Knowing (how to help) is half the battle

Storm Shadow of Cobra 1st Legion

Not all of our hunger heroes wear masks and capes — but Cobra 1st Legion does.

They’re a group of friends who dress as their favorite “G.I. Joe” characters for dramatic photo shoots at places like Alcatraz and the U.S.S. Hornet. While it’s a lot of fun, Storm Shadow (also known as Matt) wondered what more they had the power to do.

“If we can do this for vanity, what can we do for charity?” he asked himself.

His crew already had the costumes — they just needed to do some good deeds.

They started with “Operation Fork,” a pre-Halloween party with costumes, music and more at a bar in Alameda. At their first event, they collected 100 pounds of food.

“A lot of people really want to help, they’re just not exactly sure how they can,” Matt said. “My idea was to give people a way to help while doing something they’re already doing.”

For their next party, Matt aimed higher. He talked bands into playing a benefit concert, and the venue chipped in by providing the space for free. The price of admission was a few cans of food.

“If people want to dance and have fun — they can do that and help out their neighbors by donating.”

This time, they collected 170 pounds of food from 70 attendees.

Though Matt dresses up as a fictional character, he says “your true character is measured by what you do for others.”

“Food is the greatest need we have, and inspiring others to help is the least we can do.”

No mask or cape required.

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