Kids Are Heroes

Heroes don’t have to be big.

When I moved to Frederick in November I made a promise to myself that I would get involved in the community here. I’ve joined the Chamber of Commerce. I hang out downtown all the time. I know all the restaurants. But I really wanted to be a part of the community- lift up the place where I lived. I wanted to volunteer my time and talent. And it didn’t take too long to find some great organizations to help out. One of those organizations is Kids Are Heroes.

This evening I was able to meet some very amazing people. Not only are they amazing for the work they do, but because they are kids. Incredible kids. These kids are heroes.

Kids are Heroes is a non-profit based here in Frederick, but the kids involved are from all over the world. I encourage you all to check out their website at and follow them on Twitter at @KidsAreHeroes

In April of 2009, KidsAreHeroes won a global competition that enabled them to have a two minute video pitch featured on Sir Richard Branson’s web site. In addition to that their pitch was shown on all Virgin Atlantic flights during June. With all this great publicity, they need photos for banners and PR materials, and I was honored to be asked to do this for them! I hope the photos help KidsAreHeroes become an even larger organization!

Here are a few photos I took of the kids tonight in Baker Park. Thank you to my honeybunny Joe for helping me out with my cameras and lenses throughout the shoot- seven kids can be a handful! And thank you to all the parents and to Gabe, who co-founded the organization with his daughter, MaryMargaret.

Please leave a comment about these kids or about a child you know doing amazing things- for every comment I receive I’ll make a donation to one of the kids’ organizations… I’ll put all seven groups in a hat and pick one!

For her tenth birthday, MaryMargaret O’Neill had a sleepover party. In lieu of gifts and keeping with the theme she accepted pajamas and slippers for the Frederick Community Action Agency. Through the Kids Are Heroes Day Fountain Coin program she recently was able to donate $475.00 to the Frederick County Animal Shelter. She is also concurrently holding a cell phone drive at her school to benefit Cell Phones for Soldiers.

In April 2008, Evan Frank learned from his children’s church teacher about children dying all over the world due to water bourne diseases. Every 8 seconds a person dies from water related diseases. He rose to the challenge and has made providing clean drinking water “his life’s mission”. Evan began his quest to change the world by doing something he loves – baking brownies and accepting donations for them. He’s been quite creative in his fundraising. He’s performed a series of odd jobs, trick-or-treated for well donations, and continues to bake his brownies. He’s raised over $9,000!
Casey Landahl is a 5-year-old girl who loves to help and care for others. This past year Casey has been planning her Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle birthday party. She decided to ask for donations in place of gifts. Casey loves animals and has a friend at her veterinarian’s office who runs a non-for-profit organization called Pets-4-Pets. They are a no-kill pet rescue group. Casey last year how she could “help the cats” and decided that maybe we could raise money for them. Casey had her party at the local martial arts center where they allowed us to have Pets-4-Pets and their spokes-cat, “Merlot” attend. The martial arts center asked for donations in Casey’s name as well.

Mercy BlouinEscoto (7) has Muscular Dystrophy, chronic lung disease and a few other health issues as well. However that never seems to slow her down or keep her back. Mercy is one of the most polite and thoughtful little girls ever. Just recently she cut off 13 inches of her hair to donate to the Locks of Love. And it was her choice to cut off all of her hair to donate. She would tell us, “You know how you feel really good inside when you help people? That’s how I feel donating my hair, knowing that it will help a child with cancer.” She has also informed us that she plans on doing it again and again to help more children. Even though Mercy deals with a lot of challenges herself, she is always catering to other peoples’ feelings. She has taught us and many others, so much about caring for all types of people no matter what. Mercy is a spokes girl for the Muscular Dystrophy Association; they use her to teach and inform the public about children with physical disabilities. Even though Mercy has been honored by the MDA with events and love, she has never truly been awarded or honored for all the love she gives everyday in her community.
Miranda Mossburg has a special affinity for horses. For her 10th birthday, in lieu of gifts she asked for donations to help repair a barn roof that had been shelter for two of HorseNet Rescue’s older blind horses. Mandy raised more than $400 to help pay for the new roof! The horses must be sequestered because they get bullied by all the other horses.
John Sun is a happy and healthy 9 year old who loves animals and hopes to a veterinarian one day. John has dedicated a great deal of time and effort to raising money and awareness for premature births. To date, John has collected more than 173 lbs. of aluminum cans from his community in order to purchase 50 Boyds Bears miniature stuffed animals for the NICU unit at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. He has delivered 143 gift bags to families of preemies at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital and Frederick Memorial Hospital and served as the honorary NICU Santa at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital this past Christmas. His passion for animals, big and small, led him to Small Angels Rescue, a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing and finding loving homes for small animals including, chinchillas, degus, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, and mice. To date he has raised $425.00 in donations for this organization.
Kyle, age 7, held a Lemonade Stand at his elementary school in Frederick for two days to benefit Dale S., age 11, who was recently diagnosed with Leukemia and is currently in the hospital. Kyle made all of his own signs, and sold over 27 gallons of lemonade! He also collected donations for Dale and his family. Kyle does not know Dale personally, but was happy to sell lemonade and donate the money to a boy and his family that live in our community.
And co-founder Gabe, with his amazing dogs Lily and Charlie!
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