A SHATTERING TRAGEDY: On Aug. 30, 1992, 8-year-old Timothy Coppola jumped on a friend's bike and raced off without the bike helmet he usually wore. "I was getting supper ready," recalls Peggy, 62. "Then his friend burst in and said he was hit by a car." Severely brain-damaged, Timothy never walked or talked again. On May 26, 1994, he died of complications related to his injuries—at just 10 years old.

A NEW MISSION: Since 1995, Glenn, 55, a Stamford, Conn., cop, and Peggy, a nurse, have raised more than $150,000 to buy 23,000 helmets they hand out at supermarkets and parks. Says Peggy: "We want to prevent any child from suffering what Tim suffered."

Melodye Colucci-Stackpole of Fairfield, Conn., nominated the Coppolas. Send suggestions to HEROESAMONGUS@PEOPLEMAG.COM