We are starting a new series of posts that we hope to update weekly at best, bimonthly at worst. Here we will feature one of our heroes from the Kids Are Heroes web site and talk in depth about what that hero has done and what his or her future plans are. There is no shortage of kids to feature, so we are very much looking forward this project.
At risk of appearing self-serving I think it appropriate that we feature MaryMargaret (my daughter) as our first hero. After all, she is the cofounder of the organization and Kids Are Heroes would not exist if it were not for her.
MaryMargaret has always been an advocate for animals. I guess that can be attributed to the fact that she has grown up with pets in the family. At the age of nine years old she had a birthday party. Instead of gifts she asked that people send donations to the Defenders of Wildlife. She truly wants to prevent certain animals from becoming extinct, especially the orangutan. In the spring of 2006 her two-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog named Charlie founded Wags for Hope which is a local pet therapy organization. Often times she would accompany Charlie and her dad on visits to the nursing home. The residents would be thrilled with her cartwheels and other antics. I remember one night whan a lady came out of her room as she prepared for bed. She wanted to pet Charlie. MaryMargaret said to her, “I like your pajamas!” The lady replied, “You do? Would you like to see my other ones?” And before you knew it MaryMargaret was in the room rummaging through drawers to the woman’s delight.
In March of 2008 she came to her dad and asked him to build her a web site. “I want to help animals” she said. Her dad suggested they help people and the environment as well. On that day Kids Are Heroes was born. This is a web site that promotes and inspires kids to become involved in their communities. She works with her dad to find heroes for the site and to promote it. She is frequently asked to give presentations about it to which she gladly consents. In June of 2008 she and her two friends held a lemonade stand in downtown Frederick. With the proceeds that totalled $600.00, she bought Webkinz which she distributed to the kids at a local cancer camp one month later. In November of 2008 she again gave up her birthday presents. This time the party was a sleepover so she had kids bring new bathrobes, pajamas and slippers to be donated to the Frederick County Community Action Agency. At about the same time she came up with her latest project which she dubbed Music for Life. She aspires to buy 150 MP3 players and distribute them to kids at the Children’s Hospital in Washington DC. When she was just six years old, she had a very scary stay there as we were told she could have leukemia. She was poked, prodded and tested for five days. She is okay now but she really wants to give the gift of music to those kids so they can listen to their favorite songs before and during certain procedures so they might be less afraid. She has held several fund raisers, “twitterthons”, spoken at several venues and has many more similar activities planned throughout the summer. She has collected over $1600.00 so far. (If you would like to donate, please click here.) She has been awarded an opportunity to attend the Junior National Young Leaders Conference sponsored by the Congressional Youth Leadership Council. In April 2008 her web site was “pitched” to Sir Richard Branson as part of his new Pitch TV concept. Five winning pitches would be included as part of the inflight entertainment on all Virgin Atlantic planes for one month. Her web site was indeed chosen as one of the five winners. We can only dream of the opportunities this will bring.
MaryMargaret is ten years old and just getting started. She is very excited, humbled and proud to be included with all the other wonderful kids on the Kids Are Heroes web site.