Who We Are

The Valentine Project is a family endeavor
close to all of our hearts.



Greg Margida, Co-Founder & Executive Director, San Francisco Branch

Greg co-founded The Valentine Project in 2010 while he was still in high school in Alliance, Ohio. Greg met Karlie Plas at a camp for kids with cancer; The Valentine Project is in honor of her. Gradually, our family and theirs became close. As a teenager, he already understood that loving service to others was not just a duty, it was a privilege. His number one goal was always to make Karlie smile, and now he works to send children love, hope, and joy in Karlie’s memory. He serves on our Board of Directors and is the Founding Executive Director of our recently formed San Francisco branch of The Valentine Project. Greg is a graduate of Grinnell College, and currently works in Disaster Management and Preparedness for the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. He plans to attend graduate school next year. In his free time, he is training for his next half marathon, learning to navigate San Francisco life on a budget, and always dreaming up new ways to help more children whose lives are affected by cancer or chronic illness. He is our networker-in-chief, always bringing people together to support The Valentine Project. We are very grateful for Greg’s determination and dedication, helping The Valentine Project serve more and more children each year.



Andrea Margida, President, Ohio Branch

Andrea is The Valentine Project’s president, but perhaps just as important, she is Michaela and Greg’s mom. She is the behind-the-scenes mastermind of The Valentine Project, the chairwoman of thank-you notes to volunteers and sponsors, and the shipping operator, making sure each child receives their care package on time and intact. Andrea has made The Valentine Project her top priority, and she performs her job tasks each year with infinite love and dedication. In her spare time, she enjoys visiting her children in San Francisco and Toledo; cooking and baking delicious goodies for volunteers; spending time with her husband, Anthony, on their family farm; and teaching visitors from the community about sustainable agriculture with her herd of adorable cattle and happy hens as teaching assistants.



Michaela Margida, Co-Founder
Social Media Director

Michaela, along with her brother Greg, co-founded The Valentine Project in 2010 to help ease the isolation cancer patients and their siblings feel on Valentine’s Day. Currently, she serves as Social Media Director for The Valentine Project and is passionate about making the world a kinder, more loving place. Michaela earned her bachelor’s degree from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, her master’s is from Duke University, and she is currently pursuing her doctorate in environmental science at the University of Toledo. She plans to work as a college professor, teaching students how to take better care of the earth. When she’s not at school or work, she likes to run marathons and ultramarathons (in August 2017 she will run her 14th!), spend every possible moment outdoors, and pamper the family dog – Breezy. She loves animals and people of all shapes and sizes, and believes that in order to change the world, kindness starts at home.