This was originally designed to be an exercise where a family could spend some meaningful time together trying to make a difference. Before they knew it, with the emergence of social media, their concept had spread all over the world and they now feature kids from 9 different countries.
Today the father-daughter team just featured their 300th hero, Tyler Kautzman from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On Tyler's 8th birthday, he asked for donations to troops instead of birthday presents which resulted in the acquisition of over 400 lbs of goods that were sent overseas. As a result of his efforts, Tyler became close friends with SSG Edward Greiner who was the recipient of one of the packages. Tragically SSG Greiner lost his life in a motorcycle accident this past March, weeks before he was scheduled to be redeployed to Afghanistan.
Tyler is honoring his friend's memory by hosting a 5k run/walk in his name which will benefit the "Yellow Ribbon Girls", an organization that ships goods to troops overseas. This event is scheduled for July 29th, 2012. See http://www.kidsareheroes.org for more details.
Kids Are Heroes Day 2012
What began as a small idea has bloomed into something major. MaryMargaret and her dad Gabe plan on building the Kids Are Heroes organization into something that can serve families from 200+ countries. They will celebrate their 5th Annual Kids Are Heroes Day on October 27th in their hometown of Frederick, Maryland. This is a day where they celebrate the kids on their website by inviting them to come from all over the world to Maryland and showcase their efforts. This is also important because the kids get to network with each other and become instant friends. So far kids from 3 different countries have confirmed they will be in attendance. Disney TV star Allisyn Ashley Arm, who plays Zora on "So Random" will be the keynote speaker. "We are so lucky to have Allisyn come this year. All the kids are so excited. And it's so neat that she will also meet with all her fans at the event. It's going to be an incredible day", O'Neill said.
"It's not about being a do-gooder", Gabe said. "These kids are picking up all kinds of skills important to their development as compassionate leaders. They are being given opportunities to speak in public, present themselves on video and offered many other ways to boost their confidence."