Local woman’s superhero effort helps boost kids’ spirits


Linda Schlechter began dressing up as Batgirl for her grandson

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A real-life superhero is raising the spirits of kids shut in by the coronavirus.

As thousands of children spend another week isolated from friends and shut out of many summer activities, one woman is trying to make things better. Linda Schlechter is a grandmother of a boy with Crohn’s disease, which requires a trip to the hospital every five weeks or so. It’s an unpleasant, painful disease to cope with according to Linda so she did what good grandmas do to try and relieve the pain of a child. 

“I thought ‘what can I do to put a smile on his face and make him forget about this for a few minutes?’ so that’s where Batgirl started,” Schlecter explained.

Schlechter runs a food bank and sells real estate for a living, but her true calling has been the role she plays behind the mask. She dresses up as Batgirl which makes her grandson smile a little — but she wasn’t content to stop there.

She’s since visited other neighborhoods — a superhero distraction for kids stuck at home. 

“Kids have been so secluded for far too long — not going to school, not able to see their friends,” she said. I just wanted to put a smile on their face and let them know that there’s a superhero out there that is on their side and we’re all going to get through this together.”

Saba Nisar’s kids got a visit as did other neighbor kids — it raised the spirits and provided an exciting distraction for kids stuck in the times we live in.  

“To your kids, Linda is the coronavirus fighter maybe,” Saba Nisar said. “They don’t understand what’s happening, so to see someone — a superhero show up, it was exciting for them. For that day and many more days, they remember that time and they really feel happy.”

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