Last year, Hurricane Ida tore through New Orleans, Louisiana. Sadly, 26 people died. The storm also caused billions of dollars in property damage. Many residents still occupy storm-damaged houses, with blue tarps hanging overhead instead of actual roofs.
This month, those homeowners received aid from a surprising source: Captain America.
Actor Anthony Mackie was born and raised in New Orleans. Now he plays Sam Wilson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—aka, the new Captain America. Even though he’s a big Hollywood star, he wants to give back to his home city.
“It’s important to me to bring back the gifts and blessings I received outside the city,” says Mackie.
Mackie’s family owns Mackie One Construction. He grew up working in the roofing business. That experience gives him the ability to help his community now.
“There’s so many houses in this neighborhood and city that are still tarped,” says Mackie. “When you fly into New Orleans, it’s become a sea of blue tarps.”
He’s working with a roofing company called GAF. The company promised to build 500 roofs in the Gulf Region. Since 2020, GAF’s Community Matters program has replaced 3,000 roofs for people in need. They especially want to help those who can’t afford repairs on their own, often the elderly and disabled.
You don’t need to be a superhero or a celebrity to bless your community with your gifts—even if your gifts seem small! Real-life heroism doesn’t require Captain America’s shield or Thor’s hammer. Sometimes, heroism might look like grabbing a non-magical hammer and pounding nails into a new roof.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace. — 1 Peter 4:10
(Actor Anthony Mackie, who plays Captain America, helps repair roofs in his home city of New Orleans. AP/Stephen Smith)