A Message From the (New) Publisher

June 22, 2014

But first:

A Message From the (Old) Publisher

I started HeroicStories in 1999 to show that we all have the power to change the world for the better, one simple act at a time. We don’t have to sit and watch injustice, we can do something about it. The stories give examples of how even very small acts can have profound, life-changing effects.

A manifesto guided my publication from its first issue, dated 1 May 1999, until I turned it over to Joyce Schowalter in February, 2003. During her tenure, the manifesto still guided the tone of the stories. And that will continue with its third publisher, Leo Notenboom. It’s a great place to start if you want to understand the idea behind HeroicStories.

Because not much has changed: the mass media still holds up sports figures and other celebrities as “heroes” — and those folks who seek the limelight are forever letting us down, getting arrested, making obligatory trips to rehab centers when they’re caught doing something outrageous, and blowing through enormous sums of money as the rest of us struggle in a terrible economy. Our kids, and their parents, deserve better role models. HeroicStories provides them.

These days we’re all overloaded with e-mail, and it’s hard to decide to sign up for more. HeroicStories are quick reads that get to the point quickly. It’s definitely worth your time. So I not only encourage you to sign up for e-mail delivery, but also to tell your friends about these great stories, and suggest they sign up too. If you need more time in your day to fit HeroicStories in, I suggest tuning out the mass media idolization of celebrities.

—Randy Cassingham

And now…

A Message from the New Guy

My name is Leo Notenboom, and I’m honored to become HeroicStories’ third publisher.

HeroicStories was founded in 1999 by Randy Cassingham of This is True. In 2003 Joyce Schowalter took on the reins as HeroicStories’ publisher. Sadly, and quite unexpectedly, Joyce recently passed away.

It’s now my turn to take HeroicStories forward.

If you’re a long time HeroicStories subscriber my name may sound familiar. Not only a long time supporter of HeroicStories, I was also its webmaster for several years assisting both Joyce and Randy. HeroicStories is not new to me at all, and I remain as committed to its mission today as I was when it called to me 15 years ago:

HeroicStories’ mission is to use the power of the Internet and existing media to bring diverse, international voices to the world to explore the idea that people are good, that individuals and individual action matter, and that regularly showing examples of people being good to each other will inspire similar actions in others.

The future of HeroicStories

The future I have mapped out for HeroicStories is divided into three parts:

In the very near term, say over the next month or two, I’ll be working on the new web site and getting a new infrastructure in place for the long haul. If you subscribe you’ll see only occasional stories and updates as we focus on the technological foundations. [Update August 2, 2014: This phase is complete.]

The next step is story publishing. My current plan is that in August of 2014 HeroicStories will resume regular, weekly (possibly twice-weekly) publication. This second phase will consist of selections from the archive of over 800 previously published HeroicStories. Just glancing through this archive reminds me already of how timeless these stories really are. Even if you’ve been with HeroicStories since day 1, you’ll appreciate these reminders of humanity doing good. [Update August 2, 2014: This phase is underway – we’re publishing stories twice a week!]

The third step will be to resume taking story submissions. I don’t have a timeframe for this yet, but HeroicStories was built on a principle of sharing real stories from real people – that means you. It’s my plan to make sure that continues. [Update: October 8, 2014: We are now accepting new story submissions!]

Other changes at HeroicStories

We’re changing mailing list providers. What this means to you is that you must re-subscribe even if you were subscribed to the “old” HeroicStories. Just use the subscribe form on any page. A reminder or two will be sent to the old HeroicStories mailing list after which it will be discarded.

As they are published, all stories will be archived online at HeroicStories.org for anyone to read at any time. We’ll also be taking your comments directly on each story’s page.

HeroicStories is on Facebook! While complete stories will not be published there, announcements of newly published stories will be. “Like” the HeroicStories Facebook page and you’ll get notifications of new stories and another easy opportunity to share HeroicStories with the world. It’s also a fine place to connect with other HeroicStories fans, as well as yours truly.

The HeroicStories website will become advertising supported to help defray the costs of running the site.

Things that will not change

The mission of HeroicStories will not change. Like Randy and Joyce before me, I honestly believe that people are fundamentally good, that the positive actions of individuals around the world far outweigh the bad, and that sharing stories that exemplify that will encourage others to do the same. It’s why I’m here.

I did look into making HeroicStories a non-profit, but was advised by my attorney that it didn’t qualify. Thus HeroicStories will remain, as it always has been, a for-profit enterprise, using any profits to pay for its ongoing costs.

Thank You!

Thanks for being here, thanks for subscribing, thanks for the Facebook “like”, and thanks for your ongoing support of HeroicStories.

It’s time to change the world … one story at a time.


Leo Notenboom

PS: You’ll also find me answering technical questions over at Ask Leo!. Also online you’ll find my “online business card“.