The Definition of a Hero

As part of United Way of Central Indiana’s 100th anniversary, we want to celebrate 100 diverse heroes who have helped improve Central Indiana spanning the last 100 years. This is your opportunity to honor the hand raisers and game changers who have put in the time, effort and investment to create a better Central Indiana for all of us.


But what exactly is a hero? Here’s one definition that resonates: a person who, in the opinions of others, has special achievements, abilities or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model. Let’s take that definition one step further: it’s someone using their skills, passions and talents to make their community a better place.


Thinking of a certain person yet? Whether they are a well-known individual or an unsung hero who has helped from behind the scenes, we want to highlight 100 heroes who have made Central Indiana a great place to call home. Here are a few other ways to define a hero:


“They are the unassuming neighbor you already know; the person who gives more than she takes; the one whose mission is human flourishing for self and others. Heroes are our teachers, our mothers, our volunteers, our social workers. And you will recognize them because they inspire us with their dedication, their passion, their selflessness and their service.” Kiko Suarez, Chief Community Impact Officer, United Way


“A hero is a loving person who cares about someone other than them self and is willing to go out and lift others up. They have a heart of gold.” Stella Anderson, ReadUP volunteer at IPS Frances W Parker School 56


“A hero is someone who sees the future of the community and involves others in making their community a better place to live, which results in improving the community while helping those in need and not expecting anything in return.” Jean Geis, retired United Way employee


“To me, a hero is a person who gives of his or herself to serve those in need in their community, without reservation. Those who can be counted on to be there at any cost.” Joseph C. Phillips, Indy Free Tax Prep volunteer


Know a few people who fit these descriptions? Make sure to nominate them for 100 Heroes by October 31. We look forward to sharing the stories of 100 heroes as we approach our 100th anniversary in April.