Move over Iron Man, 11-year-old Super Ewan Drum is Detroit’s favorite everyday hero.
By Arianna Smith
Photography by Boswell Hardwick
Superheroes don’t always have to be flashy, costumed characters flying spaceships on the big screen. Sometimes, they can be an 11-year-old boy from New Haven, Michigan, with a red cape and a desire to help others.
Ewan Drum, who goes by “Super Ewan,” became a changemaker at age 7 in 2014, when he decided he wanted to become a hero for the homeless in Metro Detroit.
Super Ewan Inc. is a nonprofit that advocates for the homeless, the hungry and the struggling, and it was all Ewan’s idea. He thought he’d have to wait until he was a little older to start helping people, but his parents assured him he could begin immediately.
“We started because we wanted to help out the homeless and help others,” Ewan says. “There’s no better way to do that than by doing it yourself in the .”
What started as an experimental trip to Detroit to pass out sack lunches and bottled water has blossomed into a full-fledged, humanitarian nonprofit, all thanks to Ewan’s creativity and resolve. Now, Ewan and his supportive family — affectionately nicknamed “sidekicks” — deliver food and supplies to those in need on the second and fourth Sunday of each month on their “adventures” to places like Roosevelt Park. According to his mother, Angela Drum, Ewan is the driving force behind the organization and is present at each excursion, rain or shine, eager to make life a little easier for those in need.
Donations and sponsorships inspired by Ewan’s efforts have allowed Super Ewan to host events like Hope for the Holidays, which provides presents for children and their parents, deliver Thanksgiving dinners to families and host book and clothing drives at his school.
Ewan doesn’t just want to supply physical items, either. On his adventures, he strives to make a connection with the people he assists by talking to them, playing games and interacting with them in a way other people may not on a day-to-day basis.
One of the people he’s helped is Brittany Hendricks of Detroit, who says she still remembers the smile on his face as he handed her a turkey last Thanksgiving.
“He was just so happy to help, I couldn’t help but smile, too,” Hendricks says. “We were grateful, and you could tell he wasn’t being forced by his school or parents or anybody. He genuinely wanted to help us.”
Ewan has won no shortage of awards and recognition for what he does.
“Ewan was a guest speaker at our annual Women’s Life volunteer dinner,” says Lisa Kenny, a marketing specialist at Sanilac Broadcasting Company. “His story had a room full of us in tears. It was so inspiring.”
Last May, he was honored in Washington, D.C., as a Prudential Spirit of Community Award Honoree, and he’s won two President’s Volunteer Service Awards. He’s been featured in documentaries and nominated for numerous awards, including the “Imagine If, With JIF” program, but he’s not in it for any glory or applause, or even the chance to meet celebrities like Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps. For Ewan, the most important thing is helping less fortunate people.
Super Ewan Drum doesn’t need telekinesis or X-ray vision to be a superhero because he has the mightiest superpower of all — a huge, helping heart.
Ewan is a SEEN 2018 Young Changemaker. Read more about the finalists: