Back in February of 2008, Gabe O'Neill watched an interview with Sir Richard Branson about social entrepreneurship, which is about using technology and ideas to help solve social problems. So when his 9-year-old daughter, MaryMargaret, asked Gabe if he'd help her build a website about helping animals, they talked about what Sir Branson said and decided to create a site that would highlight the efforts of kids who were working hard to make a difference for others.
At the beginning, MaryMargaret found her heroes by reading local newspapers. Then she began branching out with social media to discover heroes not only across the United States but from all around the world. Kids Are Heroes was born, and over the last few years, MaryMargaret has featured hundreds of young heroes while amassing more than 83,000 followers on Twitter and more than 5,000 fans on Facebook.
"Our mission at Kids Are Heroes is to empower children from all cultures to become social change agents." By showcasing the stories of hundreds of kids from all over the world who are creating a better planet for all of us, we empower children to effect positive change in the world, among their peers, and especially within themselves. We provide a gateway to leadership, self-confidence, and compassion for all children. We believe kids are heroes and each one has the power to change the world! Our kids are drilling water wells in Africa, feeding and clothing orphans in India, and standing up for their causes. They are recycling and cleaning up their neighborhoods, helping their local animal shelters and making life better for their neighbors."
And that is why MaryMargaret O'Neill is long overdue in being named our Peace Fund Hero of the Week. She shows us that heroes can come in all shapes in sizes, and she teaches us that protecting, educating, and aiding children everywhere can happen in all kinds of varieties, from those who swim across frigid bodies of water or climb the world's highest mountains to those who provide book and shoes to those who've never had them, to those who use their other specific talents to create unique ways to raise money and awareness for children's causes.