Our History

In March of 2008, 9-year-old MaryMargaret O'Neill asked her daddy to build her a website to help animals. After agreeing to open it up to helping people and the environment as well, Kids Are Heroes was born.

What began as a father-daughter project quickly developed into something much larger than what the the founders had expected, as people had a visceral reaction to what they were doing.

The marketing director of the local mall called right away to set up an annual "Kids Are Heroes Day" (inaugural event is pictured above). Little did they know that this event would be a major part of the organization as they would attract children who give back from all over the world to network with each other.

  • In 2009 Kids Are Heroes was introduced by Sir Richard Branson on his "PitchTV" show as one of the winning ideas that were pitched for his contest. In 2010 the concept had proven itself beyond any doubt so the corporation was formed and non-profit status achieved. While all this was going on the organization grew their social media following and continued to feature children from all over the world.
  • In 2011 the founders were invited to speak at the Disruptive Thinking Conference in Richmond, Virginia, where 500 entrepreneurs were in attendance. Their presentation received a standing ovation. Sir Richard Branson was the keynote speaker and the founders did get a chance to meet him.
  • MaryMargaret appeared on the Ricki Lake Show in September of 2012 to showcase her organization. 2013 marked the sixth annual Kids Are Heroes Day where four countries were represented: USA, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago and the United Arab Emirates.
  • In 2014 MaryMargaret received the Distinguished Finalist for the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, and also was awarded the title of "Global Teen Leader" through the Three Dot Dash organization. In April of 2014, she spent a week with 29 other GTLs from all over the world and be mentored to expand her organization even further.
  • In July of 2014 MaryMargaret and her family moved to the Atlanta, Georgia suburbs to be closer to their next big event. In February of 2015, she hosted the KAH Young Leaders Summit at the Cobb Galleria with heroes in attendance from all over the world.
  • Since moving to Atlanta, the organization has forged partnerships with the BNI® Foundation, News-O-Matic, The Satya Bharti Foundation and the You Caring initiative and others.