All of this year’s Top 10 CNN Heroes were honored at “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute.” REBROADCAST: This Saturday, Dec. 12 at 8pm ET/PT
The 2015 Top Ten CNN Heroes brought together an incredible group of people who are helping to make the world a better place in their own ways. One thing they all have in common is that they often do their work far from the public spotlight.
When they took the stage at this year’s tribute show, their speeches reflected what is in their hearts and what inspires them to accomplish so much good. We wanted to share some of their words as motivational posters.
Your donations could help them continue their important work. If you feel motivated, learn more about how you can give at CNNHeroes.com.
Sean Gobin served as a U.S. Marine tank commander and saw combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he never had a chance to process his experiences.
Things changed for Gobin when he and a war buddy raised money for disabled vets by hiking more than 2,000 miles along the Appalachian Trail. Gobin realized the hike also helped process his own experiences on the battlefield.
Today, Gobin’s nonprofit, Warrior Hike, provides combat veterans with all the the equipment and supplies they need for their own long-distance hikes.
It was after cycling in and out of prison and homelessness that Kim Carter found her purpose. She was accepted into a rehabilitation program that put her on the path to reclaiming her life.
Today her nonprofit, Time for Change Foundation, provides homeless women with housing, counseling and job training, along with services to help them reunite with their children.
Dr. Jim Withers
For 23 years, Dr. Jim Withers has provided “street medicine” to the homeless in Pittsburgh through Operation Safety Net. Thousands of people have benefited from his expertise and generosity.
What began as his one-man mission in 1992 is now spreading to a worldwide movement through his nonprofit, the Street Medicine Institute.
Through Rochelle Ripley’s nonprofit, hawkwing, she helps deliver housing, health care, employment and new skills to the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. Her work is motivated by a promise to her grandmother.
Ripley’s grandmother taught her about her Native American culture and the struggles faced by their people. Honoring that promise to help them, she and her volunteers have delivered more than $9 million in goods and services.
Geographically, the community of Conetoe is about an hour east of Raleigh, North Carolina, but for many of the people living there, it is in the middle of what many call a “food desert.”
The Rev. Richard Joyner enlisted dozens of young people to help plant, harvest, sell and cook nearly 50,000 pounds of fresh food a year. Together, they are working with the Conetoe Family Life Center to combat preventable diseases and create a healthier community.
For Monique Pool, protecting the planet means protecting sloths, lots of them. She lives in Suriname, where city growth threatens these slow-moving mammals.
While her home is a sanctuary for sloths and other animals, it is not a permanent home for them. Once they are rehabilitated, the Green Heritage Fund Suriname releases them back into the rainforests.
Maggie Doyne’s biggest impact helping the “human family” started 10 years ago, as she traveled the world before college. It was in Nepal that she used her babysitting money to buy a plot of land and start a home for children struggling to survive.
Her nonprofit BlinkNow Foundation provides a home to 50 children and a school that educates hundreds more.
Jody Farley-Berens’ work helping single parents battling cancer began when she saw the need firsthand. She did all she could to help a childhood friend who later passed away from the disease.
Since 2006, Singleton Moms has provided practical, financial and emotional support to more than 300 parents in the Phoenix area.
Dr. Daniel Ivankovich
Fighting for what’s right to Dr. Daniel Ivankovich means treating patients in some of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods, regardless of their ability to pay. To do that, he started the OnePatient Global Health Initiative.
Today, he runs three clinics, performing more than 600 surgeries per year. He says more than 100,000 patients have benefited from the program.
Rajasthan is in India’s driest region, and half of the drinking water does not meet World Health Organization standards. Women and children there often need to walk miles just to water.
Bhagwati Agrawal followed up a successful career working with Fortune 500 companies in the United States by fighting the water crisis in his homeland. He created a network for harvesting rainwater through gutters, pipes and underground reservoirs. Agrawal’s nonprofit Sustainable Innovations provides safe drinking water for more than 10,000 people.