My name is Gabe O’Neill and I live in Ijamsville, MD, which is a suburb of Frederick. I live here with my wife, daughter, our Bernese Mountain dog Charlie and a cat that barely tolerates me. I absolutely LOVE living in Frederick. It is such a wonderful city and a good place to raise children. All my contact information is below in my clickable business card.
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I speak publicly about the benefits of volunteerism for children as it relates to our non-profit Kids Are Heroes®. I also speak about how to make sure your children aren’t sabotaging themselves through their social media experiences. For more information on these presentations, click here. I am also available for consulting work in a variety of disciplines. Please see a copy of my full resume here, and here is my public profile on LinkedIn. I have many skills to offer and have a proven track record of getting things done.
I was born in Ontario, Canada. After a quick detour to Montreal, Quebec I then moved to Miami, Florida for my high school years. It was back up to Canada for my degree which was obtained from the University of Guelph. I settled right in the middle of the two places – in Maryland in 1977.
I have been in software development for quite a few years now. I build web sites, program in C++ and in PHP. I had the privilege of being introduced by Bill Gates on national television in 1993 as I demonstrated the product I built with my team. I have a unique blend of technical and social media skills that I utilize frequently to think outside the box when it comes to furthering our philanthropic causes. I’m also available for social media coaching, as I love to share what I have learned over the past several years. I work hard at it every day, and fully understand that there are no shortcuts However, I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t see the rewards and believe me I have seen plenty. Through social media we have brought Kids Are Heroes to the attention of thousands of people all over the world.
In 2006 my dog Charlie founded Wags for Hope, which is a local volunteer pet group that visits nursing homes. This is now a thriving non-profit that boasts well over 100 animal teams out visiting people in nursing homes and hospitals in several surrounding counties. In 2008 my then nine-year-old daughter MaryMargaret and I founded “Kids are Heroes“. This is a non-profit that gets kids involved in philanthropy at an early age which besides helping the planet, boosts self confidence and sharpens leadership skills. We do this by showcasing kids on our web site who are doing amazing things for others with no consideration of their own benefit. In April of 2009 we were lucky enough to win a contest organized by Sir Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin companies, which promoted our video pitch on all Virgin Atlantic planes for the month of June 2009. (We were also fortunate enough to meet Sir Richard in person in September of 2011 as MaryMargaret and I presented Kids Are Heroes in front of 500 social entrepreneurs. You can view this presentation here. ) In early 2010 we forged a relationship with ex-NFL star Levar Fisher, who tours the county motivating and inspiring our youth. Just recently we started the KAH Ambassador and Outreach programs which, through social media, enlist the help of people all over the world to boost our profile and grow our organization.
I had an itch to write a book about my experiences with Wags for Hope, but you all know how that goes. I discovered I could quench that thirst by blogging. I started in July of 2008, and in December of that same year I discovered Twitter. (I tweet both KidsAreHeroes and GabeONeill.) I feel that Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are perfect platforms to spread the word about Kids Are Heroes, since all are global applications. My fascination with social media is second only to my passion for Kids Are Heroes, and I am always seeking out ways to use what I have learned about social media to further the KAH cause.
As a matter of fact, our passion for it got us noticed by Mashable.com, as they deemed us as one of the “5 Must-Follow Non-Profits Making a Difference in Social Media” in November of 2010. I love to hear feedback and share what I have learned so don’t be shy in connecting with me. As a matter of fact, I have recently written an ebook titled “Social Media: A Straightforward Approach”. If you’d like to get a copy sign up for one of my “social media makeover” sessions.
More recently we have been producing our own videos for Kids Are Heroes, with the hopes of one of them going viral one day. Along the way we are learning more and more about video production and motion graphics on a tight budget. Thanks to TechSoup, an organization that provides deeply discounted prices to non-profits, we were able to acquire Adobe’s After Effects program for just $90. This is an incredibly versatile program that helps the layman produce more professional looking videos. So with a Flip video camera, After Effects and some green screen technology, we are off to the races to create that viral video. We welcome suggestion and are also open to discussion as they pertain to our experiences. I am also available for After Effects consulting if you should need any.
If you would like to contact me directly, feel free to do so by using the clickable business card below. I am available for personal and team social media coaching and connecting.