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Founder of Kids Are Heroes a Finalist in Role Model Competition

Local philanthropist being featured by Discovery Girls Magazine.

PRLog (Press Release) – Sep 07, 2010 – MaryMargaret O’Neill, an eleven-year-old from Ijamsville, is a finalist in the Discovery Girls Magazine Role Model contest.  She was chosen as one of 30 from thousands of entries from all over the US and Canada.  Voting began September 1 on the Discovery Girls web site so that the top 10 will be selected to go to California and be featured in an upcoming issue of their magazine.  Supporters of MaryMargaret can vote once a day through the entire month of September to help put her in the top 10.  The link to the contest is: Registration is required to vote.  Once that has been completed people can simply find her picture and click the “Vote for MaryMargaret” link underneath it once every 24 hours.  MaryMargaret’s dad even set up an email subscription site so that people could be reminded each day to vote.  That link is  “This would mean so much for our charity.” MaryMargaret said.  

In March of 2008, MaryMargaret, then just nine years old, founded a non-profit organization called Kids Are Heroes (see  This web site inspires children to get involved in their communities at a very young age by showcasing those that are already making great strides to change the world.  In just two years the organization has grown substantially.  They had their video featured on Virgin Atlantic planes for a month, partnered with an ex-NFL player who travels the country speaking about the kids’ stories, have featured over 100 children from all over the US, Canada, Europe and recently Africa and established a collaboration with a company called MAGPI, which plans to broadcast live presentations of heroes from around the country to schools in the US and Canada during live video conferencing events.  (The first one is scheduled for December 8.)  They have even been approached by an Emmy award winning filmmaker to produce a documentary.

Besides featuring other children, MaryMargaret is quite the young philanthropist herself.  It began on her ninth birthday when she gave up her birthday gifts in lieu of donations to the Defenders of Wildlife.  The following year she hosted a lemonade stand with two of her friends which raised $600.  They used that money to buy Webkinz and donated them to a local cancer camp for children.  She instigated a cell phone drive at her school which yielded 150 used cell phones.  These phones were turned into prepaid phone cards to be used by our troops stationed around the world.  For her 10th birthday she had a sleepover party.  Attendants were asked to bring bathrobes, pajamas and slippers so they could be given to her local shelter.  In 2009-2010 MaryMargaret’s most ambitious task was to raise enough money to buy 150 MP3 players to benefit sick children in hospitals.  Having spent 10 harrowing days in the hospital when she was just six years old, she knew how scary things could be for kids.  She hosted dozens of fund raisers over the course of a year and surpassed her goal.  In the spring of 2010 she donated 125 pre-loaded MP3 players to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore and another 125 to Children’s Medical Center in Washington D.C.  In the summer of 2010 she won the Nestlé Drumstick Hero Award given for her philanthropic achievements.  This award consisted of 56 ice cream cones, shirts, hats, games and other items to host a party for her friends.  Instead of using those items for herself, she donated all the proceeds to needy families through the Community Action Agency of Frederick.  MaryMargaret’s current project is called “Black to Blue” which is an effort to raise $5000 to help clean up the animals devastated by the disastrous Gulf oil spill.  If you would like to donate to this effort please visit

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About Kids Are Heroes: We are a non-profit that showcases children who do amazing things for others with no consideration of their own benefit. We encourage this activity in all kids as it boosts self-confidence and builds leadership skills.



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