Every day children surround us, whether it’s when we walk down the street, go to the store, go to work, or whether it’s because we’re lucky to have children in our family and a part of our everyday lives. With that said, how often do we think of children as heroes?
That’s what so inspired me when I learned about Kids Are Heroes.org . I realized that kids, both mine and yours, can be just that! A hero exists in all children if given the opportunity. And thanks to the dedication and inspiration of one dad and his daughter, we can all celebrate this.
At its core, Kids Are Heroes is dedicated to teaching kids about giving to others at an early age. The site was started when Gabe O’Neill’s daughter, MaryMargaret, asked him if he’d build a website for her so they could work on it together.
Kids Are Heroes profiles children from all over the world through age 18 who do outstanding things for their communities, the world, or a specific organization. The site is designed to inspire our children to become involved in the act of giving by learning from other kid heroes who are doing amazing things and then getting involved themselves.
To give you an idea take Simone’s story as one example. Due to the difficulty of finding volunteer opportunities in her area, she created a website that helps teens easily find local nonprofits where they can offer their community service. Her website was so successful that she was inspired to organize the first Youth and Family Volunteer Fair at her local Children’s Museum—over 550 people attended.
You can also look at Cameron’s story and see the unbelievable things that these children are doing. Cameron, who was diagnosed with a benign bone tumor in his leg when he was 11, taught himself how to develop iPhone and iPod Touch apps by watching and reading what he could find on the Internet. Months later it paid off and Cameron’s app, iSketch, was accepted by Apple and put into the iTunes store. Cameron decided that he would donate the money he made from the app to the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA.
Kids Are Heroes is based in Maryland but that doesn’t mean they aren’t gathering a huge national following. As a matter of fact, as a result of their efforts, that’s exactly what they’re doing. In my recent interview with MaryMargaret and her dad Gabe, they shared that their goal is to become an international site and to let each and every family know how they can get involved.
Getting involved includes a host of ideas provided by the kids featured on the site; this includes holding charity drives such as Cell Phones for Soldiers or backpack donations. Or educating your school or community about epilepsy, sharing your love for reading by doing so to others, or having a pajama sleep over party where new sets of PJ’s are donated to your local homeless shelter.
If you’d like to do more, you can become a Kids Are Heroes Ambassador with the goal of using whatever special talent you have as a parent or child to engage others in this worthwhile program. At Yoursphere, we’ve featured MaryMargaret’s video in our “Causes sphere” to let our members know about this great site. As well, because the organization is a non-profit, they rely on sponsors and donations. We’ve added KidsAreHeros to our gift gallery so that our members can redeem their credits and make a donation to the site.
No wonder dad Gabe says, “In the end, I never have a bad day because of the work I do.”
You inspire me, Gabe and MaryMargaret.