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10-Year Old Forms an Organization, Focusing on Kids Who Make a Difference

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mmtwitter In March of 2008 my 10-year-old daughter came to me and asked me to build her a web site.  After discarding a few frivolous ideas, she said, "I want to help animals!"  I asked her why we don't try and help people too as well as the environment?  She agreed and we formed a "partnership".

Kids Are Heroes is a web site that showcases children who perform outstanding selfless acts for others in their community. The concept is that parents bring their own children to the site for inspiration. Kids see how many other kids are really changing the world and they quickly learn that they can do it too.  What usually happens is a child will read a particular story that triggers something inside them. They do not necessarily mimic the same exact project, instead they use components of a project or two and turn those ideas towards their own passion.

lemonadestand31 We are still a budding organization, but we are starting to see direct evidence of this concept.  We are so excited with the positive visceral reactions of those that "get it".  Since we started we have featured children from all over the US and Canada.  Our effort is indeed growing substantially.  We are starting to speak to schools which is a natural progression for us. We can't wait to see what happens next.

We have been asked how did our 10-year-old, MaryMargaret, come to be this way.  In 2006 my dog Charlie founded Wags for Hope, a local pet therapy group in Frederick, MD.  MaryMargaret and I would take Charlie to a local nursing home to visit the elderly.  MaryMargaret is better at this activity than I am - I realized that early on.  One particular day a lady came out of her bedroom wearing just her pajamas.  She petted Charlie and gave him a smile.  MaryMargaret said to her, "I like your pajamas!" The lady replied, "You do?  Would you like to see the other ones I have?"  And before you know it she was in the lady's room rummaging through her dresser drawers to the lady's delight. Yes I would say that MaryMargaret is a nartural at this sort of thing. That may partly be because we expose her to a lot of this sort of activity.  I think the key is though we never make her (or ourselves) do any of this. If she doesn't feel like visiting the nursing home when I do then we don't make her. I think that is part of the success of Kids Are Heroes - that we don't tell them what project they must do.  We spark their minds and let them find their own passion which keeps them interested in working toward their own goal.

mm-speaking This is a very exciting time for us. Our presence on Twitter has opened many doors.  We are facing a chance to take Kids Are Heroes to a global level through Richard Branson's "Pitch TV" concept. Our pitch is on his blog site right now!  The selected winners get placed on all Virgin Atlantic planes as part of their in-flight entertainment system.  The idea being that businessmen (or wealthy philanthropists in our case) can see the pitch and possible fund it if they are interested.  So please vote for Kids Are Heroes by April 27th. This could be the start of something amazing. Here is the link: http://entrepreneur.virgin.com/vote Thank you!!

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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