• NEIA Red Cross

Who is Your Hero?

Updated: Mar 22



We all have people in our lives who we consider heroes. As we approach the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metro Area Chapter Heroes in the Heartland event on March 9, we asked students in grades 5-8 in the Metro Area to write an essay about their hero. We received several essays and are excited to share some of our top submissions.


Note: Essays are printed as submitted by students.


My Grandpa, My Hero

By Quentin Billesbach, 5th Grade, Fort Calhoun Elementary


Today I am going to tell you about a hero in my life. I see him almost everyday. My Heartland Hero is my grandpa, John Mancuso.


Words to describe my grandpa include loving because he is caring, selfless because he shares and generous because he always is accepting. He is also very hardworking and never gives up. Another thing to describe him with is inspiriting and makes me want to grow up like him.


My grandpa was a dentist and loved his job. He is retired and spends his time watching baseball and playing golf. He also watches and take care of me a lot.


Now I’m going to tell you a story (not made up!) about how my grandpa saved someone’s life. My grandpa was eating at a restaurant when a person had a heart attack. My grandpa went over and did CPR on the person. He ended up saving the person’s life. My grandpa also donate plasma to help Covid-19 patients.


My grandpa has had a very positive impact on me. He always makes me laugh and when I grow up, I want to be like him in almost every way. He also has a positive impact on other people besides me. He impacts these people by helping them and being nice to them. He has helped my mom, dad and my sisters.


In conclusion, my grandpa deserves to be recognized as a Heartland Hero. He is very special to me and many other people. Thank you for reading my essay.



My Hero

By Katie Hansen, 8th Grade, St. Stephen the Martyr


Do you have someone in your life that is a hero? They don’t have to be a first responder or have saved lives, a hero can be anyone who means something to you or has had a positive impact on your life. A hero that I have in my life is my grandma. She has always been there for me and loves me very much. The reason that she is my hero is that she is very kind, she supports me, and she sewed many masks during the pandemic and gave them to people who needed them.


One of the reasons that my grandma is my hero is because of how she supports me. She always tries to come to my games or activities. She lives in Norfolk, which is about two hours away, so I really appreciate how she drives all the way to watch me play. This year I am selling cookies to raise money for my Washington DC field trip, and my grandma has offered to help me bake, package, or deliver the cookies wherever I need her. She also supports my education by donating to my school and giving me money on my birthday for college.


One of the reasons I chose her to be my hero is because of what she has done to help during the pandemic. She and two friends sewed over 10,500 masks during March and April when masks were hard to find in stores. They got donations of fabric and elastic to make them. They gave them to store employees, such as the ones at HyVee, and all of the masks they made were free. She also gave some to my family. I think that this really shows kindness and definitely makes her and her friends’ heroes.


As you can see, my grandma is a great example of a hero o me. She shows kindness by offering help and by making many masks for people who need them. She supports me by coming to my games, activities, and supporting my education. I think that she is also a great role model and example of how to live because of her kindness and love. She is definitely a hero to me.



Mr. Hero

By Aiden Husk, 5th Grade, Fort Calhoun Elementary


I know someone who is a hero. I see him every once in a while. My Heartland Hero is a family friend, Kirt Ringler.


Kirt Ringler is a brave person because he is a fire captain at the Fort Calhoun fire department and he is also a nurse at CHI Health in Omaha. He is very caring because he chose to work at all of these places especially at the fire department he volunteered to work there and rescue all of those people in fires.


Kirt Ringler is a nurse and that is how he makes a living. He chose to be a nurse when there was a car wreck and there was a little kid that went flying forward and once they took him out of the car and got him to the hospital. The little kid was scared so Kirt sat in the hospital and held his hand until his parents came two hours later. Some of his favorite hobbies are fishing, hunting, camping, playing pool and watching Husker football.


One of his biggest rescues was when all the flooding happened. The first day he flew into Valley and worked all day saving people and rescuing them from their homes. The second day he was flown into what looked like an island little space of land. The helicopter had the Nebraska symbol. The only ways he could get out was either by boat, train or helicopter. He went around in an airboat for about two to three hours, then he took a train to another place.


One of the ways he helps others is he actually won an award because he did CPR to a man who wrecked his car and his heart stopped beating and did that until the rescue squad came and took him to the hospital. He survived by he wouldn’t have if Kirt didn’t do it. The amazing thing about this story is that he was able to see his granddaughter’s birth right after he was out of the hospital.


In conclusion, Kirt Ringler is my Heartland Hero because of the lives he saved and the people he helps. He is a very special person because of the people he loves and people like me. Thank you for reading my essay and I hope you thank all those people like Kirt Ringler and all those people that save people’s lives.



My Hero

By Leif Dillon, 5th Grade, Upchurch Elementary School


Is there someone in your life you consider a hero>? Well I have a hero, Mr. Burchard is my hero. He donated a kidney, he helps students and other people, and he is caring.


First things first, Mr. Burchard donated a kidney. Also the person he donated the kidney to was my friend, “Oliver Gibbs. All I remember was that he saved a little kid’s life. I really thank Mr. Burchard for doing that for my friend.


In addition, he helps his students work together, and them to work together in life. Like 4th graders for instance. He also helps anyone who needs help. For example if you need help in math he will help you. He once told me “if you get made come get me.”


Last but not least, he is really caring I mean really CARING. He cares about other people. He helps people when they need help in life. He really cares about people and cares about all other people.


To sum it all up, Mr. Burchard is my hero. He donated a kidney, he helps other people and students, and he is caring. Are you as lucky as I am to have a hero in your life?



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