child’s specific story and their interaction with Adam. What did the child and/or their family members emote about Adam as their hero? If not a quote from a child or a family member, what about a doctor(s) from the outreach clinic who’ve met Adam and have seen him in action, or the director of Toys for Tots?

    What I did enjoy about the article was learning about how this man, Adam, overcame his childhood abuse, how he went on to better his life, and what he is doing now to bring about change in his community to help Latino and underprivileged children who would otherwise not get the medical attention they deserve because of their remote location.

  • Jan said:

    I consider all children to be everyone’s concern and am always interested in what is being done in their behalf, He exemplifies the possibility we all have for transforming the obstacles life brings us into our strengths. I very much admire Mr. Hathaway’s work, and although I read the article with interest, I usually don’t miss grammatical errors. In this article, I found only one flagrant error – in the title – and a few less obvious ones at the end. The error in the title is the misspelling of the possessive form of Children, which should read Children’s.

  • MM said:

    This piece really stuck with me. Although I didn’t have a childhood anywhere near as bad as Mr. Hathaway, it was difficult. Both of my parents had hair-trigger tempers and were always quick to punish (verbally, physically, mentally, and emotionally) both me and my younger brother. Like Mr. Hathaway, I learned from that experience and am a better person for overcoming what my parents did to me.

  • Jacqueline said:

    Artistry, inspiration and sweet esteem are all elements that the author so naturally infuses into, not only the meaning of the article, but to the character of the man, Mr. Adam Hathaway, as well. Mr. Sullivan instantly draws an air of human spirit as we read the title denoting heroism and goes on to describe the title further in his introduction examining Hathaway’s heroic efforts towards children. Readers are now attentively drawn to Hathaway, no matter what the author may lack in writing skills. The exuberance alone, in one’s opinion, can at times be sufficient when depicting heroism in words.
    Mr. Sullivan appropriately guides us through the life story of Hathaway, beginning with hardships he faced with his step-father during youth, which seemed to magnify the drive of this young man.
    The only criticism one would place on such a beautiful admirably written article is in the very end, when the author traces backwards into Hathaway’s oppressive past as “Long ago he swore he would be nothing like his step-father and he has surpassed that notion by far.” As a reader it is obvious, given the chronological stages of Hathaway’s life presented in this entry that this man is not and will never be anything resembling his step-father’s portrayal of a man, that it not necessary to climax to such an elevated degree displaying his chivalry and then to reiterate his dismal history. The framework of this man is forever progressing and it would not be surprising to read/hear more about Hathaway’s accomplishments in the future.

  • Yvonne said:

    The ‘Adam Hathaway’ article is a prime example of individuals reaching their full potential. Adam’s childhood was overbearing with fear because of an abusive step father. He took that horrific beginning, and chose to turn his negative experience into a positive ending: graduating from college, diving into outreach clinics, founding Toys for Tots. Adam did reach his full potential.

    Your magazine is so uplifting.

  • KR said:

    Without question, this particular profile demonstrates I would think to the average reader that anybody can make a difference, and while obviously Mr Hathaway went far beyond the average, it doesn’t take much.

    I did notice that a number of the articles did profile average people who have been able to accomplish great things. Most of the time, organizations that recognize people for the great things they do are political. Most focus on big names, big figures, and unfortunately people who haven’t actually done much. But quite a few of your articles seem to focus on the people who really deserve to be recognized.

  • EM said:

    The article was fun and easy to read. I especially liked the inclusion of statistics in how his efforts helped Toys for Tots because it really helped reify his effect on the community. I might not have, however, included the last line of the article “Because of him, the world is truly a better place,” which was a bit cheesy, and because of the explicitly inspirational subject matter of the magazine, almost redundant.

  • EM said:

    The article was fun and easy to read. I especially liked the inclusion of statistics in how his efforts helped Toys for Tots because it really helped reify his effect on the community. I might not have, however, included the last line of the article “Because of him, the world is truly a better place,” which was a bit cheesy, and because of the explicitly inspirational subject matter of the magazine, almost redundant.

    I really enjoyed reading the magazine.

  • Jo said:

    I read the Adam Hathaway–a children’s hero story. And I’d have to say I loved 99% or the article. It was professional, yet interesting, which I feel can be hard to pull off. I believe stories like these are needed so that we have a reminder that not everyone in the world is an a**hole, excuse my bluntness. What I didn’t like was the last line “Because of him, the world is truly a better place.” I feel this line is cheesy and unneeded. It states the obvious and is a cliche at the same time. Nowadays the news has few ‘feel good’ stories. That’s wher Winners Wthin Us seems to come in.

  • Alex Scandalios said:

    Jacob,

    This magazine has absolutely nothing to do with any faith other than the belief in the ability of the human spirit to prevail.

    Thanks for asking,

    Alex Scandalios
    Publishers/CEO
    Winners Within Us™

  • Jacob said:

    I liked the opening line, but next to the photo of Adam with people in the medieval garb, I was curious as to why he was dressed up like this. The following paragraph sets up the story well because we see some of the possible motivation Adam has to be a humanitarian, as detailed in the rest of the story. Fluid shifts in ideas and succinct paragraphs made it a smooth article to read.

    I’m curious – is Winners Within Us a faith-based magazine?

  • Sandra/Sevilla said:

    Adam is a man with many talents, and I am blessed to call him friend. We don’t always realize what a small gesture can have on others, however Adam’s small gesture has changed lives for more people than he will ever know.

  • Raegan said:

    Love Adam he is the bestest. Some one needs to get a photo of that Toys-4-Tots Coronet.

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS. Be nice, keep comments clean, stay on topic, and please - no spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar. Don't fret, if you choose not to a fractal Identicon derived from your email address will be generated for you.