From Spider-Man to the Mandalorian, SoCal nonprofit brings superhero help to those in need

Not all superheroes wear capes, but this one often does!

Jessica De Nova Image
Thursday, April 13, 2023
SoCal group brings superheroes to help brighten lives of kids in need
After five years battling depression, Yuri Williams channeled his favorite superhero to help children and families in need in Southern California.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- Not all superheroes wear capes, but this one often does!

An Orange County probation officer is leading a nonprofit organization that brings cheer to people in need.

"My mother taught me to show love and compassion to people and that's what she did as a probation officer for 30 plus years," said Yuri Williams, who's fulfilling his mission to uplift children, one hug and gift at a time. "I just want to be able to keep her name alive by doing what she taught me."

That wasn't always life for Williams.

He said he fell into a dark depression after his mother's death.

"When she passed away, I felt like I passed away with her," he said.

After five years battling depression, Williams reached back into his childhood and channeled his favorite superhero. Then, one visit to Skid Row to make the homeless smile changed the direction of his life.

Williams is now the founder of "A Future Superhero and Friends," a nonprofit that helps guide youth through art.

Whether it be The Mandalorian, Deadpool, Spider-Man or a Star Wars stormtrooper, Williams brightens the days of those going through some of the toughest moments in their lives.

During the holidays, the "Santalorian" makes stops across all 50 states.

"Seeing the child smile just for that 15 to 30 minutes that I'm there, like I said, a lot of these parents need that relief," he said. "Because some of these families I visit they actually can't leave their home due to immune diseases and things of that nature."

His acts of kindness even caught the attention of Good Morning America, and then a surprise visit from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.