Updated 07/19/2011 06:40 PM
Austin nonprofit among first to benefit from 'Thriller' jacket
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An East Texas man is using an iconic memento to raise tens of millions of dollars for children around the world.
A local and relatively new nonprofit called Superhero Kids is one of the first to benefit from Milton Verret's generosity.
"There's a lot of companies in this world that can stroke $50 million, $100 checks easy," Verret said.
In the few short weeks Verret has owned Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' jacket, he's cut some pretty substantial checks. The money is from corporate sponsors who are supporting the jacket's charity tour.
"We raised this first $100,000 and we are going to raise millions more," he said.
Tuesday, Verret tore off a $100,000 check for Superhero Kids- an amount more than the Austin nonprofit raised in its entire first year.
After volunteering in Dell Children's Blood and Cancer unit, Samia and John Joseph started the organization in spring of 2010.
"We feel like we've gone from a group of friends in the Austin area who have heard about it and just want to help, to being all over Austin. We've even had some international press too," Samia said.
Superhero Kids helps the families of cancer patients with odds and ends.
"You see the kids sitting there with the needles in their arms, it's pretty emotional," Verret said.
Superhero Kids' unique, personal approach is bringing the group to the forefront of Austin philanthropy.
"It's just taking off, and we have had such an incredible response from the Austin community," Samia said. "We never thought it would get this far. We've always dreamed that we could help as many kids as possible."
It's a thrilling dream that's now coming true.
YNN first introduced you to Superhero Kids in the spring of last year as part of our series on Austin philanthropy.
To see how the nonprofit got its start and how far its come, click here.