Santa Clarita resident Jiten Pandya grew up loving superheroes.
He fell in love with their willingness to save people, jaw-dropping superpowers and unique personalities.
Out of all the superheroes from Marvel to DC, Spider-Man is his favorite.
Not because of his super-fast reflexes or fearless dives off of buildings, but for his goofy personality.
Pandya loves superheroes so much he aspired to be his own and become the “Santa Clarita Valley Spider-Man.”
Pandya has made his dreams come true, but not by obtaining Spidey senses, the ability to crawl on walls or shoot webs out of his wrists. He did it by becoming the owner of Superheroes Visit, a nonprofit aimed to give back to others in need in the SCV.
Superheroes Visit was formed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Being a longtime fan of Spider-Man, Pandya had come to collect a few Spider-Man suits and customize his motorcycle to replicate the spider web pattern found on the Marvel superhero’s suit.
His wife, Lindsay Pandya, suggested he use his memorabilia for a greater, yet simple, purpose – saying hi to kids to cheer them up. Her suggestion came from her background of being a psychologist.
He began paying socially distant visits to children and offering “words of encouragement.”
As more restrictions were lifted during the pandemic, he expanded his hellos to appearances at birthday parties.
There was another area he needed to expand – his team.
Parents began to ask him, “Where is someone for the girls?”
Pandya looked at the woman who suggested the idea in the first place and recruited his wife as Wonder Woman. He additionally recruited his son as Superman.
All of his families’ appearances were free, but people constantly tried to give him money.
After so many “no thank yous,” he had the idea to put the offered money to good use.
Superheroes Visit was born into being a nonprofit, a way to give back to local community members in need and other nonprofits.
“I felt something was missing when I retired,” said Pandya.
Superheroes Visit fulfilled Pandya’s retirement with every toy donation or crystal of protection given out, and visits to hospitals, schools and other nonprofits.
The requirement to have a visit from Spidey and his team: a donation of any amount.
“It is important, especially in times like this, to encourage children to develop meaningful relationships with others,” said Pandya. “We help them feel valued and to provide a sense of connectedness and belonging. Our mission is to tell the children we meet that they too can be their own superhero and dreams can come true.”
Superheroes Visit has collaborated with the following community organizations since its beginning in August 2021: Michael Hoefflin Foundation, Project Sebastian, Shriners Hospital, American Cancer Society, Children’s Hospital L.A., Free To Be Me and Circle of Hope.
Pandya’s nonprofit serves the community, but it also serves himself as a way to be unapologetically himself.
“I never grew up,” joked Pandya. “I needed that message.”
Pandya relayed that the end of 2023 will mark the end of Superheroes Visit. This is due to the high costs of self-funding the nonprofit.
He will be hanging up the mask, but there will always be a superhero under it.
More information can be found at www.superheroesvisit.net.