• Dave Alexander

    2017 Adult Award Winner

    Dave has followed the Boy Scout Law since his early years as a Scout. The law urges boys to always do the right thing, and Dave kept this in mind as he built a flourishing business. Success fueled his passion for helping others, and he has given his money and time to many causes. He is especially committed to charities that help children, and he and and his wife, Marilyn, give to the Boy Scouts of America, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Teen Lifeline, and Victory Junction, a summer camp for children who are severely handicapped or terminally ill. He is also a major supporter of Make-A-Wish Arizona and the Cranio-Facial Foundation, which helps and mentors children who need facial reconstruction.  Dave also set up a matching donation program for his employees because he believes giving back is the right thing to do.  "I tell them to live by the Scout Law and always remember to be prepared. I encourage them to search out what they want to do, then run with it to the end.” And as they follow their chosen paths, he urges them to remember that “success is being able to give back to society and those in need.”

  • Jim Hebets

    2017 Adult Award Winner

    Jim continues to drive the dream of a world in which all kids are safe from abuse and neglect.  As executive vice president of the national board of directors for Childhelp, he serves abused and neglected children.  His business expertise, deep involvement, and generous donations have shaped the future of Childhelp and a wide range of groups that assist children.  His wife, Carol, shares his passion for this mission. “It’s not just the money we give or the finances we direct that matter,” he explains. “What makes even more of an impact is the time we spend connecting with many unbelievable people: both the children and families we serve and Childhelp’s 600-plus employees, who have devoted their lives to helping kids all over the nation.”

  • Ken and Marjorie Blanchard

    2017 Adult Award Winner

    Ken has changed the way companies lead their people and drive results. In several bestselling books, he describes the value of bringing a caring culture to business, like he does at the company he runs with Marjorie, his wife. All their employees receive paid time off to do community service and get part of company profits to donate to a charity of their choice. Giving back, the Blanchards believe, inspires employees to perform at the highest level they can  Their expertise has earned them global renown as management gurus. Yet it just takes a minute to reveal the simple secret of their success. “You don’t learn to be a great leader in your head,” Ken says. “It starts in your heart, then in your head, then moves to your hands.” That’s how you lead at a higher level and bring out your people’s best.  

  • Sherry and Bob Jason

    2017 Adult Award Winner

    Sherry and Bob Jason have helped kids say yes to the arts for 32 years. Their program, City Hearts, provides classes in the visual and performing arts to impoverished kids in Southern California. Too many promising kids fail in society and school, as the Jasons saw while working as public defenders. Frustrated by the waste of lives, they began an intervention program that provides thousands of kids with the chance to learn about discipline, be creative, and fulfill their dreams.  Sherry and Bob have brought the dream of a better life to 40,000 students at 10 different schools.  “Caring,” Bob explains, “comes from realizing you’re part of a greater whole and you’re responsible for leaving the community a better place than you found it.”

  • Val J. Halamandaris

    2017 Adult Award Winner

    Val lost himself in service to others. As Caring Institute founder and director for 33 years, he helped hundreds of Caring Award winners to get funds and volunteers to build a more caring world. His support inspired them to carry on their mission, and this was just part of his crusade to win the “last great civil rights battle” for society’s weakest members. As president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice for 35 years, he broadened support for home health in the halls of Congress and in the hearts of people nationwide. Thanks to his efforts, the Medicare home health benefit and hospice benefit now provide millions of the aged, disabled, and ill with needed care at home. And he founded CARING Magazine, which promotes selfless public service — an ideal he lived by until the end.

  • Cory Nichols

    New York

    2017 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Cory wants people to see the difference that caring makes. He did after watching a documentary film showing that one in five people in his community of Long Island were going hungry. So he founded C the Difference: Cory Cares, a group that has fed thousands of families and delivered tens of thousands of pounds of food.  His success so far has shown him that “there’s no idea too big or too small. Every dollar and every amount makes a difference.” Cory urges other children to feed their souls by looking for their own ways to give back. “If you have an idea,” he says, “just do it. It doesn’t have to be food. There are opportunities to help everywhere.”

  • Katie Prior

    Oklahoma

    2017 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Katie founded Youth Trumpet & Taps Corps after learning that many veterans are laid to rest to a recording of Taps, instead of a live tribute. Her organization has trained high school trumpeters in 30 states to give vets the final salute they deserve.  “Anyone can use their gifts to serve their communities or those around them,” she says. “It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to do something you love and still serve other people.”

  • Maria Keller

    Minnesota

    2017 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Maria’s favorite book is The Book Thief, and it has inspired her to give two million books away. She collects them through her organization Read Indeed and distributes them throughout the U.S. and the world.  “Books expose readers to so many new ideas and experiences,” she says. “Reading allows them to explore new worlds and cultures. Once you really become a reader, someone who loves books, you just want to keep reading all the time” — and you want to share your passion with the world.

  • N’Jhari Jackson

    Florida

    2017 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 14

    N’Jhari is an entrepreneur of caring who has raised thousands of dollars for those in need. His many projects include providing hospitalized children with stuffed animal friends and donating medical equipment to schools. He has also given 1,200 pairs of “kool sox” to underprivileged kids and helped cover the medical costs of a girl with kidney cancer.  When he launched his Pajama Buddies drive, his initial goal was to use his own savings to comfort the children at Shriners. Help from his fellow Boy Scouts, classmates, and community members let him expand his reach to four local hospitals and launch Pajama Drab Bags, which donates backpacks filled with books, games, and puzzles to hospitalized children. To date, N’Jhari has delivered over 4,000 Pajama Drab Bags to children across the US, Germany, and China.

  • Paloma Rambana

    Florida

    2017 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 11

    Paloma is legally blind, but she has a keen sense of vision. She can’t see beyond the big E at the very top of the eye chart, but her sense of caring knows no bounds. Paloma has raised over $1,250,000 to help other children like her. The 11-year-old Florida tween knows that blind or visually impaired kids can succeed if they get the tools they need to read and function in the classroom. “Experts say that 80 percent of learning happens through our eyes,” Paloma explains. “That’s why blind and visually impaired children like me often feel lonely and struggle in school. But with the right skills, equipment, and training, we really can be anything we want to be.” 

  • Annette March-Grier

    Roberta’s House

    Baltimore, Maryland, United States

    2016 Adult Award Winner

    Annette March-Grier helps Baltimore's grieving children heal after a relative's death. Many kids face this trauma since Baltimore is a violent place. Yet the city has few resources to help them cope. "It is no secret that grief has become a public health problem," March-Grier says. That's where she steps in as a bereavement counselor and registered nurse. Since 2008, her organization, Roberta's House, has provided grief support to more than 2,300 children and families who have lost a loved one. They're much like the grieving people she watched while growing up in her parents' funeral home, where she often heard her mother comfort grieving families. "She was the epitome of compassion, and she taught me that," March-Grier recalls. Now she passes on these lessons in kindness through seven different programs, including educational workshops and volunteer training, internships for mental health professionals, and peer support groups for high-risk teens who have suffered multiple losses. "Unresolved grief can cause people to go through life severely wounded," she says. "Our goal is to help people understand that grief does not have to destroy them."

  • Dale Brown

    Dale Brown Foundation

    Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States

    2016 Adult Award Winner

    Dale Brown tells parents "sports should not define your child." And his career in sports doesn't define him through he was one of the most successful basketball coaches in U.S. history. He's also a philanthropist who has helped thousands. Brown has volunteered for Mother Teresa in Calcutta and aided hurricane victims. He has held basketball camps for Native Americans and fought for them to get promised educational funding. He has helped needy college athletes get their degrees and taken his teams to Carville Leper Colony and Angola State Penitentiary, where he campaigned for a prisoner's pardon. And he has served up many inspiring programs that motivate both individuals and teams since retiring from Louisiana State University in 1997. His grand slam speeches on winning in life include one called "We Are All In This Together." And he has shown what this means by looking beyond himself. All the good deeds he's racked up define him as much as the 15 consecutive wins he led his men to at LSU. "The best leaders are servant leaders," he knows. "It is always about others."

  • Emmanuel Ohonme

    Samaritan's Feet

    Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

    2016 Adult Award Winner

    Manny Ohonme has taken giant strides to provide children with shoes. He learned the difference they make at age nine when a missionary in Nigeria gave him his first pair of shoes and told him to dream big. That gift of hope inspired him to win a scholarship to a U.S. college and start his own technology business. He had climbed the ladder of success, but he never forgot the Good Samaritan who urged him to follow his dreams or the children of his homeland. On a visit there in 2003, he saw barefoot children, and their plight inspired him to start Samaritan's Feet, an organization that has distributed five million pairs of shoes to children in 65 countries. Someday he hopes to give shoes to 10 million children, so each year, he holds a "Barefoot Gala" to get people involved in his cause. "Our legacy should be created based on what we do for others," he tells them. "We will never know the impact of the ripple effect of our actions and obedience if we sit on the sidelines as spectators."

  • John and Joyce Wanda

    Arlington Academy of Hope

    Arlington, Virginia, United States

    2016 Adult Award Winner

    John and Joyce Wanda are building a community of hope. They provide education, health care, and opportunity for children in rural Uganda, where classes are overcrowded, learning is done on empty stomachs, and malaria keeps many kids home. These problems are familiar to the couple who grew up there and came to America in 1995 after winning a lottery visa. Once here, they settled in Arlington, home to some of the nation's top schools. After seeing the opportunities their kids had, the Wandas wanted to give children in their home villages the same chances to succeed. They began by providing tuition in 1999 for five children and soon had raised enough support to fund 300 students at a model primary school that would fulfill all of the children's basic needs. They also run a farm that trains students and community members in modern farming techniques that should someday make the village vibrant enough to help support the school. "We know we can't do this alone," John says. "This belongs to the village and everyone who lives in it is our partner."

  • John Lovejoy, MD

    CRUDEM Foundation

    Milot, Haiti

    2016 Adult Award Winner

    Around Christmas time, Dr. Lovejoy used to send a special bill to patients in financial straits. It read "Merry Christmas. Paid in Full." And while the patients' pockets were empty, the young orthopedic surgeon's heart was full of concern for those in need. For 41 years, he has gone to the Caribbean island of Grenada to upgrade medical equipment, build an arthroscopic system, and arrange for local surgeons to get training in the U.S. He also provided medical care in Haiti, and the poverty-stricken nation needed him even more after an earthquake in 2010. Within five days, Lovejoy and his medical team were in Haiti, performing hundreds of surgeries each week. Many of them were amputations because there were no certified prosthetists in the country. So he funded and built a state-of-the art prosthetic lab and then shipped it to Haiti. He has also convinced over 500 orthopedic surgeons to join his medical missions, mentor Haitian surgeons, or just leave their mark at home. "I encourage them to give back to their communities," he says, "and help those who cannot afford their care."

  • Emily Lites

    Roanoke, Texas, United States

    2016 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Emily spreads smiles by delivering small boxes of toys, gifts, and games to young hospital patients and their siblings. She knows how sad they are because she, too, was sad when her baby brother suffered a stroke while in the womb. After his birth, her family spent a lot of time at the hospital where she started Emily's Smile Boxes to provide other kids with activities and fun. Since then, she has raised more than $100,000, passed out 11,000 boxes, and inspired other kids to hold box-building events nationwide. Emily says she intends to keep going until every child stuck in a hospital has a box in their hands and a smile on their face. "I have a passion for helping others, and I want to prove that people can make a difference in the world."

  • Kenan Mujkanovic

    Bowling Green, Kentucky, United States

    2016 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Kenan has a vision of a world without violence or need. He knows something about both because he's the son of Bosnian immigrants who fled the 1995 massacre that claimed nearly 9,000 lives. Their ordeal inspired him to start the Young Visionaries Foundation to assist the needy in Bowling Green and beyond. On Thanksgiving, he gave away 300 turkeys and on Christmas, he bought hundreds of books for low-income youth. He has shown his leadership skills by providing 1,000 meals to the homeless in four cities and organizing a march to mark the 20th anniversary of the genocide that drove his parents here. Looking ahead, he has faith he can do even more to stem poverty and violence. "Change comes through action," he says. "I aim to be that action and motivate others as well."

  • Kira Weiss

    Danville, California, United States

    2016 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Kira beat a bulldozer to bring Ugandan refugees home. The 31 women and 198 children had fled a violent militant movement in 1991 and travelled hundreds of miles to a refugee camp where they broke rocks for $1 a day. By December 2014, they were about to lose the camp because the land had been sold. And their plight came to Kira's attention when she went to Uganda with her family nonprofit which builds soccer fields in African schools. Back in the US, she started Home by the Holidays and raised $43,000 to bring the women back to their villages and fill their household needs. The refugees were home in time for Christmas because Kira follows her family's rule: "If you see a problem you fix it, and if someone needs your help, you help them."

  • Kylee McCumber

    Leominster, Massachusetts, United States

    2016 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 15

    Kylee is turning the tables on hunger for kids in her hometown. Many of them eat breakfast at school, she learned four years ago, since they don't have much food at home. Shocked to see the hunger at her doorstep, she raised enough money to send ten kids home with nonperishable food items for the weekend. Since then a number of grants have let her provide 300 children on Fridays with her Kylee's Kare Kits for Kidz. Community support has also allowed her to raise $200,000, enough to hold ice cream socials and provide Thanksgiving dinners for homeless families. There's a hungry family near you, she reminds us, and by feeding them you'll feed your own soul. "It is so important to be grateful for all we have, and pay it forward when we can."

  • Remington Youngblood

    Duluth, Georgia, United States

    2016 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 15

    Remington's great-grandfather was a Marine who served in World War II. And Remington has also served his country by founding Change4Georgia. In the past five years, his organization has raised more than one million dollars in cash and donations to support service members and their families. Together with his classmates, Remington has undertaken a wide range of programs with whimsical names: Operation Oatmeal, Operation Hope, Suds for Soldiers, and Yum Yum Drive. There's also Dynamite Diaper Drive, and Remington's always coming up with new programs. Change4Georgia has now broadened into a community effort that inspires students to perform their civic duty. His volunteers raise funds for medical research, serve veterans meals, plant trees, and much more. Anything you can imagine they've done because Remington thinks "you should make good things happen everywhere you can."

  • Pope Francis

    Rome, Italy

    2015 International Award Winner

    When Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina became pope, he chose to be called after St. Francis of Assisi. The saint was "the man of poverty," he said, "the man who loves and protects creation." The first pope from the developing world has followed in his path by speaking out for peace and social justice. Francis has expressed a new view of Catholic gay rights and denounced religious extremists for using violence. He has called for reconciliation of the Korean peninsula, peace in war-torn Sri Lanka, and an end to conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He has apologized for Roman-Catholic complicity in the mistreatment of Native Americans and denounced the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. He has also urged the church to be a "poor church, for the poor," a vision that inspires his critique of unfettered profits, along with his call to stop corporations from turning Earth into a "sewer." And the global refugee crisis has led him to preach a gospel of inclusion: "Let us remember the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

  • Dikembe Mutombo

    Dikembe Mutombo Foundation

    Atlanta, Georgia, United States

    2015 Adult Award Winner

    The former NBA star and native of the Congo has given his homeland the ultimate assist. He has dreamt of helping others since he was a child and fulfilled this goal by establishing the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation in 1997. Since then, the foundation has shipped hospital beds and medical supplies to the war-torn nation. It has brought solar power to the capital city of Kinshasa and joined the Starkey Hearing Foundation in fitting over 1,600 people with free hearing aids. Dikembe has also been a youth emissary for the United Nations and served on an advisory board for the National Institutes of Health. His efforts to raise awareness of polio led to vaccinations for more than eight million children, many of whom he treated himself. And through his foundation, he donated $15 million to build a modern hospital, named for his mom. Biamba Marie Mutombo died in 1998, but he's never forgotten the advice that she gave him: "You must help your family and the people of your country, and the more you give the more will come back to you."

  • Gloria Lewis

    CARE IN ACTION USA

    Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States

    2015 Adult Award Winner

    Caring means sharing as Gloria learned from her parents in Barbados. Her father worked in the sugar cane fields, and they were too poor to even have running water. But all the neighbors helped one another and the community was like a family. Gloria left this close community to come live in the U.S. and found herself in an abusive marriage for nine years. After leaving she almost became homeless before finding work as a waitress in a deli and getting married again. Off to her job one day she saw people living in tents on the beach and decided to help these homeless folk by feeding them on Sundays. Since 2012, she and her husband have served over 18,000 meals out of the back of their old car in a neighborhood near the airport. Gloria uses her own money to buy the food, cooks it on Saturday night, and never skips a Sunday, though sometimes she has to scrimp so the homeless can eat. She does it all because she thinks "you can't say you care unless you show you care."

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  • Jim Langevin

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    2015 Adult Award Winner

    Congressman Langevin urges people to overcome obstacles to make society better. He did after a bullet put him in a wheelchair at 16 and ended his dreams of being a policeman. The bullet that broke his body didn't break his spirit and he looked forward to new chances to serve. The idea of running for public office came to him as he slowly recovered with help from home care. After earning an M.P.A. from Harvard, he served in the Rhode Island House of Representatives before becoming secretary of state. He has gone on to win eight terms in the U.S. House, where he has made our nation safer, reduced taxes on the middle class, and voted to increase funding for medical research. As a spokesman for the disabled, he has given people more access to home care and worked to pass the ADA Amendments Act into law. He's still striving to open avenues for the disabled because he thinks you can move mountains if you persevere. "By living our lives with passion and purpose," he says, "we really do make a difference in the world."

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  • Jorge Munoz

    Angel in Queens

    Queens, New York, United States

    2015 Adult Award Winner

    Jorge Munoz drove a school bus by day but seemed to sprout wings at night when he fed hundreds of the homeless and unemployed. The "Angel in Queens" began his labor of love after he noticed men huddled near the subway tracks and heard their tales of hunger and desperation. Moved by their plight, he began turning up most days with paper bags containing an apple, a biscuit, and something to drink. His mission grew more ambitious when he noticed men pouring huge amounts of prepared food into rubbish dumps and asked to bring it to the men on the street. Those donations - and over half of his $700 weekly pay - has allowed him to distribute over 280,000 meals in the past 11 years. When Jorge lost his job in 2011, it became harder to feed his unofficial flock, but he never considered letting down the men who depend on him. They consider Jorge a hero but he doesn't think that he's done anything special. "Everyone has a hero inside," he says. "Just open your heart and let that hero out."

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  • Noah Levinson

    Calcutta Kids

    Marlboro, Vermont, United States

    2015 Adult Award Winner

    The sights Noah saw as a volunteer for Mother Teresa after high school led him to found Calcutta Kids. While he tended the destitute in her hospice, he also volunteered at a dispensary where he watched people die of curable diseases, a tragic loss that led him to start a mobile clinic for street children. Realizing their illnesses were the product of poor immune systems and malnutrition, he also launched his Maternal and Young Child Health Initiative to ensure mothers give birth to healthy children. The "adoption" of a mother/child pair comes with nutrition, counseling, medicine, and checkups. A child who doesn't grow normally can join a sponsored feeding program. And until their children are three, mothers keep getting counseling as well as access to 24-hour emergency care at the local clinic. These services have led to rising infant survival rates and falling malnutrition, results that show Noah what really matters for us all. "Three things in human life are important," he says. "The first is to be kind, the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind."

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  • Emilee Hamilton

    Providence, Utah, United States

    2015 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Today's youth are helping yesterday's youth, thanks to Emilee's love for the aged. She's been visiting nursing homes with her mom since she was in pre-school. Three years ago, she realized how lonely the seniors were and decided to bring students and seniors together. She began by assessing the needs of the aged in 10 retirement homes. Then she created a website where she listed service opportunities for teens and started an advertising campaign, which netted her enough donations to get 15,000 kids involved in her group, Utah YOUth Connect. With Emilee's guidance, they visit retirement homes and engage seniors in singing, playing music, watching videos, and sharing stories. The young people gain, too, Emilee says, because they come to see that "you don't learn to live until you learn to give."

  • Haile Thomas

    Tucson, Arizona, United States

    2015 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 14

    Haile teaches kids to cook and eat better. Cooking has been her hobby since she was five, and it became a passion for healthy eating after her dad was diagnosed with diabetes. Haile was just eight at the time, but she managed to help him beat the disease. Then she went on to give kids a taste for healthier eating by doing cooking demonstrations, hosting an online show, and coming up with healthy kid-friendly menu items for a large chain of hotels. She also raised enough funds to found HAPPY Organization, which offers kids' cooking classes, nutrition education, and physical activities. Besides giving kids tips for eating better, she shares the recipe for a happy life: "Everyone should strive to find something they can do to make the world a better place."

  • Lillian Pravda

    New York City, New York, United States

    2015 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 14

    Lillian lights up the world by helping kids see. Her sense of vision comes from having two eye surgeries by age five. When she was six, she began giving toys to children at hospitals who were about to undergo eye surgery. Then she volunteered by reading to kids in the waiting room, where she learned that not all children have access to needed care. So she gave them the gift of sight by founding Vision For and From Children, an organization that has enlisted volunteer doctors and raised enough funds to provide eye surgery for 25,210 children in the U.S. and developing world. This substantial number shows how you can "use the power of one" to make the world a better place, Lillian says. "One person can spark a chain of events."

  • Lulu Cerone

    Encino, California, United States

    2015 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Lulu founded LemonAID Warriors when she was nine and an earthquake hit Haiti. She'd grown up doing lemonade stands for charity and this time she enlisted her class in waging a "Lemonade War" between boys against girls. The event was so successful that she urged other kids to make social good part of all their social gatherings. Her own "philanthro-parties" have funded disaster relief, education, sanitation, and clean water projects in Africa. She shares her ideas online in a video that has reached 4.2 million viewers, and she has mentored 500 youth in launching their own volunteer projects. "I've seen how integrating service into our daily lives at a young age," she says, "has made us kinder to each other and more likely to make social good part of the rest of our lives."

  • Michael Bervell

    Snohomish, Washington, United States

    2015 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Michael helped found Hugs for Ghana after a family visit to his mother's village in Ghana. Michael had just finished sixth grade and was shocked by the poverty he and his family encountered. Seeing children living without basic resources motivated him to collect toys, school and medical supplies, sports equipment, and books, which he delivered to Ghanaian hospitals, orphanages, and schools. He has established three branches of his organization, expanded to 10 schools, and enlisted 100 students who volunteer 50 hours a year to help students in Ghana. He encourages young people to serve at home by tutoring elementary school students, writing notes to hospitalized children, and giving concerts at retirement centers. "My vision of a bright future," he says, "is a world where people don't feel obligated to ask permission before doing something to help others."

  • Bill Clinton

    New York City, New York, United States

    2014 International Award Winner

    As president, Bill Clinton was known for feeling people's pain and acting to ease it. When he left office in 2001, he had lost his power, but he still felt people's pain. So he decided to use his charisma and connections to do all the good he could. The result was a foundation that helps people to reach their potential. Because of its work, 20,000 American schools are giving children healthy food to end childhood obesity; 21,000 African farmers have boosted their crops to feed 30,000 people; 248 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced in cities worldwide; $20 million is being invested in small- and medium-sized businesses in Colombia; and 8.2 million people have benefited from lifesaving HIV/AIDS medication. These achievements reflect Clinton's belief that we're all in this together, and he's acted on it by working with both Bush presidents on disaster relief after the South Asian tsunami, the earthquake in Haiti, and Hurricane Katrina. Clinton casts politics aside to do good because he knows "what works in the real world is cooperation."

  • Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and Astronaut Captain Mark Kelly

    Americans for Responsible Solutions

    Scottsdale, Arizona, United States

    2014 Adult Award Winner

    Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly think failure is not an option, an attitude that has made them stars. Kelly literally touched the stars when he logged 38 days in space as commander of the space shuttle Endeavor, and Giffords was a rising star in Congress due to her ability to work across the aisle. The Arizona Democrat had become a leading voice in the debate on immigration and had won respect from both political parties. Then her life took a turn when she was shot point black in the head while meeting with constituents outside of Tucson. The tragedy led her to resign from Congress but it didn't end her commitment to the common good. Since then she and Kelly have launched Americans for Responsible Solutions to prevent the type of gun violence that changed Giffords' life. But one thing has remained the same: her belief in building bridges to get things done. "I know that on the issues we fought for, we can change things for the better," Giffords says. "We can do so much more by working together."

     

  • Don Tapia

    Scottsdale, Arizona, United States

    2014 Adult Award Winner

    Don Tapia thinks you have to give of yourself and always practice what you preach. He has as a self-made man who came to own a multimillion dollar business though he only had a high school degree. Like Andrew Carnegie, who also began life poor, he's now working to give it all away. He has long supported the Foundation for the Blind, helped the visually impaired stay in school, and assisted them in paying for guide dogs. He has also promoted education by sponsoring college scholarships for disadvantaged youth and for the children of fallen policemen, firemen, and servicemen killed in action. Most recently, he made a $4 million donation to St. Leo's University, after starting classes there at age 62. He managed to finish his BA and MBA in order to practice what he preaches when he urges young people to finish school. He also hopes to set an example for them as he shares his good fortune with those in need. "We are riding this earth together," he says, "and all we have is each other."

     

  • Earl Morse

    Honor Flight Network

    Springfield, Ohio, United States

    2014 Adult Award Winner

    Earl Morse and Jeff Miller give wings to the dreams of World War II vets. Together they have flown 150,000 veterans to visit the WW II Memorial in Washington, DC. Many veterans longed to see it but lacked the means, as Morse found out while working as a physician assistant for the VA. So the former Air Force captain started a program with help from a nearby pilots' club that flew 12 veterans to DC. Word of his mission spread to people nationwide, including North Carolina businessman Jeff Miller. After beginning his own group he obtained funding to fly an entire jet load of veterans to DC. On one of these trips, he met with Morse and they merged their two groups. It's a partnership based on the shared goal to honor veterans for their service. And they're both moved when veterans get off the plane to hear the cheers they deserve. "Veterans taught us about sacrifice, selflessness, and country before self," Morse says. "They are our role models and the reason we do what we do."

     

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  • Jane Seymour

    Open Hearts Foundation

    Malibu, California, United States

    2014 Adult Award Winner

    Jane Seymour has played many roles in her life ranging from Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, to Bond girl Solitaire. But her most rewarding role has been as a philanthropist who's especially opened her heart to kids. As one of Hollywood's most caring stars, she gives her time and talents to a long list of charities, including Camp Soaring Eagle, which serves children with special needs; City Hearts, which gives free visual and performing arts classes to LA kids; and Childhelp, a revered Phoenix-based organization that helps prevent child abuse and care for its victims. In addition, Seymour has launched her own Open Hearts Foundation to support health, education, sports, and arts. The open heart has a special meaning for her because it refers to the jewelry collection she designs and to the memory of her mother, who spent three years in a prisoner-of-war camp during World War II. The ordeal taught her that helping others is how you heal, a lesson that Jane has long embraced. "If your heart is open," she says, "love will always find its way in."

     

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  • Jeff Miller

    Honor Flight Network

    Springfield, Ohio, United States

    2014 Adult Award Winner

    Earl Morse and Jeff Miller give wings to the dreams of World War II vets. Together they have flown 150,000 veterans to visit the WW II Memorial in Washington, DC. Many veterans longed to see it but lacked the means, as Morse found out while working as a physician assistant for the VA. So the former Air Force captain started a program with help from a nearby pilots' club that flew 12 veterans to DC. Word of his mission spread to people nationwide, including North Carolina businessman Jeff Miller. After beginning his own group he obtained funding to fly an entire jet load of veterans to DC. On one of these trips, he met with Morse and they merged their two groups. It's a partnership based on the shared goal to honor veterans for their service. And they're both moved when veterans get off the plane to hear the cheers they deserve. "Veterans taught us about sacrifice, selflessness, and country before self," Morse says. "They are our role models and the reason we do what we do."

     

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  • Kurt and Brenda Warner

    First Things First

    Scottsdale, Arizona, United States

    2014 Adult Award Winner

    Kurt and Brenda Warner have a game plan for life. It's based on putting faith and family first, and it's brought them from rags to riches. Now the former NFL star and his wife are giving back through their foundation First Things First. Their projects include Baskets of Hope, which delivers baskets of stuffed animals, toys, Bibles, and music to seriously ill children; Home for the Holidays, which surprises single-parent, first-time home owners with complete furnishings for their new homes; and We're Going to Disney World, an all-expenses-paid trip for terminally ill children and their families. They feel for these families because they've faced struggles of their own. Brenda's first child is brain damaged and she was once a struggling single mom. Kurt was the quarterback no one wanted until an amazing turnaround in his career. But he knows God doesn't really care who wins a game. "It's so hard for people to understand," he says, "that it's not about going to the Pro Bowl or winning an MVP award. It's about trying to impact the people around you."

     

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  • Lonnie and Muhammad Ali

    Scottsdale, Arizona, United States

    2014 Adult Award Winner

    Lonnie and Muhammad Ali are packing a wallop by fighting injustice, illness, and want. The champ suffers from Parkinson's, so he depends on Lonnie as partner in his mission of justice and peace. With her help he has taken medical supplies to Cuba, negotiated a prisoner exchange between Iran and Iraq, visited Vietnam with families who were searching for MIA relatives, and donated millions of meals to kids in the developing world. They have also provided respite care to families whose kids have special needs and served meals to the homeless despite facing challenges of their own. They discussed some of them after Muhammad agreed to serve as spokesperson for the National Parkinson's Foundation, and they've helped victims of the disease by founding the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center. They've also inspired the public to follow the champ's caring example at the Muhammad Ali Center, with knockout exhibits that teach people to be great by giving back. The greatest always has because he's convinced "service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."

  • Ashlee Smith

    Sparks, Nevada, United States

    2014 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 15

    Ashlee Smith's home is always full of toys for Ashlee's Toy Closet, an organization she founded when she was eight. Since then, Ashlee has distributed 175,000 toys to young victims of fires and natural disasters. She knows how they feel because her home burned down when she was five. Then in 2008, her father, a firefighter, battled a blaze in South Lake Tahoe, California, and sent home pictures of destroyed houses with burned toys outside. Soon Ashlee had collected enough donations to fill an 18-wheeler truck with toys and delivered them to South Lake Tahoe. She has gone on to provide toys for kids affected by a tornado in Missouri, floods in Nevada, and an earthquake in Haiti. You'd think all that work would rock Ashlee's world, but she says, "I like turning kids' frowns upside down."

  • Cassandra Lin

    Westerly, Rhode Island, United States

    2014 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Cassandra has found a heartwarming way to fuel the future. Her project TGIF (Turning Grease into Fuel) has produced 140,000 gallons of biodiesel, helped 290 families to heat their homes, and made the environment better. TGIF is changing the way we think about energy and she started it at age 10 when she learned that used cooking oil could be recycled into cheap clean-burning fuel. So she convinced the town council to establish a cooking oil container, recruited restaurants to donate their used gunk, and found a company to refine the grease. TGIF has helped the world go green because fewer greenhouse gasses are now being released. It's also taught Cassandra that "happiness is the opposite of saying the grass is greener on the other side. It's being content with who you are."

  • Isabelle and Katherine Adams

    Dallas, Texas, United States

    2014 Young Adult Award Winner

    "Every 15 seconds a child dies because they don't have clean water," Isabelle says. She learned this fact from a YouTube video she and her sister Katherine watched three years ago. Both of them were moved as the video showed the plight of rural, third-world people whose only source of water is polluted and many miles away. Thankfully, many of them don't have to walk so far for water because of the sisters' project, Paper for Water. Since 2011, they've raised $400,000 for 50 wells in the developing world — all by making and selling origami. It's meant a flurry of folding, but these small pieces of paper have a big impact on both the girls and those they help. "If you give a lot," Isabelle knows, "you will get more than you give."

     

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  • Nicholas Lowinger

    Cranston, Rhode Island, United States

    2014 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Nicholas helps homeless kids put their best foot forward by giving them new shoes. Many of them don't have shoes that fit – or any shoes at all – Nicholas saw at age five when he visited a homeless shelter with his mom. Their plight touched his soul so much that he began giving his gently used shoes to homeless shelters. Then he stepped up his efforts four years ago by founding Gotta Have Soul. He wrote to shoe companies for support, got donations from the Boston Red Sox, and, soon sent shoes to 1,100 kids. He also sends a message when he gives talks at Rhode Island schools. "I urge other kids to find a passion, create big ideas, and act," he says. No matter your age, as Nicholas knows, you've gotta have sole.

  • Taylor Leong

    Westford, Massachusetts, United States

    2014 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 15

    When Taylor was seven, her best friend Erika was often in the hospital fighting cancer. Taylor couldn't take the cancer away, but she tried to make her friend smile by bringing her gifts. After Erika told her how happy the gifts made her, Taylor planned a toy drive for kids in the hospital and asked Erika to help. Erika died before the deliveries began, so Taylor founded For the Love of Erika, an annual toy drive that has provided $200,000 worth of toys to 8,000 children at hospitals and homeless shelters in New England. Each year, she also hosts three holiday parties which bring back memories of her friend. "I especially think of Erika," she says, "when we hold our holiday parties, and I know she would have loved to be doing this with us."

  • Father Patrick Devine

    Nairobi, Kenya

    2013 International Award Winner

    "Shalom is a Hebrew word that means peace with justice and harmony," says Father Patrick Devine, a priest who seeks to resolve conflict in northern Kenya. He has taken on a daunting task, given the country's history of poverty, ethnic diversity, and violent unrest. During 28 years as a missionary in Africa, Devine has often put himself in harm's way so he could respond to the cry of the poor. His sense of mission took him to the poorest parts of Tanzania and Kenya, where he was in charge of a medical center, a 600-pupil secondary school, numerous AIDS education programs, and care of 1.5 million refugees who had crossed into Tanzania fleeing refuge from genocide. Besides addressing these basic needs, he has founded the Shalom Centre for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation, where he teaches warring ethnic factions about tolerance and mutual respect. "Shalom should not be owned by any religious tradition," he says. "If we can bring about peace in the world, we can all find our path to God."

  • Bill Marriott

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    2013 Adult Award Winner

    Marriott succeeded his father as head of a hotel chain that began as a root beer stand in Washington, DC. Under the son's helm, Marriott International has acquired 3,700 properties in 74 countries. The key to this success, Marriott says, is that Marriott treats its employees well so they put on the Ritz for the customers they serve. "I think ours is one of the most rewarding industries in the world because it does so much to help people. We open a world of opportunity to people who would not otherwise have it. If you take care of your employees, they will take good care of your customers," Marriott says. He also takes care of the community by supporting education and job training for the needy and disabled. He is a former board member of the Mayo Clinic where he gave his advice on developing businesses based on human values. "We've got 78 years of a culture of caring for people,? he says, ?that nobody can catch up to us on."

  • Honorable Daniel Inouye, Former U.S. Senator for Hawaii

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    2013 Adult Award Winner

    The Germans blew Inouye's arm off in World War II but didn't touch his heart or his soul. He went on to earn fame as the first Japanese American to serve in Congress and the quiet voice of conscience in the Senate. He supported the civil rights programs of the 1960s and defended the territorial rights of Native Americans. He helped secure full benefits for Filipino veterans of World War II and worked for affordable health care in Hawaii. Generally, the soft-spoken senator deferred to his more outspoken colleagues, but as crises arose, he was asked to take center stage. He drew national attention for his leadership on committees investigating the Watergate Scandal and the Iran Contra Affair involving high-ranking officials who had secretly sold arms to support Nicaraguan rebels. "Vigilance abroad does not require us to abandon our ideals or the rule of law at home," he said during the affair. "On the contrary, without our principles or our ideals, we have little that is special or worthy to defend."

  • Honorable John Lewis, U.S. Representative for Georgia

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    2013 Adult Award Winner

    Lewis was 23 when he stood before thousands at the March on Washington in 1963. In a passionate speech he demanded jobs and freedom for his people. He also took his crusade on the road as one of the first Freedom Riders, challenging segregation in the South. Despite over 40 arrests, physical attacks, and serious injuries, he has never lost his commitment to nonviolence. Now a congressman for Georgia, he has also remained a leading force in the push for racial equality. Two bills he authored, both enacted in 2008, provided funding for the cold-case probes of slain civil rights leaders and called for the minting of coins commemorating the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He also sponsored bills that led to the National Museum of African American History, now going up on the National Mall. He urges us to keep marching peacefully for justice with these stirring words: "Never give up. Never give in. Never become bitter or hostile. Keep the faith, and whatever you do, do it with passion."

  • Maria Gomez

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    2013 Adult Award Winner

    Gomez was working as a nurse with the Washington, DC, Health Department when she found her life's work. At the time, she was making home visits to immigrant patients discharged from the city's hospitals, and she was shocked at their poverty and despair. Gomez identified with them because she had come here from Colombia at age 13. So in 1988, she founded Mary's Center to build better futures through "great, loving health care," as she explains. Since then, the center's funding has grown to $14 million, allowing it to serve 17,000 patients in an atmosphere that makes them feel at home. "We do a lot of work to make sure there is a connection between the people who work at Mary's Center and the people who receive the services," Gomez says. And you see the results when you meet her warm, smiling staff. "We can never know the suffering someone is going through," she says, "but making eye contact, smiling, and patting someone on the back can transform a life."

  • Patty Webster

    Iquitos, Peru

    2013 Adult Award Winner

    Webster has made a promise to the people of Peru. Since 1993, she has been bringing free health care to some of Peru's poorest regions through her nonprofit Amazon Promise. A job as a tour guide brought her to the Amazon, where she shared the region's beauty with tourists. She also saw the specters of disease and death that haunted the rainforest paradise when she began to meet the locals. She started by sharing her supplies and equipment and soon was waking up to find people outside her mosquito net to ask her for medicine. At one point, she gave a boy stitches while reading how to from a book. Knowing she needed help, she enlisted medical volunteers from developed countries and built a clinic. So what began with a few stitches has made a tremendous difference in the fabric of people's lives. "I knew that I could do it," Webster says, "though I don't have a medical background. In many cases, you need very little to help someone a lot."

  • Allyson Ahlstrom

    Windsor, California, United States

    2013 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Allyson Ahlstrom has a passion for fashion - and for helping others, too. That's why she gives away the latest styles to underprivileged teenage girls in her charming boutique. Each shopper can pick out two head-to-toe outfits, and they walk out with more self-esteem. That?s why Allyson decided to start Threads for Teens and contact 300 clothing companies asking for donations. They sent enough new clothes to take over the family?s house until a property management unit donated space. After outfitting 200 girls, she brought a mobile boutique to 48 states and outfitted 1,000 more girls, thanks to many dedicated volunteers. "If everyone does a little," she says, "then fewer people have to do a lot. If we all just gave a few hours, the world would be so much better."

  • Nicholas Cobb

    Allen, Texas, United States

    2013 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Nicholas gives comfort and joy to folks living on the street. When he was four he saw a man living under a bridge and was sad to learn he didn't have a home, so he began collecting food and household supplies for people at a homeless shelter. Many of them didn't have winter coats, as he noticed at age 12. So he started Comfort and Joy, an organization that has raised $30,000, enough to provide 400 homeless people with coats. He now gives them suits to wear on job interviews and funds college scholarships for their kids, all of which makes Nicholas feel good. "You can't really feel bad or sad about anything when you are helping someone else," he says. If you do it will also bring you comfort and joy.

  • Will Lourcey

    Fort Worth, Texas, United States

    2013 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 11

    "I might be a little kid," Will says, "but I?m a little kid making a big difference." And it's true. In four years, he has raised over $20,000 for his local food bank, provided over 100,000 meals for the hungry, and fed over 10,000 families. He has also helped pack over 12,000 backpacks with food for hungry kids and inspired thousands with his motto: "Be a doer, not a watcher." This is advice he's followed since he was four and saw a man holding a sign that said "Need a Meal." Soon he started FROGS - Friends Reaching Our Goals - and convinced businesses to sponsor fundraising sports events. He also urges both grownups and kids to join him because he knows "you?re never too tall or small to help someone in need."

  • Zachary Certner

    Morristown, New Jersey, United States

    2013 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Zach believes in making kindness cool, and he's spreading the word through SNAP. His special needs athletic program conducts free sports clinics for kids with special needs and workshops that train other students to see the challenges they face. Special needs children have few chances to make friends or play sports, as Zach noticed in his school eight years ago. With donations of $60,000, he set up a five-day schedule of sports clinics, all run by student volunteers. Last year, SNAP served 140 special needs kids and held workshops that reached 2,700 students. The program is making a big impact, according to parents who tell Zach their special needs kids are having an easier time. "Their happiness shows me why I am doing this," he says, "and makes serving others a snap."

  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama

    Himachal Pradesh, India

    2012 International Award Winner

    The Dalai Lama has lived up to his name Buddha of Compassion since the Chinese invaded Tibet and he became the country?s head of state. Following a Tibetan revolt against Chinese rule, he established a government in exile, dedicated to work for the freedom of Tibet. Since then he has travelled the world speaking out for tolerance, freedom, and peace.

  • Amy Palmer

    San Antonio, Texas, United States

    2012 Adult Award Winner

    Amy leads a campaign to provide support and help to military families in need across the country. A co-founder of Operation Homefront, she has been instrumental in raising more than $170 million to provide everything from emergency repairs and food, to many other essential goods and services. Leading more than 4,500 volunteers nationwide, her organization also raises public awareness of the unique challenges faced, and sacrifices made, by our service members and their families in service to their country.

  • Bishop Jean Marie

    Chicago, Illinois, United States

    2012 Adult Award Winner

    Bishop Jean Marie leads his nuns and priests in a worldwide mission to serve the poorest of the poor, regardless of race, gender, or creed. His order, Fraternite Notre Dame, shows the true spirit of brotherhood by operating soup kitchens and hospitals, helping disaster and war victims, and advancing religious tolerance for all.

  • Linda Smith

    Vancouver, Washington, United States

    2012 Adult Award Winner

    Linda heads a crusade to end sex trafficking in children and help its victims build new lives. She brings hope to girls in the third world by giving them a safe home, life skills, and an education. Hitting closer to home, she has released a report showing how widespread the problem is throughout the United States.

  • Wynona Ward

    Vershire, Vermont, United States

    2012 Adult Award Winner

    Wynona is a road warrior in the fight against domestic abuse. Every year she drives thousands of miles through rural Vermont to give free legal advice to low-income women and children. Thanks to her efforts, over 10,000 victims of domestic violence have the legal and social services they need.

  • Alec Urbach

    Roslyn Heights, New York, United States

    2012 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Alec films, produces, and distributes educational videos to show third-world children the fundamentals of science and good health. His videos, along with some basic medical and dental supplies, have reached 240,000 disenfranchised children in Togo, Botswana, and Ghana, where he has provided the curriculum for the nation?s first science elementary school.

  • Kendall Ciesmier

    Wheaton, Illinois, United States

    2012 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 19

    Kendall has improved life for 7,000 people in Africa by inspiring over 7,000 kids to raise nearly a million dollars. She has built orphan care centers, distributed 50,000 bikes, provided school uniforms and more because she agrees with former President Bill Clinton that each of us can help change the world.

  • Kylie Kuhns

    Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania, United States

    2012 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 15

    Kylie has raised $175,000 to keep her big sister?s dream alive. Kelsey Kuhns always longed to help other kids even though she was fighting cancer. Kelsey is gone now, but Kylie still comforts young cancer patients by giving them therapy toys, snacks, blankets, and a Teddies to Go kit for making their own furry friends.

  • Neha Gupta

    Yardley, Pennsylvania, United States

    2012 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Neha has empowered underprivileged children by giving them the education, training, and medical care they need to thrive. She began by helping Indian orphans she met a family trip. Then she went on to fund vocational training, computer labs, and libraries that serve students in both India and the U.S.

  • Rujul Zaparde and Kevin Petrovic

    Plainsboro, New Jersey, United States

    2012 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Rujul and Kevin are changing lives well by well for the many people who don?t have clean water to drink. Rujul saw how hard it was for them on a family trip to India and enlisted Kevin in tackling their plight. Together they have helped over 80,000 people by building 47 wells.

  • Cathey Brown

    Dallas, Texas, United States

    2010 Adult Award Winner

    Cathey gives high-risk children the life skills to achieve their goals. It’s what children need when they grow up in alcoholic homes like Cathey did. And it’s what Cathey wanted for her daughter after learning that alcoholics’ children are likely to marry alcoholics or become alcoholics themselves. Finding few resources to support the kids of alcoholics, she started her own group to answer their psychological needs. Rainbow Days has now reached over 120,000 Dallas children, including many from homeless shelters or drug-addicted homes. Cathey has also expanded the scope and impact of her services by training volunteers nationwide. Wherever it’s held, the program’s goal is to make children believe they have a purpose, and this gives Cathey a sense of purpose, too. “At the end of the day, we ask ourselves, ‘so what?’” she says. “The ‘so what’ is we have made a difference not just in one child’s life, but in the lives of tens of thousands of children.”

  • Kevin Shannon, M.D.

    North Hollywood, California, United States

    2010 Adult Award Winner

    Kevin is a pediatric cardiologist who mends broken hearts at his free camp for kids with cardiac conditions. He assumed surgery would suffice until he saw a small patient who was too embarrassed by his scars to take off his shirt. Perhaps, Kevin thought, it would help if he went to a summer camp for kids with heart disease and met others with similar scars. There was one in Louisiana, but the boy’s mom couldn’t afford to give her son the experience of a camp with specialized medical support. Neither could many of his patients' parents, as Kevin found out. So he rented a site on Catalina Island and opened Camp del Corazon. His Camp of the Heart has now provided 4,000 children with three fun-filled days each year, along with a caring community where everyone shares the same problem. “When you talk about it, people understand,” Kevin says, and for children with broken hearts, that may be the best medicine of all."

  • Lance Armstrong

    Austin, Texas, United States

    2010 Adult Award Winner

    Lance is a seven-time winner of the Tour de France, and the world's best-known cancer survivor. He now pedals hope by providing funds to spur innovation and research. He's already accomplished a tour de force by raising $350 million, much of it from the sale of yellow wristbands imprinted with the phrase LIVESTRONG. That's his message to the hundreds of cancer patients he exchanges e-mails with, and it's his anthem as he strives to make cancer research a priority worldwide. It's already one in Texas where Lance led community efforts to pass Proposition 15, authorizing $3 billion in funds for cancer programs — the largest state investment of its kind. But despite this milestone, Lance knows the finish line's still far away, so he has launched the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign to help the 28 million people who live with the disease "We're going to win," he tells them. "Anything is possible, but you have to believe and you have to fight."

  • Liz McCartney and Zack Rosenburg

    Chalmette, Louisiana, United States

    2010 Adult Award Winner

    Liz and Zack rebuild houses and lives that were shattered when the levees broke in New Orleans. Katrina flooded all 27,000 houses in St. Bernard Parish, leaving 67,000 people without homes. Their plight touched Liz and Zack, who gave up their own home in Washington, DC, so they could help the people of St. Bernard “We got involved,” Liz says, “because it seemed the right thing to do.” The many volunteers who agree have joined Liz and Zack in rebuilding over 300 homes. The couple has also opened a mental health clinic that serves people who've lost their livelihoods to the oil spill in the Gulf and helps hurricane victims handle the loss of a community they loved. They should regain it one day because Liz and Zack won’t rest until they’ve rebuilt every house in St. Bernard. “With more volunteers and funds, we can get more and more families home,” they say. “Together we can continue to rebuild homes and lives.”

  • Peter H. Thomas

    Scottsdale, Arizona, United States

    2010 Adult Award Winner

    Peter teaches people to lead values-based lives that will let them reach their potential. He thought he’d reached his as the founder of Century 21 Real Estate Canada, but his life came crashing down after his son, Todd, leaped to his death. Peter’s search to find meaning in his loss led him to use his “God-given skills, influence, and network to make the world a better place.” He’s achieved this goal by founding LifePilot, a program that has raised $3 million for children’s and mental health charities in Canada and the U.S. These are two of the many countries where Peter gives workshops to thousands, ranging from jail inmates to jet set entrepreneurs. In Arizona, he’s reduced recidivism rates by teaching his program in Maricopa County prisons. And he speaks often at colleges where he urges student to remember, “When your values are clear, your decisions are easier.” According to Peter’s guiding principles, it’s the “foundation of an extraordinary life.”

  • Vicki Minor

    Boise, Idaho, United States

    2010 Adult Award Winner

    Vicki spreads compassion like the wildfires that rip across our country’s West. One killed 14 wildland firefighters in a single day at Colorado's Storm King Mountain, and the tragedy filled Vicki with a burning need to help firefighters and their families in whatever way she could. She visits injured firefighters at their hospital beds, guides families in getting compensation, provides long-term counseling for those of fallen firefighters, and helps with college expenses for their kids. She also pays their travel expenses to the yearly survivor gatherings held at her foundation. It’s close to the Wildland Firefighter Monument, which Vicki built to give families somewhere to honor their dead when the funerals are long past. “We do our best work,” she says, “after the casserole dishes have gone cold and everyone has gone home. The first year, they tell themselves he is out fighting a fire and will be coming home. It’s the second year they realize he is never coming home.”

  • Alison Mansfield

    Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States

    2010 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 15

    Alison learned what caring means from a soldier who'd lost half his face and skull to an explosion in Iraq. When she met him, he said, "I'd do this again for my country if I had a chance," words that led her to send $250,000 worth of care packages to soldiers as part of Operation U.S. Troop Support. She's rallied her Girl Scout troop to seek donations of cookies and asked hotels to contribute toiletries. She's sent the soldiers wool socks to warm their feet in the cold Afghan mountains and thousands of letters of support. It's how she thanks them for putting the good of others before their own. "The soldiers make a lot of sacrifices for us," she says, "and you should give back to those who help you."

  • Amanda LaMunyon

    Enid, Oklahoma, United States

    2010 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Amanda educates others about the abilities in the disabled. She was seven when a diagnosis showed that she had Asperger's syndrome, a milder form of autism that impedes social interaction and learning. She also suffers from dyslexia and dysgraphia. Yet she's a gifted artist who has donated the proceeds from sale of her paintings to assist ill and disabled kids. In addition, she has sung and shared her story on numerous radiothons and telethons, helping to raise $4 million for Children's Miracle Network and proving that the autistic can accomplish great things. "People call it a disability," Amanda says, "but I see it as an ability that lets me bring hope and help to others." What she's achieved has taught her that "you can overcome anything if you just believe you can."

  • Joshua Williams

    Miami, Florida, United States

    2010 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 9

    Joshua is a small boy with big heart. He was five when he saw a "Feed the Children" commercial and decided his purpose in life was "to stomp out hunger." So he convinced his mom to help him start a foundation, Joshua's Heart. In the past three years, he has distributed 250,000 pounds of food, clothing, and toys to South Florida's poor with help from young people called Joshua's Elves. He has also renovated a low-income teen center and launched a program to give backpacks of food to school kids on weekends and vacations. Now he dreams of leading a team to Africa and any place else where children need food. "When I see kids suffer," he says, "I want to give them all the help and love I have in my heart."

  • Molly and Carly Houlahan

    Devon, Pennsylvania, United States

    2010 Young Adult Award Winner

    Molly and Carly want to "bee-t" cancer, the disease that took their granddad's life. As founders of Hives for Lives, the sisters run a honey business that donates all its profits, $170,000 at last count, to fund cancer research centers and clinics. Since starting their business in 2004, they have added lip balm and candles to a product line with customers in 30 states, including nine of the 11 Whole Foods Market regions. To make sales, they take orders online, give presentations, and spend weekends at local fairs. They also run a young business leaders club where they pass on their expertise as entrepreneurs. "You should find your passion," they tell kids, "whether it's basketball or bees. Then you should make it into a business and use it to do good."

  • Talia Leman

    Waukee, Iowa, United States

    2010 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 15

    Talia takes the goodness of kids and turns it into goodness for the world. As founder of RandomKid, she guides and funds kids from 20 countries on projects that improve life for 7,000 people. Together, they've raised $10 million for Katrina victims, given science technology to low-income students and an interactive play center to hospitalized kids, built a school in Cambodia, and bought a water pump for an African village. They also provide corrective braces to children with club feet through Great Strides, a program that shows yet again what kids can achieve by taking Talia's advice. "Just do your best at what you love," she tells them. "Believe in your dreams. Find others who believe in them, too. You have the power to make this world a better place."

  • Honorable Robert J. Dole

    Russell, Kansas, United States

    2010 Guardian Angel Award Winner

    Senator Dole has showed how much he cares for his country as a longtime member of Congress and decorated hero of World War II. A war injury left him partly paralyzed but didn't stop him from becoming one of our country's most powerful people. As Senate majority leader, he spearheaded the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and inclusion of hospice in Medicare. He forged a bipartisan compromise that saved Social Security, and he continued to serve others in private life. As chairman of the National World War II Memorial, he raised $190 million to honor those who died for our freedoms. Then he raised $120 million for the families of 9/11 victims, and he now chairs the Caring Institute Board of Trustees, where he embodies the institute's highest ideals. "It is so easy to care for somebody else, and thankfully most Americans do it," he says. "America has a big heart, but we need to do a lot more caring for each other."

  • Honorable Edward M. Kennedy

    Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, United States

    2010 Mother Teresa Caring Achievement Award Winner

    Senator Kennedy was "the lion of the Senate" who roared out for those left behind and left out. During 47 years in Congress, he introduced 2,500 bills and saw over 500 enacted into law. He was an advocate for a higher minimum wage and a key player in the passage of Medicare, including the hospice entitlement and home health benefit. He sponsored landmark legislation like the Protection and Advocacy for Mentally Ill Individuals Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and creation of the Children's Health Insurance Program. His legacy also included the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) Act, which was passed as part of health reform in 2010. The act gives the disabled more options in how and where they choose to live, based on an ideal of fairness that Kennedy embraced until his death. "We are all part of the American family," he once said, "and we have a responsibility to help members of that family when they are in need."

  • Colin Powell

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    2009 Adult Award Winner

    Retired General Colin Powell is now issuing commands to America's young: stay off drugs, concentrate on school, and prepare for a job. "I'm giving you an order," he says, and he helps them fulfill it as founder of America's Promise. Powell's latest campaign is "to build our kids and stop building jails." His troops are 300 organizations that have donated $300 million to provide 10 million disadvantaged youth with caring adults, safe places when not in school, a healthy start, an effective education, and opportunities to help others." Powell had them all while growing up as a low-income youth, and they helped him attain the nation's highest military rank. "In some ways," he says, "I'm doing something not that different from what I did before. I'm preparing kids for battle against drugs, violence, and despair." He'll know he's winning when kids follow the most important order of all. It's to "give back to others. You have no greater obligation."

  • John Dau

    Syracuse, New York, United States

    2009 Adult Award Winner

    John felt desperate after government troops raided his village in Sudan's long civil war. But his father had told him to never give up, and it's what he told 1,200 younger boys as he led them 1,100 miles to a refugee camp in Kenya. Many of these "lost boys" perished, and John has never forgotten their cries as they faced hunger, hyenas, and cold. He remembered them after a charity selected him for emigration to America, where he attended college part-time and held two low-paying jobs at once. Somehow he also managed to raise $700,000 and build the first medical clinic in Southern Sudan. Since opening in 2007, the clinic has treated over 25,000 people, given children life-saving vaccinations, and provided mothers with a safe place to give birth. Thinking about all the people he's helped makes John so very glad that he persevered. "If you give up," he says, "you will miss your happiness because it might be one minute away."

  • Larry Selman

    New York, United States

    2009 Adult Award Winner

    Larry spends every day on the streets of his New York neighborhood asking people for money. Over the past two decades, he has collected $400,000 for AIDS and muscular dystrophy, though he scraped by near the poverty line until just a few years back. That was when he caught the eye of Alice Elliot, a filmmaker who lived near him on Bedford Street. She learned that Larry was mentally challenged, depended on an aging uncle for help with daily chores, and faced the prospect of becoming homeless. She also saw the giving heart that has earned Larry scores of friends among his neighbors, who created a trust fund that lets him stay in his apartment. Their efforts are recorded in "The Collector of Bedford Street," an award-winning film in which Alice portrays both Larry's problems and his passion to make a difference. "I love helping people," Larry says. "I don't get any money. I do it because I get a good feeling."

  • Mark Asperilla, M.D.

    Port Charlotte, Florida, United States

    2009 Adult Award Winner

    Mark thinks that we're all part of an extended family under God. He picked up this belief as a boy, and it stayed with him as he finished medical school, studied infectious diseases in Chicago, and began practicing in Port Charlotte, a Florida county filled with seniors, disabled, and uninsured. They're "all God's children," Mark says, and he's honored the ties that bind us by founding drug stores and clinics that provide free care to thousands in towns throughout Port Charlotte. He's headed disaster response efforts, set up a disability group, and led teams of volunteer doctors to poor areas in Central and South America. He's also helped his homeland of the Philippines by building a village that now bears his name. Mark doesn't give the honor much thought because everything he's learned has taught him the importance of giving. "Life," he says, "is meant to be shared with those who are less fortunate. It should be about family, community, and God."

  • Paula Lucas

    Portland, Oregon, United States

    2009 Adult Award Winner

    Paula thinks that "sometimes you find your life calling through adversity." For most of her marriage, she was a scared mother living overseas trying to protect her three sons and herself from an abusive husband. After 12 years of terror, she and her children fled to the US, where they lived in a homeless shelter. When her husband began to stalk her, she learned there were no programs to assist American women wishing to leave abusive marriages overseas. As a result, Paula spent tens of thousands of dollars to gain custody of her sons. They were all still living in the homeless shelter when Paula set up a global hot line to provide the support she wishes she'd had. Today her group also offers transportation back to the U.S., legal services, and housing. By helping others, Paula has turned her personal tragedy into a triumph for caring. "You don't take action," she says, "because it's self-fulfilling but because you're looking outside yourself."

  • Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman

    Migdal Ha, Israel

    2009 Adult Award Winner

    Rabbi Grossman is part saint, part social innovator, and the guiding light behind Migdal Ohr, Hebrew for Tower of Light. The rabbi's remarkable nonprofit gives love and care to 7,000 at-risk youth on a sprawling campus in Migdal Ha'Emek. The poor northern Israeli town had become a center of crime when Grossman arrived there as a young man, so he decided to prevent a new generation from winding up in jail. He began by caring for 18 boys from broken homes but dreamed of leading a tribe of children to the promised land of success. Today his vision has taken the form of a day care center, an elementary school, libraries, computer facilities, and dorms. There are hundreds of teachers and counselors, but the kids still turn to Grossman for guidance and unconditional love. "All children are like human magnets," Grossman says. "If they feel that you love them and you're helping them light the way, they're ready to give themselves to you."

  • Ana Dodson

    Golden, Colorado, United States

    2009 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Ana's journey to her birthplace led her to help kids who once felt forgotten. They're Peruvian orphans, and Ana knows she could have been one of them since she was adopted as a baby from an orphanage in Peru. On a trip there at age 11, she visited an orphanage near Cusco, where she saw malnourished girls whose wan faces and warm smiles inspired her to start her nonprofit Peruvian Hearts. As head, Ana fundraises tirelessly to provide the orphans with food, clothing, and education. Much of her funding, so far totaling over $150,000, comes from the many students who are touched by Ana's plea to remember those in need. "Our generation is the one that can wipe out poverty," she tells them. "Raise pennies and awareness - that is how we change the world."

  • Austin Gutwein

    Mesa, Arizona, United States

    2009 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 15

    Africa scores when Austin shoots hoops. On World AIDS Day 2004, he shot 2,057 free throws, one for each child who would be orphaned that day. He only made 712 of them, but he raised $3,000 to help African kids. Since then, he's turned his solitary effort into Hoops of Hope, a nonprofit that has raised $1 million for Zambia by holding annual basketball shoot-a-thons across the U.S. The money has gone to build two AIDS clinics, put up a high school, and provide 1,000 caregivers with bikes. Next on the list is a dorm for the school, so Austin urges kids everywhere to shoot hoops with him and give Zambian children another shot at life. "You don't have to wait until you're an adult to make a difference."

  • Heather Wilder

    Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

    2009 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Heather shares her hurts to give foster kids a reason to hope. In a series of 11 booklets, she describes the seven years she spent with a violent drug-addicted mother and her four years in foster care. The booklets also deal with everything from how to behave in court to what you should say to a new foster dad or mom. A grant from Las Vegas allowed Heather to print the booklets and distribute them to 1,500 foster kids, along with the message, "You're not alone." Heather says she is "mindful of what life is like for a foster child," though she now has a loving new home. "That's why I am willing to do everything in my power to help foster kids experience a normal childhood like I have."

  • Rachel and Kelsi Okun

    McLean, Virginia, United States

    2009 Young Adult Award Winner

    Rachel and Kelsi enjoy hunting for ways to help troops overseas. After writing letters and sending packages to Iraq, they came up with the idea for an online treasure hunt to raise scholarship money for the families of troops. Armed with some federal seed money, they developed an online game for their charity, ThanksUSA. Many players contribute to the scholarship fund, and their donations, along with additional support, have added up to $5 million in scholarships for military families, many of whom send grateful notes. When the girls read them, they know they've found the greatest treasure of all. "There's no explanation for how good it feels to help other people," Rachel says. "I think that's one of the reasons why we were put on this earth - to make our mark."

  • Zach Bonner

    Valrico, Florida, United States

    2009 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 11

    Zach puts in the legwork to help America's 1.3 million homeless kids. In the past two years, he's walked 500 miles to spotlight their plight and raised $350,000 through his Little Red Wagon Foundation. This money has provided homeless kids with toys, Christmas parties, and "Zachpacks" full of school supplies and food. Zach has drawn some support by holding an annual Project 24 Hours, an event that has teens spending the night in a parking lot - and paying to do so. He also holds celebrity auctions where he met Bill Clinton, whose charity work inspires him to go that extra mile for homeless kids. It's tiring to walk all day, Zach admits. "But when you look back and see how many people you helped, it's a really good feeling."

  • Dick Grace

    St. Helena, California, United States

    2008 Adult Award Winner

    Dick Grace left behind a successful career as a stockbroker 30 years ago to establish Grace Family Vineyards. His goal was not retirement or a life of ease, but entrepreneurial philanthropy. His high-quality wines have produced substantial profits, which go to help the world's ill, homeless, and abused. Some of the neediest are in Asia, as Dick saw after touring the most remote areas of the East. He responded by building hospitals and schools, but his philanthropy is not just about money. Each year, he goes to Nepal, where he volunteers in one of Mother Teresa's hospices. These trips also give him a chance to talk with local people so he can make strategic donations. Thus far, he has donated over $25 million to bridge the gap between haves and have-nots, and the satisfaction this gives him has made him see the true purpose of life.

  • Greg Porter

    Gulfport, Mississippi, United States

    2008 Adult Award Winner

    Greg Porter took the devastation of Hurricane Katrina personally and just knew he had to help. News of Katrina led him to leave his home and business in Kentucky and drive to the Mississippi Gulf. Once there, he pitched a huge circus tent and set up God's Katrina Kitchen to feed the hungry, homeless, and disabled. When word of his efforts spread, 13,000 volunteers joined him and churches from 22 religious denominations donated truckloads of food. The wave of support allowed Greg to serve more than a million meals and rebuild hundreds of homes. He rarely saw his family or business during over two years of nonstop work, but he gained the know-how to run his own first response unit. As founder of God's Kitchen, he assisted in the recovery after a tornado leveled Greensburg, Kansas, and he's ready to go anywhere he's needed. It's demanding work, but Greg knows he has been called.

  • John Wooden

    Encino, California, United States

    2008 Adult Award Winner

    John Wooden is well known as the coach of the UCLA basketball team that won an unimaginable 10 national titles. Some years he did this with great talent, and other years with average talent. The secret to his success, he explains, is that he lived his life according to the Golden Rule, and he inspired - even insisted - that those who played for him do the same. In short, he took caring to a high art in the countless hours he spent on the court. It was not something he had to think about consciously; it was just part of who he was. This instruction to his teams was only minimally about basketball. In the main, it was about how to succeed as a human being and score in the game of life. It's a lesson he gives the world as the author of nine books and an expert on leadership.

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  • Reverend Cecil Williams

    San Francisco, California, United States

    2008 Adult Award Winner

    Reverend Cecil Williams became pastor of Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco's Tenderloin District in 1963. Parishioners were few because they feared the drug addicts, prostitutes, winos, homeless, and sick people who thronged the streets. Williams did what Jesus would have done: bring everyone inside and make it clear everyone's equal in God's eyes. Soon rich and poor alike came to hear him preach about social justice. He matched his words with actions by raising funds and creating numerous programs, ranging from housing to health care, from meals to education. They're tailored to meet the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of the thousands who've crossed his threshold. As a result, he's done more to help the city's poor than anyone else in nearly 50 years. Along the way, he's attracted 17,000 volunteers who share his vision of a church based on unconditional love.

  • Sister Adele O'Sullivan

    Phoenix, Arizona, United States

    2008 Adult Award Winner

    Adele O'Sullivan's dream of serving God by helping humanity led her to join the Order of Carondelet 31 years ago, and fired her subsequent decision to become a doctor. Today, the "Mother Teresa of Phoenix," as she is known, runs Health Care for the Homeless. You can sense her mission as she lays her hands on patients, listens to their stories, and washes their feet. She spends much of her time in a well-equipped clinic where she provides both medical care and unconditional love. But many of the homeless can't get there, so she also seeks them out in the streets, parks, and makeshift shelters they call home. Their lives are likely to improve since Adele now has her own nonprofit dedicated to building them a recuperative care center and permanent housing. As founder of Circle the City, she hopes to circle the city with love.

  • Alexandra Holderman

    Mishawaka, Indiana, United States

    2008 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 14

    Alexandra goes shopping every year for lots of babies. She's too young to have her own kids, but not too young to think "you should share your blessings." That's a lesson she learned from her mom, and she's acted on it since age five. In the past nine years, she's assembled over 2,000 "baby bundles" for teenage mothers in need. The bundles contain all the clothes and blankets she can afford using her own allowance and support from businesses in her community. There's no question store managers like her fundraising letters and sense her inner drive. Despite her age, Alexandra already knows the meaning of life.

  • Ashlee Kephart

    Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, United States

    2008 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Ashlee has a special way of remembering those in need. As founder of Kids for a Better World, she donates books, household items, and shoes to thousands of people in Africa and the U.S. Many are orphans and disaster victims, who find comfort in her "caring bags" full of socks, snacks, toiletries, and cards saying, "I CARE ABOUT YOU." Ashlee does all this because she knows, "Caring means identifying with someone you've never met." She brings this same empathy to her recent book about coping with her father's death.

  • Dallas Jessup

    Vancouver, Washington, United States

    2008 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Dallas has a hard punch and a soft heart. You can see both in her free self-defense video "Just Yell Fire." She decided to make it after hearing about the abduction and death of a young Florida girl. Dallas knew she could help girls like this one since she has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Drawing on her martial arts skills, she created a simple self-defense strategy, wrote a script, and raised $500,000. The result was a major production that's been seen online by 2 million viewers in 37 countries, including Iraq. Many American girls get to learn about self-defense from Dallas herself because she speaks often at schools and youth clubs.

  • Jami Harper

    Grand Island, Nebraska, United States

    2008 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 19

    Jami is an environmental educator who makes her cause fun. "I like to find things people can relate to," she says, "because it helps them think in a different light." She's urged children to save resources in a book based on the board game Candy Land. Teens may think twice about lighting up if they play her educational game on smoking's harmful effects. And we all might worry more about clean water after joining in H2Owood Squares, based on the show Hollywood Squares. Jami invented the game after hearing about tainted water in her community, and she's presented it at hundreds of schools. H2Owood Squares, as she explains, teaches us how to protect our water.

  • Vasanth Kuppuswamy

    Charleston, South Carolina, United States

    2008 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Vasanth inspires Indian children to learn. He's been teaching them English since he was 12 and raising money for them since he was 14. As founder of the Tamil Nadu India School Fund, he has collected over $60,000 for schools in the rural village where his father grew up. Thanks to Vasanth, students who once sat on cement floors now have benches and desks. He's also given them a science lab, athletic fields, and a water filtration system. Much of this became possible thanks to his generous supporters, many of them young American students. While Vasanth appreciates their donations, he reminds them that philanthropy is not just fundraising. So find a way to give of yourself.

  • Constantin Asavoaie

    Cluj-Napoca, Romania

    2007 Adult Award Winner

    Constantin once served Big Brother as a member of the communist party. Now he's caring for a "big family" of needy people as director of Prison Fellowship Romania. Their plight hits home because his father was a violent drunk who died when Constantin was seven. The responsibility of caring for his penniless family didn't stop him from excelling in school and rising in the bureaucracy, only to fall when the party arrested him for his fervent Christianity. Grim as they were, his 10 years in prison enlightened him to the problems of prisoners and their families. Since gaining his freedom in 1993, he's established homes for at-risk children, shelters for homeless adults, and asylums for the aged. Thousand have benefited from his help, and they express their affection by fondly calling him "Dad." Living up to their trust is a never-ending job.

  • Dominic Avellani

    Boston, Massachusetts, United States

    2007 Adult Award Winner

    Dominic came to America with 15 cents and big dreams of success. Now he's running the East Boston Adult Education Center and helping others find success, too. It's not easy for an outsider, as Dominic learned for himself. This didn't stop him finishing high school, working his way through college, and earning two graduate degrees. Then he became a guidance counselor and started his unique contribution to the community. Since 1972, his center has provided a wide range of educational opportunities for over 40,000 immigrants, refugees, and high school dropouts. Many have found rewarding careers, thanks to all the sacrifices Dominic's made. Over the years, he's used his own money to help pay for the center, besides spending his nights and weekends to keep its programs going. What keeps Dominic himself going is positive thinking and a firm commitment to learning.

  • Father Greg Boyle

    Los Angeles, California, United States

    2007 Adult Award Winner

    Greg connects with God by helping people some of us would consider godless. This man of faith spends his days with street fighters and felons because he realized gang members need hope, not jail. His response was to give them job referrals and counseling through Jobs for a Future. Then he founded Homeboy Industries to actually provide them with employment. Together, the two organizations have left thousands of young people with vocational skills, self-respect, and an inkling of God's hope for us to be one. There's a sense of kinship at the downtown building where members of rival gangs work together performing home-maintenance services, making baked goods, and producing merchandise with the Homeboy logo. For Greg, it's a concrete sign that faith, too, is at work.

  • Karin Walser

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    2007 Adult Award Winner

    Karin is a former Hill staffer and the "who" behind Horton's Kids, which helps needy kids in Southeast DC. It's named after the good-hearted elephant who hears cries unheard by others and saves the day for the tiny town of Whoville. Like the Whos, Southeast children went unnoticed by most. That changed when Karin stopped for gas near a large homeless shelter and found small children manning the pumps. The program she started in 1993 provides kids like these with medical visits, dental care, food, and outings. These activities have drawn support from grantors, allowing Karin to leave her job on the Hill. But she's kept up her contacts, so the kids have weekly tutoring sessions with staffers from both sides of Congress. You might ask how she gets donkeys and elephants to agree on something.

  • Rose Espinoza

    La Habra, California, United States

    2007 Adult Award Winner

    Rose is tuning up lives in her tutoring program for low-income kids. The idea struck her after seeing growing gang activity near her home. When she canvassed neighbors for solutions, she learned that many of them spoke little English and couldn't help their children with homework. Rose had a family and a job, but she eyed her garage and thought, "The kids can come here." She started Rosie's Garage with 16 children and no help besides the high school students she recruited as tutors. Fortunately, the community got involved, and the program began to grow. Now Rosie's Garage has a new location and three additional branches, allowing it to serve 200 children. As a result, life is running smoother in La Habra, where crime has gone down. And the kids are revved up because their test scores are two grade levels higher.

  • Davin Singleton

    Pasadena, Maryland, United States

    2007 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Davin once lost faith in his dreams, so he doesn't want others to feel the same way. In elementary school, he was diagnosed with dyslexia and placed in special education. But he caught up in high school, and then his thoughts turned to the many kids who weren't sure they could succeed. Following junior year, he decided to help them by creating a self-esteem workshop called Dreamers: How to Become Your Dream. "You do it by believing in yourself," he tells fourth graders in his year-long workshops at Baltimore-area schools. Some of the children are wary at first, but Davin really knows how to connect with them. By the time the workshop is over, they've come to agree with him.

  • Emily Wemhoff

    Creston, Nebraska, United States

    2007 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Emily's a small-town girl with a big mission: making fire safety a priority. It began when she heard about a tragic fire in a house without a working smoke alarm. The news led her to organize Project S.A.F.E. and raise funds to provide smoke alarms for local homes without one. Then she organized a statewide phone chain urging people to practice fire safety and raised money for a billboard to broadcast her message. Finally, she contacted local firefighters and got them to distribute 18,000 wristbands reminding schoolchildren to practice their fire escape plan. Her efforts inspired Nebraska's governor to declare October 1, 2005, the official fire safety day for state residents. And Emily worries about them all.

  • Jourdan Urbach

    Roslyn Heights, New York, United States

    2007 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Jourdan knows how to strike just the right note to make donors open their hearts to sick kids. As founder of Children Helping Children, the young violin virtuoso has been fiddling for philanthropy since he was seven years old. That's when he toured a pediatric ICU, and what he saw led him to begin giving bedside concerts for children in local hospitals. The kids go wild over his playing. So do adults at the benefit concerts he performs at some major concert venues. The result, so far, is $1.3 million for medical research, plus a number of glowing reviews. But this "young Paganini" doesn't let the praise go to his head.

  • Lauren Beeder

    Newbury Park, California, United States

    2007 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Lauren lives by the motto: you complete yourself by helping others. She's had help from her dachshund, Gary, who tags along on visits to nursing homes. But she goes it alone at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, where she plays with patients and makes their holidays bright. It's such a buzz when she's around that the kids forget they're sick. But Lauren doesn't because she, too, once had cancer. So she's founded kidsCANCERvive, which has raised over $35,000 for cancer research and hosted support groups for kids with cancer and their families. Sometimes their problems make her feel a bit blue.

  • Mollie and Jackie Singer

    Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

    2007 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Mollie and Jackie are twins who want to double the giving when it comes to diabetes. Mollie alone has diabetes, but they work together for the millions like her. They've founded Diabetic Angels to teach young people about the disease and get them to lobby for a cure. They've also put a face on diabetes by appearing on TV, testifying before Congress, and organizing walks that have collected over $500,000 for diabetes research. "We've had a lot of practice in getting people to listen to us," Mollie says. And they've put what they've learned in their booklet, The Road to a Cure.

  • Albert Lexie

    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

    2006 Adult Award Winner

    Albert Lexie has been shining shoes since 1982 at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He makes only $10,000 a year, but early on, he began setting aside tips with the goal of raising $100,000 for sick kids. Last year, he reached this milestone. By then, he had donated the entire amount to the Children's Free Care Fund, which ensures all kids receive medical care regardless of a family's ability to pay. This goal accomplished, he set out to raise more funds than Jerry Lewis in his decades of telethons for muscular dystrophy. Albert's desire to help has strengthened his arm over the years and made him a hero among hospital staff. They know he represents a side of the hospital that is too often forgotten ? that of charity. Albert is driven to go on with his selfless labor for one simple reason. "It's because I love the kids very much; I think they're very special."

  • Cal Ripken Jr.

    Baltimore, Maryland, United States

    2006 Adult Award Winner

    Cal Ripken Jr. is a baseball great whose dad coached him to give his best both on and off the field. Baseball's "Iron Man" made history in 1995 by breaking Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played. In 21 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, he came to embody character, endurance, and integrity. Since retiring from the game in 2001, Cal has given back to the city of Baltimore, which supported him throughout his long career. He's donated generously to support literacy, care for thyroid patients, and research on Lou Gehrig's disease. He's also honored his father's memory through the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, which refurbishes fields, donates sports equipment to schools, and teaches life lessons through baseball to disadvantaged kids. These activities reflect the Ripkin philosophy of teamwork, tenacity, and fun, as Cal likes to explain. "I have fun making contributions in my work. You should enjoy the work and feel good at the same time."

     

  • Dr. Benjamin S. Carson

    Baltimore, Maryland, United States

    2006 Adult Award Winner

    Dr. Ben Carson is a physician who performs medical miracles. He led the first successful operation to separate Siamese twins attached at the back of the head and has since performed similar operations on other sets of twins. His achievements are all the more amazing when you consider that he began life as a hot-tempered, underachieving, inner-city youth. Fortunately, his mother challenged him to strive for excellence and fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor. He attributes his blessings to God and has tried to repay him by helping others. He co-founded Angels of the OR to fund medical expenses of needy families that are not covered by insurance. He established the Carson Scholars Fund to honor students for outstanding academic and humanitarian achievements. And he wrote three inspiring bestsellers.

  • Eleanor Josaitis

    Detroit, Michigan, United States

    2006 Adult Award Winner

    Eleanor Josaitis has brightened the future for thousands by founding Focus: HOPE. Her burning passion to help others was ignited by the flames that consumed Detroit during the race riots of 1967. At the time, Eleanor was a white, suburban housewife. But she decided to do her part to right decades of racial wrongs. Throughout the years, her enduring faith in God and justice helped her weather the storms of outrage her decision caused among family, friends, and neighbors. The small nonprofit she founded in a basement is now a human rights powerhouse with a $55 million budget. Focus: HOPE runs a massive food program, offers educational courses, and provides job training that leads to rewarding careers. Hope has become reality for thousands because of Eleanor's long fight against discrimination.

  • Oral Lee Brown

    Oakland, California, United States

    2006 Adult Award Winner

    Oral Lee Brown, Founder, Oral Lee Brown Foundation, Oakland, CA, who works as a real estate agent in Oakland, California, knows the high cost of an education. That's because she's sent dozens of students to college. The kids owe it all to a chance encounter that brought Oral Lee to one of Oakland's poorest primary schools. As she stood before the first-grade class, she made an impulsive promise to pay college tuition for any student who finished high school. She's used her limited income to keep that promise and raised $1 million more to give three other classes a chance for college. The many kids she's "adopted" regard her fondly as a mentor, tutor, and second mom. For Oral Lee, it is a simple matter of giving back and saying thanks for all the blessings she has received.

  • Reverend Billy Graham

    Montreat, North Carolina, United States

    2006 Adult Award Winner

    Reverend Billy Graham is a world-famous evangelist and central figure in the resurgence of U.S. Christianity after WWII. He has been a friend and advisor to several presidents, civil rights leader, and beacon of hope to millions of believers. His embrace of the mass media paved the way for a generation of evangelists. But he harnessed the power of TV and radio to convey a simple message of salvation. His place in the country's heart is summed up in the Gallup Poll, where he has appeared a record 49 times among the "Ten Most Admired Men in America." Graham downplays the poll, saying the credit is due to the creator and not to the messenger. His humility has drawn thousands to his spiritual flame. So has his uplifting message of divine and human love.

  • Brittany and Robbie Bergquist

    Norwell, Massachusetts, United States

    2006 Young Adult Award Winner

    Brittany and Robbie Bergquist founded Cell Phones for Soldiers to help U.S. troops stay in touch. They used their life savings of $14 to launch their nonprofit after hearing about a soldier who ran up a $7,600 phone bill calling home from Iraq. When word of their idea got out, donations began rolling in: money, prepaid phone cards, and used cell phones that the kids recycle and sell to raise funds. So far, they've collected over $1 million, sent over 80,000 calling cards to troops in the Middle East, and established over 8,000 recycling drop-off sites. These achievements have convinced Robbie that you should "always keep pushing your ideas and never give up." That's because "every little bit counts," Brittany adds.

  • Clayton Lillard

    San Antonio, Texas, United States

    2006 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Clayton Lillard loves to watch children beam when they receive a bike. He's often seen that glow because he refurbishes used bikes for kids with a parent in prison. His project began eight years ago when he spotted two bikes in the trash and took them home to repair. The two bikes were part of the 25 he planned to repair and donate, but that number quadrupled after people began giving him their used bikes. Since then, Clayton and his "Backyard Crew" of volunteers have repaired 100 bikes every year. The kids who get the bikes think they're gifts from their imprisoned parents.

  • Daniel Kent

    Carmel, Indiana, United States

    2006 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Daniel Kent formed Senior Connects - now Net Literacy Corporation - to bring older folks into the computer age. While teaching a computer class for adults, he realized that many seniors found it hard to attend his sessions. He recruited and trained friends to help him teach Internet classes, built a website, and raised over $110,000 for equipment. His efforts have put computer labs in 70 retirement homes and helped 11,000 seniors get online. He now has 200 volunteers who visit the homes each week and work closely with residents. The result is a very high success rate which Daniel attributes to the input of his volunteers.

  • Jena Sims

    Winder, Georgia, United States

    2006 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Jena Sims is a former beauty queen whose inner beauty shows in her fight against cancer. Her commitment dates back to childhood, when she watched both her grandfathers struggle and die from the disease. Since then, she has led 32 fundraisers and collected over $69,000 for the American Cancer Society. After being crowned Miss Junior National Teenager, she organized a Prince and Princess of Hope pageant for young victims of cancer and other serious ailments. All contestants have a chance to feel beautiful, and they all go home with a tiara

  • Mattie Stepanek

    Rockville, Maryland, United States

    2006 Young Adult Award Winner

    Mattie Stepanek was a best-selling poet, ambassador for peace, and voice for victims of muscular dystrophy. His life-long battle against the disease sapped his body but not his soul. He served as National Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, raised money for the hungry, and collaborated with Jimmy Carter on a book. Mattie found his peace at the tender age of 14, almost two years before the publication of Just Peace. But his spirit lives on in his moving Heartsongs, which urge us to live life to the fullest and help others do the same.

  • Alfredo J. Molina

    Phoenix, Arizona, United States

    2005 Adult Award Winner

    Alfredo J. Molina is the son of poor Cuban refugees who came to the U.S. to find opportunity and escape Castro's Communism. He worked hard, got an education and found work in the jewelry business because of prior experience working as an apprentice to his grandfather in Cuba. Opening a small shop in Phoenix, Arizona, Molina was mired in debt until paradoxically he started giving away his time and his money in service to the community. The more he gave the more he prospered. Today, he is both the nation's most successful jewelers and among its greatest philanthropists, personally supporting over 167 charities.

  • Alice Coles

    Bayview, Virginia, United States

    2005 Adult Award Winner

    Alice Coles is the descendent of slaves, sharecroppers, who settled in Bayview, Virginia, living for generations on land that belonged to others. The conditions were primitive because the owners would not improve the houses, but at least it was home. In 1995, the State of Virginia announced plans to buy this land, disperse the families and build a maximum security prison. Alice, like Rosa Parks before her, said, "No!" She organized the families, brought in the NAACP and made the news. She stopped the prison land-grab and raised enough money to buy adjacent land, and build new homes for all 57 Bayview families.

  • Dr. Gloria WilderBrathwaite

    Dumfries, Virginia, United States

    2005 Adult Award Winner

    Gloria WilderBraithwaite worked her way through Howard University and Georgetown Medical School fired by the desire to help others. When she graduated, she heard of a new program conceived by entertainer Paul Simon to create a doctor's office on wheels in order to bring medical care to the inner city. While others warned her that this would be too dangerous, Gloria was the first doctor who volunteered. For the past 14 years, she has been riding in a blue colored van bringing medical care where it is needed the most to the people living in the roughest neighborhoods of Washington, D.C.

  • Father Theodore Hesburgh

    South Bend, Indiana, United States

    2005 Adult Award Winner

    Father Theodore Hesburgh was hired to save the University of Notre Dame in 1952. He served as President through 1987, making the school a world famous center for learning. The university prospered and today has an endowment second only to Harvard. Along the way, he worked for civil rights and justice, becoming the confidant of every President back to Eisenhower. Father Hesburgh has served God, the nation and the university with such distinction that he has become the most honored person in modern history topping the Guinness Book of Records with 150 honorary degrees and the nation's highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

  • Genny Nelson

    Portland, Oregon, United States

    2005 Adult Award Winner

    Genny Nelson worked for a federal antipoverty program in Portland's skid row in the 1970's. Unlike others, Genny listened to the homeless who told her what they would like to see in place of the existing desperate soup kitchens. Genny promptly left her job, took on homeless people as partners and built "Sister's of the Road" in 1979. "Sister's" provides restaurant quality meals (no dented cans or surplus foods) prepared by homeless people with culinary skills who are paid for their work. Those who cannot pay for meals can work for credits that can be applied toward them. Today, "Sister's" provides the homeless with a home, a refuge, a place to receive mail, to train for or find a job and to connect with their friends.

  • Mary Ann Wright

    Oakland, California, United States

    2005 Adult Award Winner

    Mother Wright now age 84, believes she is on a God-given mission to feed the hungry. Some 21 years ago she heard a voice in the night which motivated her to give all of her $236 Social Security check to provide Thanksgiving dinner for 300 homeless people in Oakland, California. She has been doing this ever since. Seeing her dedication, others came to her aid. A formal organization was born which feeds about 450 people a day and more recently sends food to other needy people around the world.

  • Sister Antonia Brenner

    Tijuana, Mexico

    2005 Adult Award Winner

    Sister Antonia Brenner was raised in Beverly Hills, she married and raised seven children but always had a passion to serve the poor. She volunteered most of her life, but after her divorce she felt the call to do this full time. Divine Providence, she says, guided her to Tijuana's La Mesa Penitentiary, where for the past 27 years she has lived in a 10 by 10 foot cell giving a mother's love to people thought to be unlovable. This founder of a Catholic religious order calls herself, "god's mop," but she has become known worldwide as "the prison angel."

  • Aishlinn O’Connor

    Praire Village, Kansas, United States

    2005 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Aishlinn O'Connor was told when she was nine that she was too young to volunteer at the local children's hospital. Undeterred, she created her own organization "Kids Helping Kids," whose mission is to bring happiness and opportunity to underprivileged children. Sensing the connection between kids and seniors, she persuaded a local home for the aged to allow their backyard to be converted into an intergenerational playground and wheelchair garden and raised $75,000 to make this happen.

  • Greg Sweeney

    Wilmington, Delaware, United States

    2005 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Greg Sweeney founded "Cub Scout Pack 506" to give homeless boys a sense of connection and stability, and to show them that someone cared. He felt they deserved a cozy place to meet, an opportunity to develop stable friendships, to learn from mentors and from each other, to share food, fun and adventures as well as the opportunity to work together to improve the community.

  • Jacob Komar

    Burlington, Connecticut, United States

    2005 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 13

    Jacob Komar created "Computers for Communities, Inc." in order to help close the digital divide. Four years ago he observed that well-off families had computers but those who were poor did not. He also saw thousands of outdated computers being discarded. Jacob put these two problems together and fashioned a solution. Given his amazing skills, he and other friends so far have been able to rebuild and give away over 1,000 computers to families in need.

  • Kyle Amber

    Pinecrest, Florida, United States

    2005 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Kyle Amber, founded "Kids That Care," to help young children with life threatening or terminal illness. For the past 10 years, he and volunteers have stocked hospital waiting rooms with toys, visited sick kids and brought them small presents, helped them to laugh and to fulfill their wishes; to date more than $100,000 has been raised, much of this for a pediatric bone marrow unit in Jackson Memorial Hospital of Miami, Florida.

  • May Lan Dong

    Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

    2005 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    May Lan Dong founded "Operation West Africa," and is the driving force behind it. A trip to Africa when she was 10 years old was enough to convince her to do something to help those who live in grinding poverty. Her efforts centering on Guinea have helped raise $50,000 for the support of an all girls orphanage, a vocational school and a high school.

  • Ako Abdul-Samad

    Des Moines, Iowa, United States

    2004 Adult Award Winner

    Ako Abdul-Samad's work began with a question he was often asked by young people: "How do I survive in this violence-prone society where it is not uncommon for kids to carry guns to school?" A resident of Des Moines, Iowa, where police estimate there are more than 1,000 juvenile gang members, Abdul-Samad wanted to help redirect young lives by starting his own community program. When a woman from an outlying suburb of Des Moines was killed in 1996 after being caught in gang crossfire, Abdul-Samad met for four hours with 14 of the city's top gang leaders. The result was "Creative Visions," a nonprofit agency that educates and empowers youth labeled "high-risk" due to their gang affiliation or current living situation (i.e., homeless, pregnant, unemployed, etc.). Abdul-Samad's program is comprehensive, offering employment training and job placement, tutoring, scholarships, and crisis counseling. Since its inception, Creative Visions' programs have served more than 50,000 youth. It helps feed approximately 100 homeless and at-risk youth each week, and has provided jobs to approximately 1,000 young peop

  • Andy Granatelli

    Montecito, California, United States

    2004 Adult Award Winner

    Andy Granatelli was raised in the ghettos of Chicago by a widowed father during the Great Depression. He went on to become a multi-millionaire by age 40. Granatelli has obtained international prominence as a professional race car driver, race car designer, inventive automotive engineer, and renowned business executive. Never forgetting his roots, Granatelli's first philanthropic mission was to help at-risk youth struggling with crippling social and economic problems. While owner of a national corporation, TuneUp Masters, he implemented the program "Youth at Risk," in which thousands of disadvantaged youth receive on-the-job training, mentoring, encouragement, and support. He also provided educational and motivational video presentations to young people in all of his 278 stores. Through his work, thousands of young men and women have obtained the skills necessary to lead productive lives. Since his retirement, Granatelli has used his business genius and generous heart to support more than 168 organizations in his community in addition to numerous regional and national organizations. Granatelli says he learned to share his wealth during the Great Depression: "People helped me and I never forgot that."

  • Ann Belles and Jim Silcock

    Huntington Beach, California, United States

    2004 Adult Award Winner

    Ann Belles and Jim Silcock have adopted 31 boys, ages 3 to 27, all of whom suffer from various disabilities. These children, once considered "unadoptable," have found a happy, supportive home with Ann and Jim. What further sets this remarkable family apart from others is the fact that Jim is a quadriplegic, the result of a 1987 diving accident. In spite of his paralysis, Jim is a small business owner, takes his children to their various sporting events, volunteers in each child's classroom, and most importantly takes time each day to spend with his many sons. Jim and Ann encourage their boys to push their personal limits. Jim's example teaches them that regardless of what your limitations are, each person has the potential to make a positive impact on the world. "Jim and I don't believe that a person's so-called 'disabilities' define them or limit their value," says Ann. "We think kids should decide what their own limits are by participating with their peers."

  • Carl Cannon

    Peoria, Illinois, United States

    2004 Adult Award Winner

    While a corrections officer with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, Carl Cannon watched for years as inmates in the facilities at which he worked became younger and younger. He decided to do something to reach out to young people before they ended up behind bars. In 1995, Cannon founded "C.H.O.I.C.E.S." (Can't Have Our Independent Choices Endangering Society), a program that has reached more than 150,000 students, parenting groups, and PTAs across Illinois, Kansas, and beyond. C.H.O.I.C.E.S. targets youth and young adults ages 8 to 22. Police officers present the program to young audiences to help them understand the importance of making responsible, positive life decisions. Cannon, former and present prison inmates, and fellow officers also teach youth about the realities of life "behind bars." When students hear inmates' stories of what went wrong for them and the hard lessons they've learned, the often-held myth among urban youth that prison is a "cool place" to be is quickly dispelled. By projecting respect for his audience and frankly detailing the ugly realities of prison life, Cannon encourages students to become self-controlled, self-motivated individuals vigilant to negative peer influences.

  • Howard Clark, MD

    Morton, MIssissippi, United States

    2004 Adult Award Winner

    At age 77, Dr. Clark sees an average of 60 patients per day, and cares for approximately 20 more in his local hospital and 120 in the local nursing home. Twice a week, he works the 12-hour night shift at the Scott Regional Hospital emergency room, and twice a month he takes the 48-hour weekend shift there. And he still makes house calls. The residents of Morton and Scott County, Mississippi, ubiquitously describe Dr. Clark as their "hero" ? a doctor who is always available any time a patient needs him. He has given more than 47 years of continuous service to his patients as a family practitioner. Known for his work ethic as well as for the quality of care he provides, Dr. Clark has single-handedly kept the local hospital open, once staffing the emergency room for 25 days straight. He has also served as the medical director, on-call physician, and attending physician for the local nursing home for 20 years without pay. "The more you do for your fellow man," Dr. Clark affirms, "the better off you're going to be!"

  • Margaret Dolan

    Ambler, Pennsylvania, United States

    2004 Adult Award Winner

    Margaret "Peggy" Dolan and her late husband, Joe, founded the Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund in 1976, following the death of their six-year-old daughter, Kelly Anne. When Kelly Anne was first hospitalized at age two, the Dolans began a journey into the U.S. health care system that forever altered the course of their lives. Peggy and her husband witnessed the extreme financial burden placed on other parents with sick children. They met parents who had used all of their paid leave time from their jobs, and saw many lose employment as a result. They saw parents forced to choose between paying for medications and utilities. They decided their nonprofit organization would provide financial assistance to families caring for terminally or chronically ill children. While coping with another daughter's battle with cancer and the loss of her husband, Peggy continued to devote time to the fund. Now, working full-time to run her organization, Peggy travels and speaks, raising money for needy families. To date, the Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund has provided advocacy, education, and financial assistance to more than 10,000 families.

  • Michael Litow, PhD

    Aurora, Illnois, United States

    2004 Adult Award Winner

    Michael Litow, PhD, has devoted his life to helping thousands of at-risk or under-achieving kids. He has been a teacher and counselor for special education students at Sullivan Elementary School on Chicago's South Side for 35 years. Twenty-five years ago, he founded The Education Center, with the mission of providing tutoring, counseling, and job readiness services to young people through "life coaching," a mentorship program that partners with education and business leaders. Over the decades, Dr. Litow has helped more than 1,000 kids turn their lives around. "Within every kid there is genius," he says. "It may not be academic brilliance, but there is always something special and unique to each young person." Dr. Litow is also responsible for organizing the Sullivan/Buckingham inclusion program, which places students with severe emotional and behavioral disorders into better learning environments. "At first I thought he was just another teacher," says one boy of Dr. Litow. "So many people had written me off. He always knew I had the potential to succeed, and when I learned that myself, I did succeed."

  • Brittany Clifford

    Scottsdale, Arizona, United States

    2004 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 14

    Once children in pediatric units were given cozy slippers to warm their feet in cold hospital rooms. No more. It may seem like a small luxury, but one day a little girl named Brittany visiting a friend in the hospital took notice. "Every time we went to visit him, we noticed his feet were cold," she says. Brittany knew that she could never buy as many slippers as there were cold feet to cover on her own. So she started a letter-writing campaign to shoe companies. On Valentines Day 2002, she delivered her first batch of slippers to pediatric patients. To date, Brittany's "Fuzzy Feet" foundation has brought over 4,000 pairs of slippers to children in hospitals, homeless shelters, and orphanages.

  • Daniel Cayce

    Thornton, Arkansas, United States

    2004 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Daniel Cayce's grandmother, Jo Ann Cayce, a 1992 Caring Awardee, is the founder of Jo Ann Cayce Charities, which for over half a century has often been the only salvation for the homeless and hungry in rural Arkansas. Daniel began initiating his own charitable projects in the winter of 1999-2000, when he gathered 300 blankets to distribute at one of his grandmother's food pantries. By the following winter, Daniel had collected over 1,200 blankets, 1,000 pots and pans, and 400 sets of boxed dishes. When he discovered that the WIC program excludes baby food, Daniel collected and distributed over 2,000 lbs. of baby food to poor families. "I have always received motivation from my family to help those less fortunate," says Daniel.

  • Jhordan Logan

    New Castle, Indiana, United States

    2004 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 13

    When her baby brother was born prematurely, Jhordan Logan joined her family to visit him in the hospital. While there, she learned the hospital's library left much to be desired. Within a month, Jhordan collected over 5,000 books, and "Read It Again" was born. In four years, Jhordan's program has donated over 27,000 books to charities nationwide. Jhordan is also the founder of the "Y.E.S." (Youth Embracing Seniors) program. Y.E.S. pairs New Castle's elementary schools with local nursing homes. Children send letters and artwork to their senior friends, and schools organize class visits to the homes. "Many of my friends have now begun volunteering on their own," says Jhordan, "and so the chain continues."

  • Meghan Pasricha

    Hockessin, Delaware, United States

    2004 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    The tiny state of Delaware has one of the most potent weapons against youth smoking in the nation: Meghan Pasricha. Meghan's asthma triggered one of the biggest threats to the tobacco industry in Delaware when she began working with her state's legislators to ban indoor smoking in public. The act, making Delaware an essentially "smoke-free state," passed, an achievement Delaware State Senator Liane Sorenson partially attributes to Meghan's activism. Meghan has served as president of Delaware's statewide "Kick Butts Generation," and she founded "IGNITE," a national youth-led organization promoting youth leadership in tobacco control. "Young people are frequently told that they are the 'leaders of tomorrow,' " says Meghan. "I urge them to become the leaders of today."

  • Robyn Strumpf

    Northridge, California, United States

    2004 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Robyn Strumpf's early struggle to learn how to read made a strong impression on her. "Finally, it got through!" she says. "Because I didn't give up on reading, new worlds opened for me." Today Robyn is trying to share those worlds with others. In 1999, she coordinated her first drive to collect books for disadvantaged children. She also become an avid quilt-maker, and has sewed countless quilts to accompany the baskets of books that she delivers to libraries, classrooms, literacy programs, homeless shelters, hospitals, and other charities. Robyn calls her program "Books & Blankies," and encourages those to whom she donates to use her quilts to create quiet, cozy "reading corners." To date, Robyn has donated close to 15,000 books to local, national, and international charities.

  • Thea Kay Leopoulos

    Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

    2004 Young Adult Award Winner

    Thea Kay Leopoulos was by all accounts a remarkable young woman. A parent of one of Thea's many high school friends expressed his admiration: "There is a Christian song that says, 'Maybe we are entertaining angels unaware.' Thea entertained everyone as if they were angels. That's what made her one." Shortly after her tragic death in 2001, Thea's parents established a nonprofit foundation in memory of their daughter. "The best joy out of life to me is loving and being loved," wrote Thea. The THEA Foundation works to teach families the importance of open communication. The Thea Leopoulos Arts Scholarship Program offers college scholarships to Arkansas high school seniors, who, like Thea, are talented in the visual and performing arts. In 2004, the THEA Foundation was responsible for awarding $68,000 in scholarship dollars to 13 students.

  • Betty Tisdale

    Seattle, Washington, United States

    2003 Adult Award Winner

    Betty Tisdale created Help and Loving Orphans (HALO) to care for and facilitate the adoption of orphaned children. Tisdale has been at this meaningful work for more than 45 years. She came to world prominence in 1975 when she, as the "Angel of Saigon," heroically evacuated 219 babies from Saigon's An Lac Orphanage. Tisdale was inspired by the missionary doctor, Tom Dooley, and his efforts to help refugees in Vietnam, India and Tibet. When he died in 1961, Tisdale volunteered in Dr. Dooley's clinic in Laos, working to help refugees from Tibet, and ending up at the An Lac Orphanage in Saigon. She eventually returned to the U.S., joining the staff of Senator Jacob Javits. She wed Colonel Patrick Tisdale, M.D., a widower with five sons and they adopted five Vietnamese girls from An Lac. All of her life has been devoted to helping children orphaned by war.

  • Dr. Gloria Johnson-Rodgers

    Columbus, Georgia, United States

    2003 Adult Award Winner

    Dr. Gloria Johnson-Rodgers grew up in the tiny town of Shaw, Mississippi. She said her family was very supportive, poor in material terms but rich in love. When she was 5 years old, a neighbor was struck by a car and could have survived except no doctor was willing to treat an African-American. Mama G, as she is affectionately known today, decided she would be a physician and worked her way through college and medical school. She returned home to provide medical care to those in need, married, raised a family and moved with her husband to Columbus, Georgia. When her sister, Gwendolyn Wilkes, died, Mama G established a community center in her honor. The Gwendolyn Wilkes Rainbow Center provides a safehouse for young children, feeding them and providing a jump-start on their education. Having made a significant contribution in the U.S., she turned her sights on Africa. Last year her Operation Feed Worldwide project fed about 1 million people, mostly in Nigeria.

  • Jerry Lee

    Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, United States

    2003 Adult Award Winner

    Jerry Lee, president of Philadelphia's WBEB Radio, has long been committed to making a difference in his community. As a longstanding board member of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), he mobilized the group to take on important causes. One example involved improving industrial productivity through a national media campaign. Lee received a Private Sector Initiative Award from President Reagan for his efforts. He serves on a dozen national and local boards, including the Salvation Army. Lee's current mission in life is to solve the problems of the nation's inner cities. In 2000, he established the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Steven & Michelle Kirsch

    Los Altos, California, United States

    2003 Adult Award Winner

    Steven and Michele Kirsch have a passionate mission to make the world a better place and to create opportunities for others. Much of their philanthropy comes through the Kirsch Foundation, which they established in 1999. An initial endowment of $50 million supports 130 grants per year. Michele is an attorney who is using her degree to serve the public interest. Steven is an entrepreneur and inventor, and a recognized figure in the field of telecommunications. Founder of the search engine Infoseek, Kirsch sold his company and funded the Kirsch Foundation. Cancer research, clean water, education and the well-being of children are close to the Kirschs' hearts. In 1999, when the United Way of Silicon Valley was millions short of its goal, the Kirschs pledged $1 million and then called friends and acquaintances until the balance had been raised. They have elevated community service to a high art.

  • Tom Osborne

    Lincoln, Nebraska, United States

    2003 Adult Award Winner

    Thomas Osborne is one of the most successful college football coaches of all time. He led his Nebraska team to 13 conference championships, 12 bowl games and three national titles. Even more important, 75 percent of his players graduated from college, 55 were All Americans and 46 were Academic ALC Americans. His secret was building a culture of caring, proving that nice guys finish first, not last. In 1991 he started a program called TeamMates, which involved teaming middle school students with university football players. The program was so successful, it has been implemented statewide. Moreover, because Osborne ran and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, he has had the opportunity to write his Mentoring for Success Act in the federal legislation, which supports elementary and secondary schools. Because this same culture of caring has been implemented in his Washington office, Osborne will likely be just as successful in Congress as he was on the gridiron.

  • Vice-Admiral William P. Lawrence

    Crownsville, Maryland, United States

    2003 Adult Award Winner

    After graduation from the Naval Academy, during the Vietnam War, Admiral Lawrence became commanding officer of Attack Squadron 143. In 1967, his plane was shot down, and he was captured by the North Vietnamese. Lawrence was held prisoner in the infamous "Hanoi Hilton," and for more than six years, he held the group of POWs together, enduring torture, starvation, and inhumane living conditions. Many of the prisoners, including Senator John McCain, have credited Lawrence's caring example and strength of character for their survival. After his release in 1973, Lawrence continued to serve the nation with honor, and was appointed superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978. He was a strong advocate of admitting women as cadets. Now retired, he is universally recognized as one of the Navy's most distinguished officers and continues to mentor, teach and inspire new generations of leaders.

  • William F. Austin

    Eden Prarie, Minnesota, United States

    2003 Adult Award Winner

    William Austin fulfilled a dream "to fix the broken ears of the world" when he created Starkey Laboratories, the world's largest U.S.-based manufacturer of hearing aids. He has fitted the past five U.S. Presidents with hearing aids, as well as such celebrities as Walter Cronkite, Arnold Palmer and Billy Graham. Having done well serving those who could pay, Austin created The Hearing Foundation in 1978 to meet the needs of those who could not. Last year alone, The Hearing Foundation distributed nearly 41,000 free hearing aids to needy children and adults. He also provides hearing assistance at Paul Newman's Hole-in-the-Wall camps for children fighting life-threatening diseases. Austin has organized missions to donate to children in Africa, South America and southern Asia, personally fitting thousands with hearing aids.

  • Anthony Leanna

    Suamica, Wisconsin, United States

    2003 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 12

    Anthony Leanna of Wisconsin learned of the side effects of chemotherapy after his grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. In seeing the humiliation and embarrassment of cancer patients who suddenly lose their hair, Anthony decided to do something about the problem. He created a program called "Heavenly Hats", obtaining donations of thousands of new hats that he distributes to cancer patients in hospitals all over the United States.

  • Gregory Smith

    Keswick, Virginia, United States

    2003 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 13

    Gregory Smith, age 13 of Virginia has already graduated from college and founded International Youth Advocates. He has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in connection with his work with three warring tribes in Africa. He plans to obtain three PhD's by the time he reaches the age of 27. One is in biomedical research, to help him find cures for diseases such as cancer. A second in aerospace engineering, so he can build space stations and mine asteroids and a third in political science to prepare him to be President of the United States.

  • Kayt and Maggie Norris

    Quincy, Illinois, United States

    2003 Young Adult Award Winner

    Kayt & Maggie Norris of Illinois have been volunteering since they were young children. They began cleaning up alleys, planting gardens at schools and others were inspired to follow. They created a program called "Helping Hands", which serves as a clearinghouse to connect young people who want to contribute with community programs that need assistance. Since 1994, Helping Hands has contributed more than 10,000 hours of volunteer service. The Norris' have helped the American Cancer Society, the United Way, Meals on Wheels and co-chaired the Salvation Army's Christmas campaign and raising over $250,000.

  • MaKenzie Snyder

    Bowie, Maryland, United States

    2003 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 12

    MaKenzie Snyder of Maryland has been volunteering since she was seven years old. She befriended two children who had been wards of the state; learning that those placed in foster care are often moved from place to place and family to family, hauling their belongings in a garbage bag. Makenzie said, "trash bags are for trash and not for kids." She started a program called, "Children to Children", which provides duffel bags, a book, a stuffed animal and a little dignity to children in foster care.

  • Dawn Degenhardt

    Houlton, Maine, United States

    2002 Adult Award Winner

    Dawn Degenhardt's unyielding love for children of all races and nationalities motivated her to organize the first parent-centered adoption agency, Maine Adoption Placement Service (MAPS), which she founded 25 years ago. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for children the world over. Thousands of children have found families through MAPS' network of professional program specialists and caseworkers located in six states and 11 countries. In tandem with MAPS' mission, Degenhardt and her husband, Edwin, have adopted nine children of their own. "If each of us provided help to one child, we wouldn't have the problem as it exists today," she says. Degenhardt's pursuit to improve the welfare of children worldwide has enabled thousands of youngsters to have the opportunity to grow up in a loving and healthy family environment.

  • Debi Faris

    Yucaipa, California, United States

    2002 Adult Award Winner

    Debi Faris decided to get involved upon hearing the story of an infant who had been discovered dead inside a duffel bag on a California freeway. She founded the Garden of Angels so that these newborns would have a final resting place after their tragic deaths. In 1996, she and her husband Mark spent $27,000 to buy 44 burial plots, thinking this would support the program through their lifetimes. Soon all the cemetery plots were filled. Faris personally carries the emotionally difficult burden of claiming each child from the coroner's office, naming it, and providing a dignified burial. Faris has been instrumental in getting passed a safe abandonment law in California that has been copied by other states.

  • Judy Schwank

    Bowling Green, Kentucky, United States

    2002 Adult Award Winner

    Judy Schwank, a nurse and attorney, has spent 30 years advocating for the welfare of children. Schwank has personally arranged for the medical treatment of thousands of indigent children who suffer from severe cranial abnormalities. She has founded two non-governmental organizations, and more recently Children's Aid Mission International (CAMI), whose mission involves health care, education and social advocacy. Schwank travels to underdeveloped nations several times a year, to locate children in greatest need of life-enhancing operations. She serves on the front lines to find and evaluate those needs, and coordinates teams of health care professionals and the delivery of medical supplies. As a last resort, she brings children to the U.S. for treatment if they cannot be helped at home. Schwank is a selfless humanitarian who has not let anything stop her mission to heal the bodies and uplift the spirits of children throughout the world.

  • Kenneth Maryboy

    Bluff, Utah, United States

    2002 Adult Award Winner

    Kenneth Maryboy, known as the "Medicine Man" among his Navajo tribe that lives on the land encompassing the Four-Corners Region of the United States, ministers to the physical, mental and spiritual needs of his people. An honored member of the Navajo Tribal Council, Maryboy bridges the gap between the old ways of the Navajo, and the current life in America. Invoking his own happy childhood memories of the celebration of Christmas at St. Christopher's Mission, Maryboy created a program, the Navajo Santa, to help serve his people with the spirit of Christmas all year long. He adapted the concept of Santa Claus to meet the needs of the Native Americans who are among the most impoverished people in the U.S. The program provides gifts of food, clothing, blankets, and toys, medical care, and other services. He provides hope for everyone served by his joyful program.

  • Maya Angelou

    Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States

    2002 Adult Award Winner

    As a victim of child abuse so severe that she could not speak for years, Maya Angelou was able to rise above all obstacles and emerge undefeated. Angelou's crusade against hunger, poverty, fear, and guilt, along with her love and encouragement of others is heroic by any definition. She is today, America's greatest living poet and one of the most caring people on the planet. In her own words, Angelou has chosen to reinvent herself and by any measurement, this invention has been extraordinary. She has proven that it is possible to overcome even the most desperate set of circumstances by working hard, sustaining positive beliefs, and improving the quality of life for others. Angelou measures her success in direct proportion to her ability to love and to care for others.

  • Nancy Rivard

    Danville, California, United States

    2002 Adult Award Winner

    Nancy Rivard is an airline attendant who decided to use her rest and recuperation days following international flights to help those in need. Through her personal quest to be part of something bigger than herself, Rivard has single-handedly built an internationally recognized, nonprofit organization, Airline Ambassadors International (AAI). She began to recruit volunteers in 1996. Since then, AAI has attracted a caring army of almost 4,000 members, and its volunteers have contributed more than 600,000 hours of their time to its programs. "Intuitively, as human beings, we recognize that caring is based on love. I want my work more and more to be based on love," says Rivard. AAI's programs have delivered school supplies, food, medicine, medical supplies and wheelchairs, to upwards of 100,000 children in 25 nations. Rivard is proof positive that one person can make a difference. She has inspired thousands of others to follow her caring example.

  • Noel Irwin Hentschel

    Los Angeles, California, United States

    2002 Adult Award Winner

    Noel Irwin Hentschel of Los Angeles, California, took responsibility of raising her nine siblings because her mother suffered with a terminal illness. Hentschel transcended humble beginnings to found and become CEO of American Tours International, the largest Visit-USA tour operation in the country. In 1988, Hentschel met Mother Teresa, following her advice to use the same passion that made her a success in business, to serve the poor and underprivileged. She founded the Noel Foundation to help those most in need to help themselves. Her foundation's efforts are broad-based, helping those suffering from cancer and AIDS, and providing educational travel experiences to underprivileged young Americans. Hentschel personally delivers services, taking the time to inspire others to realize their dreams, and to help them achieve.

  • Paul Newman

    Westport, Connecticut, United States

    2002 Adult Award Winner

    Paul Newman is a world-class actor, director and philanthropist. In 1982, Newman launched a revolutionary enterprise, Newman's Own, which has enabled him to provide $125 million to charity, representing 100% of the after-tax profits generated through the sale of popular food products. The most applauded of Newman's many philanthropic activities is his program to benefit terminally ill children through the Hole in the Wall Gang Camps. These camps provide a once in a lifetime experience to seriously ill children, giving them a chance to have fun and forget, if only for awhile, that they have life-threatening illnesses. He has devoted his life to many causes, from protecting the environment to the prevention of drug abuse. Newman has marshaled his talents, fame and resources to become one of the most admired people in the world. Other countries are now copying his example of entrepreneurial philanthropy.

  • Scott Harrison, M.D.

    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States

    2002 Adult Award Winner

    Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Scott Harrison, had it all, wealth, power and prestige yet he felt unfulfilled. By creating Crippled Children's United Rehabilitation Effort (CURE) International, in 1996, Harrison, and his wife Sally, provided desperately needed medical care to children with deformities, and facilitated a Christian ministry. During mission trips to Africa in the early 1990s, Harrison saw firsthand how the repair of a crippled child's legs could not only give him back functionality, but also freedom. "As I served others, each one of those days brought a joy that exceeded the happiness I was trying to find before," he says. Harrison has performed life-enhancing operations on thousands of children, built three hospitals in third world nations, and is in the process of completing the fourth.

  • Danny & Betsy Nally

    Westwood, Massachusetts, United States

    2002 Young Adult Award Winner

    In November 1996, Danny Nally and his sister, Betsy, ages nine and six, respectively, heard that the Greater Boston Food Bank was short some 5,000 turkeys. This meant that some 75,000 people would be going without a solid meal on Thanksgiving. Danny and Betsy took the matter personally, and with the help of their father, formed a non-profit organization called Turkeys R' Us, setting out to raise money to buy turkeys. Their endeavor was so successful and so much fun that it became a year round business. At the end of their seventh year of operations, they will have raised enough money to feed about one million people.

  • Gennifer Davis

    Portsmouth, Ohio, United States

    2002 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Gennifer Davis, possessing an arsenal of leadership skills, aspires to become a missionary and a human rights activist. She has given the word "volunteer" new meaning by helping to save and renovate her local community center, initiating clothing and food drives for the Salvation Army, and preparing personal hygiene kits for distribution to the homeless. She also is helping build relations between blacks and whites in her community, developing a diversity workshop, pioneering a character development class and founding a youth service organization called FORCE (Focused, Organized, Resourceful, Compassionate and Energized youth). FORCE matches young volunteers with organizations and individuals who need help.

  • Maria Ickes

    Waldorf, Maryland, United States

    2002 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Chilean-born Maria Ickes,the personification of community service, was adopted by an American couple at age five. Soon she began raising money for the Children's Aid Society and has met the $35,000 mark. She started her own program called TOUCH (Touching Others You Can Help), connecting young people who wish to volunteer for projects needing help. TOUCH members provide school supplies for needy kids, Christmas gifts and Easter baskets. They help shut-ins and respond to those whose lives have been touched by tragedy. Recently, Maria turned her attention to political activism, meeting with legislators at her state Capitol, persuading them to fund a statewide network of volunteer centers similar to TOUCH.

  • Mattie Stepanek

    Upper Marlboro, Maryland, United States

    2002 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 12

    Matthew "Mattie" Stepanek is a world-renowned poet and advocate for children with disabilities. He suffers from a debilitating form of muscular dystrophy and is confined to a wheelchair. Some years ago, he put three wishes on a scrap of paper, sealed them in a balloon, and released it skyward. His dreams were to a) write a book, b) meet his hero, President Jimmy Carter, and c) have his poetry read by Oprah Winfrey. Miraculously, all three dreams have come true. Mattie has now written two best-selling books. His new dream is to be a spokesman for world peace like President Carter.

  • Nina Vasan

    Vienna, West Virginia, United States

    2002 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Nina Vasan began volunteering for the American Cancer Society (ACS) at age five. After she met a man dying of cancer, she persuaded the ACS to form a youth subsidiary, became its President, and established chapters in all 50 states. She also logged more than 1,000 volunteer hours for a variety of causes. Nina won the Intel Young Scientist Award, including $50,000 and a chance to present her research at the Nobel Prize ceremonies in Stockholm, Sweden, December 2002. Learning last year that monies from the Tobacco Settlement were to be diverted from providing health care as originally intended, Nina started a petition drive, organized a rally, and succeeded in getting the diversionary legislation killed.

  • George Mitchell

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    2001 Adult Award Winner

    George Mitchell is a lawyer, author, former federal judge, and United States Senator from Maine who has an unparalleled lifelong record of public service. He began his public career in 1962, as staff assistant to Senator Edmund Muskie, and eighteen years later succeeded him in the U.S. Senate. He served 14 years there culminating in his selection as "the most respected member of the Senate". Since leaving the Senate, his reputation for fairness and integrity has placed him in great demand as a broker of peace, whenever and wherever violence erupts in the world. Mitchell was instrumental in the implementation of a peace pact in Northern Ireland, and has worked to settle disputes in the Middle East and Kosovo. His involvement in significant issues include advocating environmental protection laws, championing legislation for both the elderly and children, and shepherding civil rights for the disabled. He has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. In his own words, Mitchell has lived the American dream which he says is not only about doing well but also about giving back and serving

  • Irvin Borowsky

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

    2001 Adult Award Winner

    Irvin Borowsky, a visionary who made his mark in the publishing business, has worked tirelessly to remind Americans to value freedom. With equal passion, he has fought hatred, bigotry, racism and violence, particularly terrorism. With his own money, he established the American Interfaith Institute World Alliance that is respected throughout the world. Valuing the opportunity and freedom this country provides, he established the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia. Its purpose is to promote freedom, peace and mutual understanding between races and religious groups. One striking feature of the Museum is the use of glass sculptures as a metaphor for peace. Borowsky states that glass is strong and durable yet very fragile and easily broken, much like the freedom we cherish. Exhibits in the Museum range from a replica of the cell where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated, to an area where children can write down the terrible names they have been called or have called others, and then place them in a paper shredder. Through his example and with his enduring legacy of the Liberty Museum, Borowsky has changed thousands of lives for the better.

  • Kathy DiFiore

    Ramsey, New Jersey, United States

    2001 Adult Award Winner

    Kathy DiFiore is called "The Guardian Angel of Mothers and Children". In 1981 she was a successful executive with the American Express Corporation, but felt she needed to do something more for those in need. She was inspired to take out an ad in a newspaper, offering to help pregnant women. The response was so great that she left the corporate world and started Several Sources Foundation. Today the foundation operates four residential shelters for women, a 24-hour hotline for pregnant women, and five educational websites. It also prepares and distributes monthly care packages of food and clothing to children in the city of Newark, New Jersey. Children are taken on outings to the park, recreational areas, and the circus. DiFiore believes that it is important to give young people role models, and to develop mentor relationships. She believes in teaching ethics, manners and family values to young people. "Only through education can we hope to break the cycle of neglect, abuse and violence that is so often the lot of today’s young people," DiFiore explains. For over 20 years, her homes have cared for more than 1,500 young women and have saved over 15,000 babies.

  • Ken Behring

    Danville, California, United States

    2001 Adult Award Winner

    Ken Behring lifted himself up by his bootstraps from near poverty to become a banker and the largest home builder in the United States. From his youngest days, Behring had a burning determination to succeed, whether the job was mowing lawns, delivering newspapers or caddying. Because he considers himself fortunate to have been born in the United States, Behring has made it his mission to give back to his country in increasingly larger increments. He has given to the Smithsonian Museum some $100 million and as been equally generous with a raft of programs to benefit children. Today he is setting world records in philanthropy, not just in giving money, but by giving generously of his time, personally delivering food, medicine or supplies, and wheelchairs to those in need. In doing so, he gets the joy of seeing firsthand the smiles that come to the faces of ill and disabled persons. He created the Wheelchair Foundation in 1999, which works with 90 countries; funding it with $20 million of his own money; today it operates in 90 countries. His gift to the world is that of hope.

  • Mildred Robbins Leet

    New York, New York, United States

    2001 Adult Award Winner

    For Mildred Robbins Leet, public service and caring for others is a way of life. She and her husband, Glen, became frustrated by the failures of foreign aid, which involved money that was supposed to trickle down to the poor, but was always being diverted elsewhere. As a result, the Leets designed and funded a seed cash grant program to assist the poor in starting their own businesses, and thus helped them climb out of poverty. They created an organization in 1979 called the Trickle Up Program, which provides grants to those who come up with a comprehensive business plan to get a home-based business up and running. Trickle Up has helped create over 100,000 businesses, benefiting some 500,000 of the poorest people in the world. The success of the program lies in the hands-on approach of its cofounder and chair. Although Glen died in 1998, Milly continues the family tradition, personally traveling the world from India to Malaysia, teaching people the benefits of self help and free enterprise, helping them bridge the gap from dependence to independence.

  • Monsignor William Linder

    Newark, New Jersey, United States

    2001 Adult Award Winner

    Monsignor William Linder has developed a reputation for saving cities as well as saving souls. He helped rebuild Newark after the 1967 riots by bringing people together and building mutual trust. A young parish priest at the time, Linder walked the battle zoned streets, visiting public housing projects at great risk to his own personal safety, delivering food and transporting injured residents to area hospitals. In the aftermath of the riots, Msgr. Linder gathered together a group of dedicated residents united by their determination to rebuild the city they loved.. Armed with only hope and persistence, the group formed an organization called New Community Corporation (NCC). NCC’s mission was to provide housing and jobs, and to create products and services that would be necessary if the city was ever to become a viable community again. Since that time, NCC has become the largest nonprofit housing corporation in New Jersey and certainly the most successful community development corporation in the United States. Other cities in America and around the globe are now copying Msgr. Linder’s unique form of entrepreneurial philanthropy.

  • Pedro José Greer, MD

    Miami, Florida, United States

    2001 Adult Award Winner

    Pedro José Greer, known in Miami as "The Physician to the Poor", discovered there was "a third world country" in his hometown. He reached out to provide medical care to the homeless, sick and dying wherever they were, in the streets or in shelters. Dr. Greer started a makeshift clinic in a shelter, using one bed as an examining table. By sheer persistence and force of conviction, he talked many of his fellow physicians into providing free care along with him. These efforts grew into a four-clinic organization known as Camillus Health Concern (CHC). Providing comprehensive health care to well over 10,000 adults and children each year, CHC also offers a full range of social services, including disease prevention education, assistance in accessing benefits, employment services, legal services and veterans’ services for homeless persons. Dr. Greer continues to canvass the city in his car, making "house calls" and encouraging people living under bridges and in public parks to seek proper medical treatment at the clinics. Giving hope to the hopeless, love and care to the sick, he is truly a force for social change.

  • Phil Sokolof

    Omaha, Nebraska, United States

    2001 Adult Award Winner

    When successful businessman Phil Sokolof suffered a heart attack at age 43, he identified high cholesterol as the culprit. He changed his diet and resolved to alert Americans to the dangers of a high fat diet. Ironically, his wife Ruth was diagnosed with a slow growing brain tumor, and Sokolof supported her through 15 surgeries over 20 years. Throughout her illness they continued to support numerous charities. After Ruth’s death, Sokolof started the National Heart Savers Association in his wife’s memory. His good health campaign kicked off in high gear in 1984, after the release of a ten-year study that conclusively established a causal connection between high cholesterol and heart attacks. Using some $14 million of his own money, Sokolof took out ads in national magazines and conducted hundreds of free cholesterol screening programs. Through publicity he forced many food companies to lower the levels of saturated fats in their foods. His crowning achievement was persuading the U.S. Congress to enact food labeling legislation, giving every American the right to know what was in the processed food they ate. By conquering his own fears and working in honor the memory of his late wife, Sokolof has done more than just about anyone to improve the quality of public health in America.

  • Robert Egger

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    2001 Adult Award Winner

    Robert Egger, using his experience as a restaurant and nightclub owner, found a creative way to help break the vicious cycle of hunger and homelessness in Washington, D.C. His solution to the problem was to bring the large amounts of surplus food, which restaurants discard, to a kitchen where the homeless could be trained for work in the food service industry. The idea worked beautifully; meals were created to feed the hungry, and restaurants, which were perpetually short of help, found a ready supply of talent. Thus the D.C. Central Kitchen (DCCK) was founded in 1988. On a daily basis, 300 meals are prepared and distributed to homeless shelters, community youth centers, children’s after-school programs, and "meals on wheels" for homebound seniors. Thousands of people have been trained and have gone on to work as chefs, restaurant managers and waiters. Volunteers are critical to the Kitchen’s success. For example, about 50 renown area chefs have volunteered to teach at the school which is affiliated with the Cornell School of Hotel Management. To date, more than 40 communities across the country are operating programs or developing them based on the DCCK model.

  • Stuart Siegel, MD

    Los Angeles, California, United States

    2001 Adult Award Winner

    Stuart Siegel is a world-renowned physician, teacher and humanitarian, who selected a career in pediatric medicine because of his empathy for children. He was disturbed when be began practice in the late 1960’s that 90 percent of the children who contacted cancer died and resolved to do something about it. Dr. Siegel joined the staff of Children's Hospital in Los Angeles and was ultimately named director of the Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases. His belief belief in building a physician-patient relationship with the entire family led to the initiative to construct the first Ronald McDonald House at Children's Hospital. Dr. Siegel says, "To me it made complete sense, because the real problems, problems our families have is finding places close to the hospital, where they can stay with these kids." Subsequently, Dr. Siegel became the motivating force behind the creation of Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, where children battling the effects of cancer are given back their sense of self-esteem. He has volunteered at the camp every year for the past 21 years. Thanks in part to his pioneering effort, 90 percent of U.S. kids with cancer today survive. Presently, he volunteers teaching physicians around the world so they, too, can heal sick children.

  • W.C. & Donna Martin

    Center, Texas, United States

    2001 Adult Award Winner

    Because of their great compassion for the children being shuffled in and out of the East Texas institutions, Reverend W.C. Martin, pastor of Bennett, and his wife, Donna, opened their home and hearts to dozens of abused or unwanted youngsters. Remarkably, the Martins didn't stop there, but introduced the joy of foster parenting to the members of their small church. Some 23 families, most of them struggling to make ends meet, attended the first meeting at the church and 18 children were placed with them. In most instances, the children ultimately adopted, ending any financial assistance from the state. Since 1997, over 70 children have been placed with families in the area. Mrs. Martin says, "We are adopting the high-risk children. We adopt the ones that are hard to place. We believe that where there is life, there is hope." The Reverend and Mrs. Martin are indeed touching lives. Since children are the nation’s future, nothing could be of greater value to society than the Martins’ efforts to build bridges and create solid foundations for the children of their community.

  • Brandon Fernandez

    Brooklyn, New York, United States

    2001 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Brandon founded EXPRESSIONS, an organization dedicated to teaching children to express themselves nonviolently through art. Born 90 percent deaf, Brandon underwent several surgeries to restore his hearing. He was left with a speech impediment that made him self-conscious when speaking to others. When he was twelve, a teacher introduced Brandon to poetry and photography. He discovered that he could effectively communicate his feelings through art, enabling him to communicate better with others. Brandon is now teaching self-esteem classes using the curriculum he designed and holding after school art classes. Students learn poetry and photography, and listen to guest speakers.

  • Elizabeth Cable

    Mountain City, Tennessee, United States

    2001 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Elizabeth makes and donates blankets to shivering children in her community and has currently given 400 blankets to needy families. She designed a cloth caddy that allowed her wheelchair-bound grandmother to have a convenient storage space for her essential items. She and 300 of her caring friends are making caddies for veterans' hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. Elizabeth’s other projects include volunteering at a summer camp for disadvantaged children; playing musical instruments at nursing homes and the homes of shut-ins; and collecting and distributing toys, educational supplies, and over 1,500 items of clothing to the needy in her community.

  • Melissa Petry

    Azle, Texas, United States

    2001 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 14

    After visiting a Ronald McDonald House and a homeless shelter with her Girl Scout Troop, Melissa felt compelled to help the families she met. She started her own community service group, Our Kids Care (OKC). Within a month, she raised $1,000 worth of food and supplies. OKC takes care of many needs in the community by providing over-the-counter medicine for indigent children, and donating computers, televisions, VCRs, and educational videos and games for homeless children. At Christmas, OKC distributes Christmas gifts and food to needy children. This has made Christmas happier for more than 450 children throughout her community.

  • Michael Munds

    Aurora, Colorado, United States

    2001 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 14

    Michael has raised approximately $100,000 for many causes, including the Salvation Army and American Red Cross. After the Oklahoma City Bombing, Michael focused on the medical needs of the injured children. Born with congenital problems and having undergone numerous surgeries himself, he knew that these children would endure long and painful hospitalizations. Michael raised $40,000 to help cover their medical expenses. He recently raised $15,000 to cover the medical costs of a twelve-year-old burn victim whose family did not have insurance. Whenever there is a need, Michael steps in. He is currently raising money for the victims of the September 11th attacks.

  • Mischa Zimmermann

    Montclair, New Jersey, United States

    2001 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 19

    Diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at thirteen, Mischa found himself unable to speak, move or walk. He felt alone and isolated during his long hospitalization, until he began sharing with other children. The sense of purpose he felt after giving motivated him to create a nonprofit organization called "Kids Helping Kids." As soon as he was discharged from the hospital, Mischa began raising funds. He has rallied teen volunteers to collect and distribute toys to hospitals, offer in-house recreational programs, and try to do whatever is necessary to meet the needs of ill and disabled children.

  • Rachel Salzer

    Ravenna, Ohio, United States

    2001 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    As a young child, Rachel volunteered with her mother at nursing homes and in homeless shelters. At the age of 11, she decided to help animals. She scrubbed cages, socialized abused and neglected animals, and helped with pet adoptions. The animal shelter lacked proper ventilation and plumbing, had several structural problems, and did not have enough space for the animals. Rachel began a crusade for a new building. So far, she has raised over $30,000 through auctions, garage sales, raffles and in-kind donations. Rachel has integrated her nursing home and animal shelter projects by taking animals to visit the elderly.

  • Amy Domini

    Boston, Massachusetts, United States

    2000 Adult Award Winner

    Amy Domini got an early start as a social reformer. "There was a strong assumption on both sides of my family that you give back to society. I learned early that the idea of ethics and money were not necessarily in conflict," she says. Right from the beginning, Domini broke new ground. She was one of the few female stockbrokers in the late 1970s. In the early 1980s, she began to explore the integration of values and money management. Domini pored through Boston College's library, trying to find links in the media between ethics morals, social responsibilities, stocks, bonds, and investments. There was nothing. So Domini developed her now-famous Domini Social Index (DSI) of 400 ethical investments. The DSI-recommended stocks offer both benefit to the public good and a high rate of return. In fact, the DSI has out-performed the Standard and Poor's index in each of the last ten years. Major corporations compete for inclusion in the Domini Index, which is sort of a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. More and more investors are guided by Domini's central principle: that you can do well by doing good. There is no doubt that the Index is changing corporate behavior for the better. "I don't like to see little people suffer for corporate abuses," Domini says. By influencing people to take what she terms "the small stands" Domini hopes not only to persuade and empower individuals to invest responsibly, but to continue to influence corporations as well.

  • Bill & Sharon Murphy

    Washingon, District of Columbia, United States

    2000 Adult Award Winner

    Some thirty years ago, Bill Murphy was two months from graduation from college, to be followed by enrollment in an MBA program. His heart went out to a homeless man, who he invited to come back and share his room at the college dorm. For this Christian act of caring, he was expelled from school. This only tempered his determination to help the homeless. He gave away all his possessions and became homeless himself, doing what he could to help the less fortunate. He worked in a variety of volunteer programs, which is where he met Sharon. She had a similar passion to help the homeless and they were married. Ever since, they have been offering homeless families a home within their home. Twenty years ago they founded Mary House, an organization that provides housing, education, training, clothing, furniture, and job training. In recent years the Murphys have worked extensively with the thousands of refugees who found their way to Washington, DC. Since they began, the Murphys have sheltered and cared for hundreds of families. Mary House has grown from one to ten houses, which serve 125 people at a time?half of whom are children.

  • Hugh and Ruth Downs

    Scottsdale, Arizona, United States

    2000 Adult Award Winner

    Hugh Downs is one of the great legends in the history of broadcast journalism. Downs is also known as a scientist, author, producer, businessman, and teacher. Less well known is his volunteer work?local, national, and international?for causes from literacy to hospice, which he does in partnership with his wife, Ruth. Such is the magnitude of their efforts that one writer said the couple should claim the Guiness Book record for caring. Hugh quickly deflects credit from himself to Ruth, who he describes as the most caring person he has ever met. "She is without a doubt the most caring person I know," says Downs. Ruth and Hugh have joined forces with numerous organizations to make sure that all Americans have access to quality health care. They have worked to help raise money to support research aimed at finding cures for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. They are strong advocates for hospice and volunteer at the Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix. During the Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukkah holidays, Ruth and Hugh are likely to be found in a soup kitchen feeding the homeless. They are life-long partners who are making the world a better place in which to live. "In a way it is a selfish thing," Ruth says, "because you get so much back when you serve others."

  • J.B. Fuqua

    Atlanta, Georgia, United States

    2000 Adult Award Winner

    J.B. Fuqua grew up in rural Virginia, with limited economic and educational opportunities. What he had plenty of, however, was determination and spirit. When Fuqua learned that Duke University Library would loan him books through the mail, he became a voracious reader in order to educate himself. On graduation from high school, he became a radio operator and the youngest officer in the U.S. Merchant Marine. Upon his return, he worked his way up to owning a number of radio and television stations. He later bought a small public company, which he built into a "Fortune 500" conglomerate, Fuqua Industries. Fuqua's need to do something for his fellow man eventually drove him to become both a Georgia Senator and State Representative. He became a confidant of governors and presidents. Once Fuqua reached the top, he always went back to lift up others. To a struggling K-12 school near his Virginia roots, Fuqua gave over $12 million to transform it into a model school for rural education. Remembering their kindness to him, Fuqua has given Duke University multiple gifts to develop a top-rated business school, now named the Fuqua School of Business in his honor. He has created programs for the homeless, the elderly, and the mentally ill; he supported programs to provide medical care for the poor. Even in his giving, Fuqua reached the pinnacle?he was recognized by Worth magazine as one of the 100 Most Generous Americans.

  • Joyce and Bob Byers

    Chalfont, Pennsylvania, United States

    2000 Adult Award Winner

    Bob Byers worked hard at several business ventures, with limited success. Meanwhile, his wife Joyce gave expression to her artistic gifts by making beautiful, handmade figurines depicting Elizabethan carolers. Everyone who saw one wanted one. This was the beginning of a multimillion-dollar business whose profits are largely given back either to employees or in countless gifts to the community. The key to the success of the business is the generosity of spirit that is intrinsic to Bob and Joyce Byers. Each of the figurines is hand-made with love; each one evokes a spiritual response. The Byers have been described as values-driven entrepreneurs who believe giving begins at home. To that end, they offer one of the most generous profit-sharing plans in the corporate world, and each employee with a child in college receives a $2,500 scholarship per year, per child. A minimum of 20 percent of the corporate profits goes to charity on an annual basis. The employees themselves have a major say in which charities are supported. The list is both long and deep. Because they are accomplished experts at random acts of kindness, much of what Joyce and Bob do is anonymous. Bob and Joyce respond to every need they see, and passionately use the profits from their success in business to improve the lives of others in need all over the world.

  • Mike Vance

    Cleveland, Ohio, United States

    2000 Adult Award Winner

    Mike Vance began his humanitarian works as a young boy, helping his parents help others. Drafted into the Korean War, he served in the infantry. He reacted to the horror that he saw all around him by building an orphanage, which he arranged to be supported by the GIs in his company. Back at home, he became a minister of the gospel in Columbus, Ohio, where he received national attention by creating a church for and run by children. He moved to Hollywood, where his ministry gained wider acceptance. Along the way, he met Walt Disney, who hired him to be his confidant and spokesman and later the first Dean of Disney University. At Disney, Vance helped in fashioning many unique education, training, and corporate giving programs, some of which still exist today. Following his years with Disney, Vance became a best selling author, teacher and consultant. He created the firm Intellectual Equities in an effort to give back to others some of what he had learned. With his business partner Diane Deacon, Vance created Agape University, a senior-driven education center. Together they formed the Creative Thinking Association of America, designed to help people from all walks of life reach their potential. They continue to give generously of their time to numerous causes, especially home care and hospice.

  • Patch Adams

    Arlington, Virginia, United States

    2000 Adult Award Winner

    Since graduating medical school in 1971, Patch Adams has dedicated his life to putting caring back into medicine. He understood early on the interconnectedness of the body and the spirit, and recognized the importance of healing the whole person. For Dr. Adams, becoming a physician has always been about people, not money. As founder of the Geshundheit! Institute, he has served over 15,000 patients cost-free over a thirteen-year period. Dr. Adams says his Institute "is a pie in the face of greed, taking the most expensive thing in America?health care?and giving it away for free." Dr. Adams is working toward his dream of constructing a hospital on 310 acres of land in West Virginia, where patients will receive hospital and medical care, gratis. Adams is not only an accomplished physician, he is also a psychologist, public speaker, author, and a professional clown. He shows up wherever there's a need?most recently in Kosovo and Bosnia?using humor to uplift the human spirit. He also makes yearly clowning trips overseas, to bring love and laughter to those in orphanages, prisons, nursing homes, and hospices. Adams' caring life was celebrated in the 1999 film "Patch Adams," starring Robin Williams

  • Regina Benjamin

    Bayou La Batre, Alabama, United States

    2000 Adult Award Winner

    Regina Benjamin grew up in poverty, with few opportunities. However, because of a keen mind, a fierce determination, and a little luck, she worked her way through medical school. Though she might have chosen to live the rest of her life in relative comfort, Dr. Benjamin decided to return to her small town, where she knew the people needed her. Today, Dr. Benjamin makes house calls to her patients, primarily the poor and the elderly, in small shrimping towns on the Gulf Coast of Alabama. They pay her what they can, sometimes with a bushel of homegrown fruits or vegetables. When Dr. Benjamin found that many of her patients weren't properly taking the medications she prescribed for them because they couldn't afford them, she paid for them herself. When she found they were still not taking them correctly, because they could not read, she set up a community literacy program. Dr. Benjamin says doing whatever is necessary is part of her responsibility as a doctor, and as a member of the community. The expressed love and caring, she notes, sometimes can be more important than any pill. Dr. Benjamin's old-time brand of personal caregiving has brought her many accolades, including her being elected as the first African-American woman on the American Medical Association's Board of Directors.

  • Samuel Mockbee

    Auburn, Alabama, United States

    2000 Adult Award Winner

    Samuel Mockbee has been doing architectural good deeds since the early 1980s, when he offered to help a nun secure housing for a family whose home had been reclaimed by the city. He drew up inventive plans using salvaged materials to keep expenses to a minimum, gathered a crew of volunteers, and built the family a new house. Such experiences fueled his search for a new form of practice, and inspired him to co-found Rural Studio in 1993. The Studio is an intensive designing and building program for architecture students at Auburn University, who build houses for the poor. The students must get to know their rural clients to insure that designs correspond to the family's needs. In this way, students get to see they have a direct impact on the community. "In this job, students get to work not only with their hands, their minds and their hearts, they get to work with their soul," says Mockbee. Under Mockbee's guidance, homes and communities have been built using all kinds of discarded. This immersion, Mockbee says, is "designed to get the students to cross a threshold of understanding. By designing and building these projects, the students can see that they have a direct impact on the community." Mockbee bristles at the notion of designing rudimentary dwellings that are constructed solely to provide shelter. Mockbee insists his students build homes which meet the definition of architecture which, he says, is to uplift the spirit.

  • Sheryl Leach

    Greenwich, Connecticut, United States

    2000 Adult Award Winner

    When her son was two years old, Sheryl Leach lamented the fact that he had no interest in anything for more than five minutes. She knew millions of parents out there had the same problem. She soon hit on the idea for a video that would be entertaining and educational, while imparting a strong moral message. She decided the lead character would be a purple dinosaur named Barney?and the rest is history. Today, Barney has eclipsed Mickey Mouse as the most-recognized figure in the world. A Yale study concluded that, among low income and culturally diverse children, viewing "Barney and Friends" nearly doubled school preparedness levels. Physicians have found that holding Barney relieves children's anxieties when they are given chemotherapy or procedures such as an MRI. Barney seems to lessen or divert attention from pain, meaning that lower doses of drugs can be given to children. Leach recently teamed Barney with the STARBRIGHT Foundation and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and will soon unveil a raft of programs to ease the burdens of children combating a potentially terminal illness. She also recently co-founded a charitable organization called the Shei'rah Foundation. The Foundation's mission is to support endeavors that are making the world a better place through education, medicine, and entertainment.

  • Andrew Allshouse

    Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

    2000 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Because he has difficulty with hearing and sensory integration, books have always been very important to Andrew Allshouse. They have helped him become more aware of the world around him, and have opened many doors for him. Andrew wanted to share the miracle of books with kids who didn't have them, so he began a book drive. After collecting enough books to start libraries in four after school programs for homeless kids, he began getting book requests from as far away as Africa. He responded by sending enough books to stock 72 schools. In the past nine years, he has collected over a million books for libraries all over the world.

  • Barron Edmonson

    Houston, Texas, United States

    2000 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Barron Edmonson has been volunteering since he was in the seventh grade, and averages over 900 hours of community service each year. Barron served as president of the Youth Leadership High School Program, a community service-based club, and he planned and organized an ongoing after school study program. Barron worked with many citywide Clean-Ups through Serve Houston, and helped to organize the 1998, 1999 and 2000 Youth Environmental Conferences. He also emceed a local Aerobic Throwdown fundraiser, for which 7,500 students were in attendance. In his spare time, he works with his church, volunteering, mentoring, and tutoring young people.

  • Hydeia Loren Broadbent

    Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

    2000 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 15

    Hydeia Broadbent has lived all her life with AIDS, having acquired the disease from her birth mother. At the age of 5, she discussed her disease in a 15-minute video for the National Institutes of Health, which was distributed to AIDS foundations around the nation and shown to children living with HIV. Following that, Magic Johnson included Hydeia on his TV special, and "20/20" ran a segment filmed when Hydeia was very ill. Today, through the Hydeia L. Broadbent Foundation, Hydeia travels the country, educating kids and adults about AIDS and encouraging them to make wise choices.

  • Lisa-Anne Furgal

    Largo, Florida, United States

    2000 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    At age thirteen Lisa-Anne Furgal decided she'd like to make it easier for young kids to volunteer. So she founded her own non-profit, YOUTH (Youth OUt To Help). Four years later Lisa-Anne has expanded YOUTH into eleven states. She writes a "Youth Volunteer Opportunities Guide" for each local area, and runs a poster and essay contest. She also created a "Youth Who Shine" awards ceremony. Though Lisa-Anne suffers from Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and experiences days when it is just too painful too walk, she says what keeps her going is her volunteerism, and her belief that by recognizing and rewarding kids she can encourage them to do good things.

  • Ryan McDonald

    Stewart Manor, New York, United States

    2000 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Ryan McDonald has been a caregiver to sick and seriously ill children, a tutor to disadvantaged students, an advocate for children's rights, and a spokesperson for youth volunteerism. As an outgrowth of those experiences, Ryan spent five years developing Kids Bridge Foundation, an interactive kids-helping-kids organization. Ryan designed the Kids Bridge menu to include chat rooms, interactive games, a photo album, a drawing program, a language translator, and a storyteller. Kids Bridge is a virtual world of retreat, designed to lessen the physical and psychological pain of seriously ill children all over the world, through supportive interaction with each other and with kid volunteers.

  • Arthur & Mary Willhite

    Columbus, Ohio, United States

    1999 Adult Award Winner

    Arthur Willhite a retired railroad engineer and his wife Mary have know some tough times themselves, but their response to this has been to reach out to those less fortunate than themselves. In 1988, they volunteered to help transport thousands of pounds of food from the mid-Ohio Food Bank to the Emmanuel Community Church food pantry. Before they knew what was happening, the Willhites' had found their mission in life. What had been a few hours of volunteer work became a 60-hour per week responsibility. Mary resigned from her job to volunteer full time. In 1994, they registered in the state of Ohio as a non-profit organization called "Living Faith Fellowship Ministry." Using their own money, they bought a used delivery truck. They then constructed a make shift warehouse by bolting together several donated trailers. Since then, they have gathered and given away 8 million pounds of food valued at $7 million. What is most remarkable is that their annual budget is less than $10,000, most of which comes from Arthur's railroad pension and from taking second and third mortgages on their house. The Willhites have proven through their lives the wisdom of the biblical injunction that human lives are enriched in direct proportion to how well they are used to benefit others.

  • Catherine Sneed

    San Francisco, California, United States

    1999 Adult Award Winner

    While she was hospitalized with serious kidney disease, Catherine Sneed picked up a copy of Grapes of Wrath. The basic message of the book profoundly changed her outlook: People feel hopeful when they have a connection to the land. When she returned to her job as a counselor at the San Francisco County Jail, she convinced officials to let prisoners do some gardening on prison grounds. The result was The Garden Project, which allowed inmates to grow food for their own use, and to give away to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and individuals in need. The success of the program has moved several individuals to donate additional plots of land in downtown San Francisco to be used to grow food. The program not only teaches prisoners gardening skills while they are in jail, but more importantly, provides them with employment upon release. More than 2,500 individuals have been thus employed - working in community gardens, schoolyards, and planting trees and flowers in San Francisco. The program has been so successful, it is being replicated in dozens of American cities. Anthony Travis, Jr., a former prisoner and now one of the supervisors with the Garden Project summed it up when he said, "Catherine Sneed is a great person. She helped me get on my feet and gave me a chance to sprout and grow. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't have a job, and I would probably be back in jail. Her program works. We don't only grow flowers and trees, we grow people."

  • Isasema Salcido

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    1999 Adult Award Winner

    The daughter of immigrant farm workers, Irasema Salcido has defied the odds by working her way through college and, with steely determination, eventually earning a master's degree from Harvard University. Her thoughts from that moment were not on how to advance her own economic position, but on how to give back and open doors for others. She obtained employment within the District of Columbia school system and became deputy principal at a local high school. Frustrated by the failures of the public school system, she left that post and, at great professional and financial risk, opened her own school. In honor of her great heroic role model, she called it the Cesar Chavez High School for Public Policy. Today, her school accepts any student regardless of their ability to pay, requires them to take classes year round, and empowers and demands the best from each of them. Taking advantage of her location in the nation's Capital, she has brought experts from the Library of Congress, Congressional Committees and Washington "think tanks" to inspire the young people she hopes will one day become the leaders of the District of Columbia. Irasema Salcido has transcended her own humble beginnings, has climbed to the pinnacle of success, and has used her life to open doors for others less fortunate than herself.

  • Jeannie Jaybush

    Seattle, Washington, United States

    1999 Adult Award Winner

    In 1988, Jeannie Jaybush learned that her hometown of Seattle had an infant mortality rate similar to that of third world countries. This is because Seattle is a port city, a gateway for thousands of immigrants from every country in the world. In 1987, there were 2,000 homeless children under the age of five whose mothers had sought assistance from numerous state agencies, and still, many of their needs went unmet. It was those needs that Jaybush vowed to fill. She knew that many families had baby cribs, blankets, bottles, and other items that their children had outgrown, so she began to collect them for the families who had nothing. Today, Baby Corner annually distributes over $1,000,000 worth of formula, baby food, diapers, cribs, car seats, clothing, and other baby essentials to Seattle's struggling mothers. The program has been in existence for almost eleven years, during which time Jaybush has served without compensation. The program has attracted hundreds of volunteers, many of them senior citizens who have found meaning in their lives by helping young children. It has been so successful that it has been replicated in 350 cities across the nation. As CARING magazine wrote, Jeannie Jaybush is quietly going about the business of changing the world for the better, one child and one diaper at a time.

  • Lance Secretan

    Alton, Ontario, Canada

    1999 Adult Award Winner

    Twenty years ago, Lance Secretan was at the pinnacle of corporate success. He had taken Manpower Limited, the company he built, from nothing to a $100 million business with 72,000 employees. Today, Manpower, Inc. is the world's largest employer. At the age of forty, Secretan retired from the company and began his search for answers to the great secrets of the universe in order to share the lessons he had learned with others. Since that time, he has been on a mission to change the world for the better by "reawakening spirit and values in the workplace." He is author of ten best-selling books, including "The Way of the Tiger" and "Inspirational Leadership." He has been a professor of business and entrepreneurship at two leading universities. He serves as president of a consulting company that advises corporate leaders worldwide. Secretan is one of the world's most requested orators, speaking to 200,000 people annually. His charitable works are legion, among them serving as a Special Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nation's Environmental Program and Chair of the Advisory Board for the Special Olympics Worldwide Winter Games. Lance Secretan is a towering figure on the world stage. He is at heart a teacher and a philosopher who has driven home to contemporary corporate leaders the lesson that Mohammed taught in 630 AD: that the way to true wealth lies in doing good, and in the determination that the profits earned should be immediately reinvested in the compassionate caring for mankind.

  • Nancy Brinker

    Palm Beach, Florida, United States

    1999 Adult Award Winner

    In 1980, Nancy Brinker's sister died of breast cancer. Before she passed away she asked Nancy to do something to help eradicate this dreaded disease. Not knowing where to begin, Brinker began researching this issue. She was shocked to learn that while the U.S. nearly came apart when 59,000 men were killed in Vietnam, nearly 330,000 women died from breast cancer during this time without causing much of a ripple. In 1982, Brinker decided to create the Susan G. Komen Foundation in memory of her sister. Today, the Foundation is a leader in the field of breast cancer education, screening and treatment-and is the nation's largest private funder of research dedicated solely to breast cancer. The Foundation has affiliate organizations in 106 American cities with affiliates in six foreign countries. Brinker conceived "Race for the Cure," which has become the nation's largest 5K event, as a way of involving the general public. It has been the key to the Foundation's success. In 1999, a record-breaking 98 cities and 700,000 people participated in the Komen Race for the Cure. Well over $100 million has been raised in the 18 years since the Foundation's inception. Nancy Brinker has not only kept her promise, she has helped improve the quality of life for millions of people battling breast cancer in America and throughout the world.

  • Peter Samuelson

    Los Angeles, California, United States

    1999 Adult Award Winner

    In 1982, this successful film producer opened his heart to answer the wish of a terminally ill child to see Disneyland. Motivated by the joy this act of caring brought to the child and his mother and to himself, Samuelson forged the Starlight Foundation--which is today the best-known, internationally respected wish granting organization for children. Samuelson's many visits to hospitals convinced him that additional in-hospital entertainment and diversions were desperately needed for children who were confined for treatment. He created Starlight rooms, where children can gather and forget the many difficulties and challenges that face them. He also created bedside entertainment units on which children could play Nintendo and other video based games. There are presently over 2,000 such units in 600 hospitals in four countries. Seven years ago, Samuelson created the Starbright Foundation which brings together medical science, technology, and entertainment experts to produce software to help kids and operate a private on-line computer network, connecting children in hospitals across the nation. More than $100 million has been raised to assist in granting the wishes of thousands of dying children. In 1999, Samuelson began his quest for U.S. ratification of a treaty proclaiming the universal rights of children. He has accomplished much, and yet he is still a young man. Whatever road he travels toward his future accomplishments will be paved by the grace of angels and the laughter of children.

  • Ashley Anderson

    Houston, Texas, United States

    1999 Young Adult Award Winner

    In the four years since she created a literacy program called "CheeREADing," Ashley has reached almost 5,000 Texas children. An after school program that rewards children for their efforts and triumphs in reading, CheeREADing has been adopted by two hundred YMCA After-School sites. The manual Ashley has developed is distributed at National Cheerleaders Association summer camps throughout the state of Texas. Ashley was named "Volunteer of the Year" by the National Charity League, and is working to have the program adopted by all of the organization's member chapters. Ashley says she created the program because she loves to read. "I've seen such wonderful things come out of this program," she says. "It doesn't matter whether I helped one person or 100 people. If I only helped one child to understand the importance of reading, then it was all worth it."

  • Aubyn Burnside

    Hickory, North Carolina, United States

    1999 Young Adult Award Winner

    When Aubyn Burnside heard about how many children in foster care programs are forced to carry their belongings in garbage bags because they cannot afford suitcases, she was shocked and saddened. "I thought they must feel like garbage themselves," she said. So, Aubyn founded Suitcases for Kids, dedicating herself to ensuring that every child in foster care would have a bag of his or her own. Today Suitcases for Kids is an international non-profit organization with chapters in all fifty states and seven foreign countries. Aubyn was a 1998 National Honoree of the NASSP/Prudential Spirit of Community Award, and the 1998 national winner of the J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award. This year she was named recipient of a Seventeen/Cover Girl National Volunteerism Award, and was honored with two inaugural national awards, The Daughters of the American Revolution Community Service Award, and American Girl's Shining Star Award.

  • Craig Kielburger

    Concord, Ontario, Canada

    1999 Young Adult Award Winner

    When Craig was twelve, he founded Free the Children in response to an article he read about child labor in South Asia. Initially a human rights club made up of a handful of concerned twelve-year-olds, Free the Children has now evolved into a powerful weapon for children's rights. The organization now has over 100,000 members, with chapters in 25 countries. Free the Children relies largely on child volunteers and donated furniture, office space and airline tickets. In the past three years, the group has raised $1 million, which has been used to build schools and shelters overseas, to provide leadership and employment training for low-income youth, and to assist children in need. Last year, Craig wrote a book about his experiences, and he donates all the profits to Free the Children. His work was recently the subject of a short film, It Takes a Child, which won a New York Film Festival gold level award. At a very young age, Craig Kielburger has proven that each person - every man, woman and child - can make a huge difference in the lives of others simply by exercising their determination to do so.

  • Emily Douglas

    Powell, Ohio, United States

    1999 Young Adult Award Winner

    Emily's grandmother always taught her that it was her responsibility to reach out and help children less fortunate than herself. When her grandmother died in 1991, Emily created "Grandma's Gifts" in her honor. Grandma's Gifts provides food, clothing, books, toys, and educational experiences to children of Appalachian Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Emily has put in over 3,500 hours, and has negotiated the support of seventeen corporations through in-kind donations, grants, purchase discounts, and donation of goods and services. To date, $115,650.00 in goods and services has been provided, directly impacting the lives of 18,577 children. Last Christmas, Emily put together a Christmas for an Appalachian family with 10 children in a matter of days. In 1996, she was an honoree of the Prudential Spirit of Community Award program, and in 1997, she was invited by General Colin Powell to attend the Presidents' Summit for America's Future. She was also recognized as one of Oprah's Young Angels.

  • Jamie Ridgely

    Manchester, Maryland, United States

    1999 Young Adult Award Winner

    Jamie was inspired by something repeated at dinner tables across the country: "Clean your plate. Children in other countries are starving." Instead of rolling her eyes and eating her peas, Jamie got busy-she thought kids working together might erase hunger. Acting locally, she organized a food drive, collecting 800 cans in three weeks. This launched Jamie's one-kid campaign, Help To Feed a Child. Her collection efforts are no longer limited to food. Jamie holds raffles or collection drives for anything kids might need-from toys to school supplies to stuffed stockings at Christmas time. Jamie even made 100 activity learning books for the children of homeless women in a nearby shelter, and got local stores to donate crayons. For the past four winters, she has also gathered hundreds of coats, hats, and mittens for needy children. This year Jamie changed the name of her program to Helpful Hands, to better reflect her expanded mission to help the elderly.

  • Nadia Ben-Youssef

    Sidney, Montana, United States

    1999 Young Adult Award Winner

    Since 1993, Nadia has published four books of poetry, Thrillness, Booktwo, Music Box, and Petals, based on songs she has written. She donates all proceeds from her books to children's charities, such as Operation Smile, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Shriners Hospitals, and Feed the Children. She has donated $8,000 so far. Nadia also shares her talent for singing with local nursing homes and hospices, visiting every Sunday and bringing balloons to those who are celebrating birthdays. Nadia says she doesn't like to call what she does "volunteer work" because "it's too hard to spell." She thinks "love" is a better word. In a letter enclosed with a donation to Feed the Children, Nadia wrote, "The work you are doing in Bosnia is so important that the check for $1,000 seems like a small contribution for so many needs. But as you travel to Bosnia and see the faces of children without parents, please know that I am seeing them too, and let them know that I pray and care."

  • Ann Medlock

    Langley, Washington, United States

    1998 Adult Award Winner

    A successful writer and reporter, Ann Medlock was frustrated with the fact that the media would not publish any positive stories. So, in 1982, she founded the Giraffe Project, an organization that scans the country looking for individuals with character, caring, and courage-individuals who are willing to put others before themselves to make a difference. She finds these Giraffes in their native habitats, and tells their stories to children, adults, the media, to anyone who will listen. She hopes that by sharing the stories of these everyday heroes, she will inspire others to become Giraffes, too. The project has recognized over 1,000 people across the US-special people who stick their necks out to take on the challenges of our times. The organization has also developed the Giraffe Program, an educational curriculum, which helps teachers build courage, caring, and responsibility in kids in kindergarten through twelfth grade. This caring-focused curriculum for elementary and high school children also helps the children design their own service projects. In this way, Medlock has helped to make the world a better place-she has also helped the media to see the importance of publishing positive stories extolling the achievements of others.

  • Bob DeBlois

    Providence, Rhode Island, United States

    1998 Adult Award Winner

    Robert DeBlois was an excellent student in high school and achieved honors through his second year in college. He had already make up his mind to be a teacher and to give back in return for the many blessings he had received when a driving accident left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. Rather than being broken by the accident, DeBlois says it make him sensitive to the needs of the least fortunate and forgotten members of society. DeBlois transcended the experience to create the Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program in Providence, Rhode Island. UCAP is a privately funded public school , which provides educational opportunities to at risk children-especially those that have been termed uneducatable by the traditional school system. DeBlois and his volunteers have built a model program, which infuses young people with energy and excitement about learning. In this way, he has turned around the lives of hundreds of young people giving them hope, opportunity, and faith where they previously had none.

  • Camille Geraldi

    Miami, Florida, United States

    1998 Adult Award Winner

    In most ways, Camille Geraldi is not unlike most mothers-she loves her children unconditionally, puts their needs before her own, and derives great joy from watching them grow. In one way, however, she is quite different; as founder of the Possible Dream Foundation, she is mother to 46 children with Down's Syndrome or other severe mental and physical handicaps. Since she was five years old, Geraldi has dedicated her life to seeking out and adopting these special children, who would otherwise end up alone in institutions without the love and dignity they deserve. She and her husband have turned their home into a place where abandoned children with severe mental and physical problems can be part of a real family. The three houses they own on their block in a small suburb are not care facilities, but homes. The Possible Dream Foundation is a non-profiit organization receiving very little government or private assistance, and relies almost entirely on the Geraldis' own finances. "If you look from your heart, it is the easiest thing for the world to look up at those stars and get your strength from above," she says.

  • Carl Hammerschlag

    Phoenix, Arizona, United States

    1998 Adult Award Winner

    Carl Hammerschlag, an internationally known psychiatrist, speaker, and author, has spent the majority of his life volunteering his time to improve the physical and psychological well-being of Native Americans. His experiences transformed him from doctor to healer, from "book smart to wise, from skeptic to believer. He spent six years as general medical officer to the Pueblo tribes along the Rio Grande, and fourteen years as chief of psychiatry at Phoenix Indian Medical Center. Hammerschlag wrote three books about his experiences: The Dancing Healers: A Doctor's Journey of Healing with Native Americans; The Theft of the Spirit; and Healing Ceremonies. Recently he has shifted his energies to the needs of children, because he feels kids today are growing up in a world that devalues morality and disregards basic values. His first book for children, The Go Away Doll, helps children tackle the issues of love, loss, relationships with elders, and multicultural issues. Half the proceeds from the book are being given to Turtle Island Press and the Children's Museum in Phoenix. "We have to remember that we are connected to other; we can't just take; we have to give back as much as we have been given," he says.

  • Claes Nobel

    Naples, Florida, United States

    1998 Adult Award Winner

    Claes Nobel is recognized around the world for his humanitarian works, particularly associated with saving the planet, he is also our International Award winner. He can be seen on television and in newspapers counseling world leaders trying to broker peace, and encouraging governments to work to preserve the air and the water for the benefit of future generations. In 1974, he founded United Earth to fight humanity's ravaging of the environment and to focus global attention on protecting the earth and promoting positive change. Guided by its motto, "reverence for nature, and service to the earth," United Earth is a not-for-profit organization that promotes environmental leadership and humanitarian excellence. In 1992, Nobel created the Earth Prize, generally known as the "green" Nobel, or the Nobel Prize for protecting the environment. Recipients of the Earth Prize have included His Holiness, the Dali Lama of Tibet; Ted Turner; and Bill Draper, Executive Director of UNICEF. Through promoting harmony among people and the environment, Nobel's crusade for the earth has aided society for more than two decades.

  • Cordelia Taylor

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

    1998 Adult Award Winner

    From the time she was a small child, Cordelia Taylor has wanted to care for others. She went to school and learned how to become a nurse aide, went back to become an LPN, returned again to get her RN degree, and once again to become a licensed nursing home administrator-all while she was being a wife and mother to eight children. Fourteen years ago, the owners of a Wisconsin nursing home confronted her saying that although she was providing good care, the profit margins were not high enough. Rising out of depression and despair, she took her husband's advice to create her own home for the aged. The result was Family House, an organization that accepts any senior regardless of ability to pay. She and her husband moved back into the inner city, sold their suburban home, and began buying run down crack houses, and other abandoned buildings,in the roughest part of Milwaukee. Soon she owned the greater part of a block where she offers not only housing, but also food, clothing, and other assistance along with a free medical clinic that is open to all.

  • Danna Whorton

    Dallas, Texas, United States

    1998 Adult Award Winner

    When Danna Whorton's husband suffered a brain hemorrhage that left him bedridden, she cared for him until his death five years later. Though they were the most difficult years of her life, she drew strength from the love and support of friends and family. When her husband died, she felt a deep emptiness, and wondered what she would do with herself at the age of 71. As she reflected on her life, she realized she had learned many lessons about love and loss, and the power of friendship to withstand the unbearable. She knew her experiences would be of help to others going through the grieving process, so she approached the Visiting Nurse Association of Dallas, which was just opening a hospice. She became one of their first hospice volunteers, and was a central figure in getting the program up and running. She has dedicated her life to hospice care, and over the past 20 years, she has supported more than 100 patients and their families through the process of living and dying. At the age of 93, she is still going strong encouraging her senior counter parts to volunteer and "give something back to the community".

  • Hattie Williams

    Chicago, Illinois, United States

    1998 Adult Award Winner

    On Chicago's South Side there lives a woman who deserves to believe in miracles. Twenty-two years ago, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Four operations and a 25 years later, she is still around. As she struggled with her own survival, she began organizing prayer groups among women on welfare. She spoke at churches and learned that many people were going without such basics as food and clothes. She began asking for donations and soon discovered she had an uncanny ability to find exactly what was in need. And she will do whatever she has to do to fill that need. She once kept live chickens in her living room until she could parcel them out to those with the greatest need. During a particularly cold winter, her drapes became blankets for the homeless. Williams started a storefront tutoring program for the neighborhood kids. She teaches young mothers how to care for their babies. She created a library in her basement with reading material she gathered by going door to door. Williams even organized neighborhood gardens by successfully begging for seed and obtaining permission to plant on public land. In 1978, Williams gave her home to the community, transforming it into a safehouse-a place to go for food, clothes, furniture, companionship, and informal counseling, or simply a place to stay. She calls her program, "The Shalom Community." In naming her life's work "shalom" she fully understood that the word embodies the fullness of peace, hope, and life-just as she herself does.

  • Joseph Gamarano

    Boca Raton, Florida, United States

    1998 Adult Award Winner

    hroughout his life, Joseph Gamarano assisted the poor in his community. What he truly wanted was to provide more than a handout, a meal, or a kind word. He wanted to help homeless people regain control of their lives and reconnect with society. Gamarano realized his goal in 1993 by establishing Cafe Joshua, a nonprofit organization which, at its heart, is a comprehensive social service agency posing as a gourmet restaurant. Whatever the homeless need-whether food, friendship, legal services, job training and placement, a haircut, a massage, eyeglasses, bus fare, or dental, medical, and vision care-it is provided by Gamarano and his volunteers. Patrons at Cafe Joshua are admitted by reservation only, and must prove their desire to attain a better quality of life. In turn, Cafe Joshua volunteers are committed to providing empowerment, employment, sobriety, and affordable housing. The love they offer helps their homeless patrons find the strength to make tough choices and restore their own dignity and respect. "None of us has everything,"he says, "but together we have it all."

  • Justin Dart Jr.

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    1998 Adult Award Winner

    As a young man, Justin Dart was diagnosed with polio, and doctors gave him only three days to live. As he would do many times later on, Dart beat the odds. Today, the 68 year old Dart is something of a living public advocate. As a successful business man, he found his inspiration early in the autobiography of Mahatma K. Gandhi. "If you want to change the world, change yourself," he says. "You have the power, lead and make this world a better place." Dart has received several appointments to Presidential Commissions. He is perhaps best known as the moving force in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act making nine trips across the nation visiting all 50 states to secure its passage. In addition, Dart and his wife, Yoshiko, have adopted some 100 foster children, many of them with profound disabilities. Today, he continues to lead the "revolution of empowerment" reminding young people that they have the power within themselves to transform the world to the benefit of this and future generations.

  • Roy Buchanan & Ken Horn

    Raliegh, NC, Big Island, VA, United States

    1998 Adult Award Winner

    In 1979, Ray Buchanan and Ken Horne founded the Society of St. Andrew, a non-profit ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to fighting hunger. Society of Saint Andrew programs primarily focus on salvaging fresh produce that would otherwise go to waste, and delivering it to people in need. Through the organization's Potato Project, about 15 million pounds of produce are salvaged annually to provide 45 million servings of food to food banks, soup kitchens, Native American reservations, and other distribution agencies, free of change. Two other projects, Harvest of Hope and the Gleaning Network, salvage millions of pounds of food from farmers' fields and deliver it to the nation's hungry. A new nonprofit entity, Stop Hunger Now, was recently formed to relieve hunger on an international level. Assistance is currently being provided in 14 countries. Stop Hunger Now has shipped 2 million servings of food to North Korea, and will send 6,000 metric tons of food and medical supplies in December. Buchanan and Horne sum it up, "What we really want is a world without hunger in our lifetime. If we save food that normally goes to waste and each of us does our part, we can turn that vision into reality."

  • Thomas Cannon

    Richmond, Virginia, United States

    1998 Adult Award Winner

    For most of his life, Thomas Cannon worked as a postal clerk sorting mail in a Richmond, Virginia Post Office. During his break, it was his habit to read discarded newspapers that were undeliverable because the label had fallen off or because a forward had expired. In these papers. From all across America, he learned of individuals who were struggling and decided to do what he could to help. He started giving away money in $1,000 increments and to give, in his own words, "until it hurts." He have to a woman who was battling a brain tumor, to a woman's club that had adopted an elementary school, to a child from a poor family that returned a wallet with $40 in it that he had found in the street. With every gift, this poor man's philanthropist not only helped others but provided a role model that has inspired millions of others. "Through this modest philanthropy, I'm trying to convey a message to the world about caring and the brotherhood of man,"he says. To date, Cannon has given away some $105,000. He continues his giving even though he lives on a small pension and is busy providing loving care for his wife, a blind diabetic who has suffered several strokes.

  • Celeste Lopez

    Chandler, Arizona, United States

    1998 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    At age six Celeste Lopez tagged along with her parents to bring meals to migrant workers in the orange groves outside Mesa, Arizona. Since the she has dedicated herself to helping the hungry and homeless, serving in soup kitchens and helping homeless people find work, apartments, clothes, and health care. Last year, using her skills in journalism and computers, Celeste helped start True Liberty, a paper written and sold by Arizona's homeless and community volunteers. True Liberty is sold to pedestrians on the streets of Mesa, Tempe, and Phoenix. As a result of Celeste's efforts, several hundred people are now employed and able to provide for their own housing and food. Ultimately Celeste hopes the vendors can band together to rent houses, open their own savings accounts, and be released from the cycle of poverty.

  • Jason D. Crowe

    Newburgh, Indiana, United States

    1998 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 12

    When Jason's Grandmother passed away just before his 10th birthday, he wanted to do something so no one else's grandmother had to die from cancer. So, he began publishing a neighborhood newspaper, The Informer. The articles are written by kids and for kids, and all net profits are donated to the American Cancer Society. Jason's mission is to encourage other kids to set and accomplish individual goals that make the world a better place. To show kids the need to make a difference in their world, he includes a section called "Kid Power" featuring kids who are making a difference in their communities and the world. Jason and his contributing authors cover some weighty subjects: civil war in Bosnia, racial unity, religious intolerance, and the Ebola virus, to name a few. Today his "neighborhood" includes 26 states and 4 foreign countries.

  • Jon R. Hudson

    Ringgold, Georgia, United States

    1998 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Four years ago when Jon Hudson's teacher challenged him to seek solutions for a societal problem, he chose society's treatment of the elderly. Jon produced a video focusing on the lives and needs of four local residents. His classmates were touched by what they saw, and wanted to know how they could help. In response to their interest, Jon created TeenCare. Today, TeenCare has over 100 members from thirteen schools, and assists over 100 senior citizens annually. TeenCare maintains the homes and property of at least five clients each week, prepares over 100 Thanksgiving meals, and purchases and decorates Christmas trees for the isolated elderly. TeenCare has also rehabilitated two long-neglected local cemeteries. In addition to his TeenCare work, Jon takes on personal projects to assist senior citizens and young people in the community.

  • Jon Wagner-Holtz

    Trabuco Canyon, California, United States

    1998 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    When breast cancer threatened to take away Jon's mother, the ten-year-old was sent to a psychologist. Jon was basically told to "cheer up and think positively." However, what he needed was someone to assure him that his feeling were normal. So, Jon started his own support group for children whose parents have cancer. The following year, he requested a grant from the Susan G. Komen Foundation to have a "kids' cancer hotline" phone installed in his room so other kids could call and talk. At the Foundation's prompting, he called his group Komen Kids. In May of 1997, due to sweeping growth of the organization (over 2500 families participating coast to coast), Jon broke away from the Komen Foundation, incorporating a non-profit organization called Kids Konnected. Jon has now developed 18 youth support programs in California, 11 other states, and British Columbia.

  • Tara A. Lawrence

    Milford, New Jersey, United States

    1998 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Tara has been a standout volunteer for the American Cancer Society since 1994. All the children she met told her the worst part about having cancer is losing your hair to chemotherapy, because you don't look like other kids any more. Tara found a way to help. In October 1996, she began requesting caps from businesses, classmates, neighbors - even celebrities. A year and a half later, her "Hats Off for Cancer" program has collected and distributed over 3500 hats to kids with cancer. Donors range from Brownie troops to actors, politicians, and star athletes. There are now Hats Off programs in Texas, Wisconsin, and Arkansas. To keep in touch with all the volunteers, Tara began writing a national Hats Off newsletter. She has also been instrumental in organizing fund-raisers for March of Dimes, Make-A-Wish, and St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

  • Barney Welch

    Red Bank, New Jersey, United States

    1997 Adult Award Winner

    In 1982, Barney Welch made an impromptu stop to visit his niece apprenticing to be a nun at a local mission. When he happened upon the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity they had exhausted all their resources and were fervently praying for divine intervention. Welch, who had just finished up his day selling fish for his business, gladly handed over the leftover fish in his truck. So began his life dedicated to service. Using the horse barn in which he lives as his warehouse, Welch began supplying missions around New York City with food. When he began, he scoured dumpsters for edible food, cleaned it up, and distributed it. Today, orchards, supermarkets and local churches provide his food pantry, known as the Barn for the Poorest of the Poor, with fresh food. Every day Welch supplies food for close to 1,000 people in the New York City area. Working 18-hour days is not unusual for this 76-year old, who is assisted in his efforts to distribute 8 tons of food a week by 100 volunteers. Twenty shelters and soup kitchens, in addition to numerous Catholic charities, look to Welch for their food supply. For Welch, the decision to work on behalf of the poor was an easy one-nurtured by his deep faith. His conviction is so unwavering that he is fond of saying, "If you took the greatest atheist in the world and put him with us, within six months he'd either be a convert or so damned confused it wouldn't matter!"

  • Bea Salazar

    Carrollton, Texas, United States

    1997 Adult Award Winner

    In 1990, four years after suffering a debilitating workplace accident, Bea Salazar witnessed a small boy eating bread from the dumpster in her apartment complex. Salazar reacted in the only way she knew how. She brought him back to her apartment and gave him a sandwich. She was raised by a strong single mother who taught her the importance of love. When she was left to raise her own five children alone, Salazar provided them with love and a strong, supportive home environment. Believing that the children are our future, Salazar was compelled to extend a helping hand. Each afternoon, more children came to Salazar for food and sustenance. To help them, she founded Bea's Kids and, today, she watches over 125 disadvantaged children, most of whom are Hispanic and Asian. In addition to love and encouragement, Salazar offers children tutoring, counseling, and medical assistance as needed. Parents are expected to assist Bea's Kids in any way they can. In exchange, Salazar provides them with English and parenting classes staffed by professionals. Bea's Kids subsists on a minuscule budget because Salazar is adept at developing relationships with those who can provide hands-on expertise. The support she provides is literally changing lives. More than 100 of her students who come from families with average incomes of $8,000 are on the A/B honor roll at school. "We have to start with the ninos," she says. "I don't think there's a greater treasure, and some of us are throwing it away."

  • Faye and Frank Clarke

    Huntington Beach, California, United States

    1997 Adult Award Winner

    Faye and Frank Clarke, appalled by the lack of resources available to the country's schools in the south, reacted by taking action. What started as a series of singular efforts to provide supplies to needy schools grew into Educate the Children, which has distributed hundreds of tons of school supplies throughout the United States, and overseas in the past six years. Frank, a retired advertising executive and Faye, the first African-American woman to complete her graduate business degree from Harvard, understand the value of a good education. They began their efforts to share their love of learning by soliciting Faye's business clients for used books and supplies. As recognition of their work escalated, the Clarkes began receiving larger donations and grants. It wasn't long before they were able to send top-quality, new books, school materials, and supplies to the south's needy schools. In total, the Clarkes have shipped over $11.5 million worth of school supplies through Educate the Children. The Clarkes have sacrificed more than their time. Together, they have given a substantial percentage of their retirement income to Educate the Children, investing their financial future in their dream. There is little they would not give, in time or money, to help ensure that young people today are given the same opportunities they were 50 years ago. "It's with me constantly," said Frank. "It won't leave me. Eighteen, 20 hours a day isn't enough. No matter what I do, or how much I do, it's never enough."

  • Glenn Kielty

    London, United Kingdom/Kenya

    1997 Adult Award Winner

    Twenty years ago British industrial developer Glenn Kielty and his wife Linda made a promise to each other and to their friends in their adopted homeland of Kenya. They vowed to take a hands-on approach to helping those in need. Two decades later, the Kielty family has built 35 homes and schools for over a dozen religious orders working to help Africa's needy population. Kielty's commitment to the building of these orphanages, dispensaries, schools, and hospices is extraordinary. He employs up to 150 workers-men and women from simple backgrounds who have little training-for the sole purpose of building the homes. By hiring local workers he is providing much needed employment to unskilled laborers while he is erecting buildings that will provide succor to the poorest of the poor. Of the many charities the Kieltys have helped, the Missionaries of Charity, and their late founder Mother Teresa, are nearest and dearest to their hearts. In 1979, they built Mother Teresa's first home in Africa. The next year they built a home in the Hurumba district of Nairobi that remains, today, the largest of the 800 homes in the Missionaries of Charity community. Hurumba is home to 200 sisters who feed more than 1,500 people daily and care for 150 sick babies and more than 100 elderly dying patients. The Kieltys feel blessed to be in a position to facilitate the missions of so many worthwhile organizations, "We have found that whenever we have given, it has always come back in other ways."

  • Hannah Hawkins

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    1997 Adult Award Winner

    Hannah Hawkins could no longer ignore the children who were growing up on their own because their parents, addicted to alcohol and drugs, were unable to care for them. A long-time community activist whose own children had fallen prey to these inner-city plagues, Hawkins felt compelled to try to save her neighborhood's lost youths. With the simple act of opening her home every afternoon, Hawkins began extending a life-saving arm to these children. She fed them, helped them with their homework, and gave them clothing. Her retirement check funded her home-grown efforts. In 1985 she named her program Children of Mine Center, and incorporated it as a nonprofit organization. Today, she cares for more than 60 children every afternoon at the Southeast Neighborhood House. She serves hundreds more through school outreach programs. For five hours every school day afternoon, she feeds her young charges, clothes them, and provides them with tutoring, counseling, workshops in sewing, arts and crafts, drama, and computer science. They also compete in team sports, make weekly trips to a church farm, and take part in field trips to Washington, DC's cultural attractions. Most importantly, she gives them love. They respond eagerly to the love, and to the structure and discipline that Hawkins insists upon. For over a decade Hawkins has been lifting up the lives of hundreds of lost souls, daring them to dream and providing them with an understanding of what it means to hope and to believe in the future.

  • Isha Salas

    Houston, Texas, United States

    1997 Adult Award Winner

    Isha Salas was just 32 when she pledged her life to helping our nation's senior citizens. With the proceeds from the sale of her telecommunications firm, home and car, Salas bought a dilapidated apartment building and recruited able-bodied homeless men and women to renovate the property. The resulting complex is called the Rehab Mission and serves as Salas' home, which she shares with 75-90 abused and homeless senior citizens at any given time. They are given shelter, food, and clothing, as well as one-on-one counseling, GED training, and access to a referral service to get them back on their feet. Every resident is responsible for his or her share of chores, which provide excellent training in skills that can be used to sustain self-sufficiency outside the building. Salas learned about reaching out to others from her poor childhood in Trinidad. Her mother taught her there was always someone in greater need whom she could help. Each year Salas provides shelter and hope for more than 150 of Houston's seniors. Eighty percent of them leave Rehab Mission with a strong set of survival skills that help ensure their ongoing self-sufficiency. Salas has also opened a home across the street from the Rehab Mission to provide short-term housing for a small group of battered women and their children. Again, it is Salas' goal to ease these fragile families on the road to recovery. "This is what makes me happy," she once said. "All the money in the world couldn't do what this place does for me."

  • Jennie Lechtenberg

    Los Angeles, California, United States

    1997 Adult Award Winner

    In 1984, Sister Jennie Lechtenberg took a sabbatical from her job teaching parochial school. A member of the Sisters of the Holy Names order, she had been teaching at Catholic schools since she was 19. Because she was going to school at night, and to stay involved, she volunteered her services at several of East Los Angeles' public schools. That offer became her life's calling when she discovered that she was able to save dozens of young children from early educational failure. With a growing class size, she sought help from her students' parents and discovered that many did not speak English and were not fluent in basic skills. So, she began teaching them as well. She called her endeavor PUENTE (People United to Enrich the Neighborhood Through Education) Learning Center, moved into bartered space, and provided basic training to 60 people each week. Today, PUENTE serves more than 2,000 people daily, aged 3 to 87. Seventeen hundred of her students are adults. Hailing primarily from East and South Central Los Angeles, the clientele is 87% Latino and 60% female. Instruction is offered in preschool readiness, after-school enrichment, high school tutorial, adult education (including English as a second language, Spanish literacy, GED preparation, reading improvement and computer literacy), effective parenting, and job training, and speech. Echoing the sentiments of many of the students, Helen Mu?oz exclaimed, "PUENTE has opened a whole new world to me." Over the past 12 years, tens of thousands of people have helped themselves to a better life thanks to Sr. Jennie's efforts.

  • Lew Petzold

    Orlando, Florida, United States

    1997 Adult Award Winner

    Lew Petzold retired to Florida in 1979 and quickly became involved in the Orlando community by serving on numerous service boards and giving money to the United Way. Then, he was asked to take a meal to a man in his parish. That day Petzold gained a new understanding that the needs of a large percentage of Orlando's at-risk population were not being met. In 1984, he founded the Human Crisis Council (HCC) to respond to that need himself. Operating out of his home, his mission was to help those who weren't being helped by traditional service organizations. Most people needed food-some needed clothing and furniture, medical care, help getting a job, or repair work on their car. Whatever the need, Petzold worked diligently to meet it. He answered his phone 24-hours-a-day, and he used his own funds to support his efforts. Thirteen years later, Petzold still answers the phone 24-hours-a-day, but he is assisted in his efforts by a band of 20-30 dedicated volunteers. Together they distribute over 40,000 pounds of food each week. Close to 200 people come to HCC every day for some sort of help, and Petzold is there to give it, be it financial counseling, or referrals for utility and housing assistance. All help is given with the goal of allowing the client to maintain his or her dignity and self-respect. Bouyed by his faith, Petzold is providing the people of Orlando with a lifeline to a better life.

  • Mother Teresa

    Calcutta, India

    1997 Adult Award Winner

    As a child growing up in Yugoslavia, Agnes Gonxha Bjaxhiu felt a calling to serve. At 19 she began her training with the Sisters of Loreto, whose mission was in Calcutta, India. In 1928, she took the name Teresa and traveled to India to begin teaching. Nearly 20 years later she received her "call within a call" and understood that she was to leave the sheltered walls of the convent and live among the poor of her adopted city. After successfully petitioning the Vatican for permission to set out on her own, she founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950 and began teaching Calcutta's street children in an open-air schoolroom. Two years later, she opened the Nirmal Hriday Home for Dying Destitutes. At this spiritual center of the Missionaries of Charity order dedicated sisters and volunteers care for Calcutta's dying untouchables. Over the years, Mother Teresa's good works spread and attracted worldwide attention. At the time of her death more than 4,000 women wore the simple sari that was the symbol of her order, and 120,000 volunteers assisted the sisters with the operation of more than 450 homes in 126 countries. The woman at the center of this vast empire stood only five feet tall, but steely resolve and clear dedication to purpose made her an imposing figure. She accomplished much because she dedicated her life to putting love into action, whether it was among the lepers of Calcutta, the homeless of Harlem, the drug addicts of London, or the orphans of Nairobi.

  • Sam Daley-Harris

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    1997 Adult Award Winner

    In 1978, Sam Daley-Harris began speaking to students-7,000 of them in all-about global hunger. Appalled by the low number of students who knew who their congressional representatives were, he decided that involving them in the political process would help teach them they, too, could make a difference. And so he founded RESULTS, a grass roots citizens lobby with the goal of creating the political will to end hunger. Running the organization out of his home, he took leaves of absence from substitute teaching and his songwriting career to make thousands of presentations in living rooms around the country. Today, RESULTS is an international organization with a membership base of 6,000, an annual budget of $1 million, and 15 full-time staff members. Volunteers advocate for change by meeting with their members of Congress, launching letter writing campaigns, and working with the media. Thanks to their efforts, RESULTS is largely credited with pushing through increased funding for childhood immunizations, and the corresponding decrease in deaths from vaccine-preventable disease (from 5 million a year to 2 million). Most recently, Daley-Harris has worked through the nonprofit RESULTS Education Fund to promote the promise of microcredit-garnering the support of world leaders to ensure that 100 million of the world's poorest families are provided with credit for self-employment by the year 2005. Thanks to his efforts over the past 20 years, thousands of people worldwide now realize they can participate in providing solutions to world problems.

  • Tom Chappell

    Kennebunk, Maine, United States

    1997 Adult Award Winner

    "Who says capitalism must be as it's practiced?" Tom asks. He doesn't, and he's shown it since founding Tom's of Maine in 1970. Under his leadership, the Kennebunk-based company produces natural, personal care products in a caring, creative work environment. Both ethics and entrepreneurship account for Tom's success, as he explains in The Soul of a Business and Seven Intentions of Values-Centered Leadership. After publishing his two books, Tom founded the Saltwater Institute to help executives create profitable, values-centered enterprises. Tom's commitment to values reflects an education unlike your typical CEO. After graduating from Trinity College with a B.A. in English, he went to Harvard Divinity School where he completed an M.A. in Theology. A deeply spiritual man, he's active in the Episcopal Church, besides contributing time to the Deans Council for Harvard Divinity School and the Advisory Council for the Study of Values in Public Life. He's received numerous honors, including a National Caring Award, for his financial contributions to preserve the rainforest and improve life for underprivileged groups. This takes a bite out of profits, but Tom's goal is to make capitalism "accountable to its community, people, and environment." Always aware of higher ends, Tom knows there's more to business than the bottom line.

  • William Wasson

    Tempe, Arizona, United States

    1997 Adult Award Winner

    William Wasson was a newly ordained priest working in Cuernavaca, Mexico when he rescued eight juvenile offenders from prison in 1953. He provided the orphaned children with a home and with unconditional love, and recognized his life's calling. Those boys would be the first of thousands of orphaned children to make their home with Wasson at Nuestros Peque?os Humanos (Our Little Brothers and Sisters). For more than 40 years Wasson has been creating a family for children with no future. His living, loving legacy is that family, which now numbers more than 15,000 and spans 5 countries: Mexico, Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. He has created the world's largest orphanage on the principle of gentle love between family members. Wasson's insistence on "unconditional acceptance" is one of the keys to Nuestros Peque?os Humanos' success. A child is never asked to leave. The orphans join a large family whose daily pattern varies little from that of a "normal" family. Before school each day, the children work on their chores, which include cultivating crops and livestock to support the extended family. After school, they take part in recreational activities before coming together for dinner, studying, and bed. Members of Wasson's family are expected to serve at least one year assisting the orphanage before striking out on their own. Wasson's US-based Friends of the Orphans helps raise the $2 million annual budget necessary to operate the orphanages. Within Wasson's loving embrace thousands of orphaned children have thrived over the past four decades.

  • Amondo Redmond

    Mt. Morris, Michigan, United States

    1997 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Spurred to action by the brutal murders of two members of his family in Flint, a city overrun by crime, freshman Amondo organized a school-wide Violence Prevention Week. His vocal leadership caught the attention of his mayor, who asked him to coordinate a county-wide Youth Violence Prevention Coalition. For the past two years, Amondo has built a coalition of students from all of the county high schools whose sole mission is to reduce and prevent violence. His approach-to provide positive alternatives to violence-has met with success. He is the only youth on the United Way board, and he has served as school president for the past two years.

  • Jerold Altaha

    Whiteriver, Arizona, United States

    1997 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 15

    For three years, Jerold has battled alcohol and drug use among his peers on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. He established chapters of Students Against Driving Drunk (SADD) at his middle school and high school-pitting a message of abstinence against the centuries-old cycle of abuse on the reservation. Ignoring ridicule and personal threats, Jerold's efforts won his club state recognition, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs awarded his school $45,000 for an expanded prevention program. Jerold founded SADD's first Native American Student Advisory Council and he was named the Arizona SADD's Native American Youth Spokesperson.

  • Kristen Deaton

    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

    1997 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Kristen gained an early understanding of the artificial limits that are often placed on disabled children while volunteering at a physical therapy clinic in junior high school. In high school, she married this understanding with her love of softball to create the Anyone Can Softball League. Two years later, this officially sanctioned league boasts 110 players (and an equal number of buddies), and dozens of coaches, umpires and league officials. Kristen's next venture is to offer year-round athletic opportunities for disabled youth through the Anyone Can Sports League. She has also prepared a model replication packet that has been distributed nationally.

  • Sarah From

    Bethesda, Maryland, United States

    1997 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Service has been a way of life for Sarah, who began volunteering in elementary school. By the time she was 13 she was working to develop opportunities for other youth to serve their communities. At 16, she was appointed as the only youth on the state Governor's Commission on Service, where she helped successfully steer the state to enact the nation's first school service requirement for graduating seniors. She has chaired Maryland's Youth Service Action Committee for the past two years, served on the national board of Youth Service America and taken part in Operation Understanding, a cross-cultural leadership program.

  • Vanessa Milsom

    Lambertville, New Jersey, United States

    1997 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    While living in Puerto Rico for the past three years, Vanessa has supported the work of Project Rescue, a grassroots residential program for troubled boys. She single-handedly raised over $10,000, sought building material donations, and recruited construction volunteers to build a dormitory to expand Project Rescue's client base. Her efforts also benefited the larger Project Rescue compound-with new wiring, pathways, and landscaping. In addition, Milsom assisted a battered women's shelter, convalescent home and orphanage, helped prepare meals for AIDS patients, and organized beach and rain forest cleanups.

  • Bill and Kathy Magee

    Norfolk, Virginia, United States

    1996 Adult Award Winner

    For 14 years, Bill and Kathy Magee have been bringing smiles to faces around the globe. Bill, a craniofacial specialist, and Kathy, a nurse and social worker, founded Operation Smile in 1982 as they sat at their kitchen table and realized they couldn't forget the faces of the those they'd left behind on a recent medical mission. Those images of broken faces, broken hearts and broken lives have fueled over 120 medical missions to 15 countries since the program was founded. The purpose of Operation Smile is to bring much needed reconstructive surgery and related health care to indigent children and young adults in developing countries and the United States. The Magees and 10,000 Operation Smile volunteers have performed more than 18,000 surgeries abroad and 21,000 surgeries here in the United States. In 1995, Operation Smile distributed $22 million worth of goods and services around the world. Central to Operation Smile's mission is the education and training the organization provides to physicians and health professionals in the host country. The ultimate goal is to establish a self-sufficient infrastructure in these developing nations. In-country physicians are given individual training and formal lectures. Operation Smile also donates equipment to help these physicians continue to operate after they leave, and they bring two physicians from each mission country to an annual two-week reconstructive surgery seminar in Norfolk, Virginia. The Magee's warmth and generosity are reflected not only in their global Operation Smile family, but also within their own family. They put into practice Mother Teresa's belief that "service begins with love within your own home."

  • Caridad Asensio

    Delray Beach, Florida, United States

    1996 Adult Award Winner

    Ever since her arrival in south Florida more than 20 years ago, Caridad Asensio has been ministering to the needs of its migrant community. Forced to flee Cuba, Asensio understands the life of constant change so common to migrant families. Her family settled in south Florida and that is where she worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others. In 1976 she became a community health facilitator at a local school to provide basic health needs for migrant children. Here, she found her true calling. Asensio did whatever needed to be done to improve the lives of the 1,800 migrant children living in the area. If they needed a house, she would go get one, by asking trailer parks to donate old mobile homes to migrant families. To meet the, health needs of this population, she created a clinic with a staff of 200 volunteer doctors, nurses, and dentists. Asensio also formed the Migrant Association of South Florida (MASF) to ensure adequate housing, health care, and education for the migrant workers and their children. Her ultimate goal is to limit the upheaval in the lives of the children. To that end, she has provided more than 150 mobile homes to migrant families, dispensed care to more than 5,000 patients each year at Caridad Health Clinic, and created a warehouse and thrift store. Asensio has provided a beacon of light for the poor who live in the shadows of wealth.

  • Jack McConnell

    Hilton Head, South Carolina, United States

    1996 Adult Award Winner

    As the leader behind medical inventions as remarkable as the TB Tyne test, Tylenol, and the MRI, Jack McConnell's retirement to Hilton Head Island could have been the beginning of a well-deserved rest. Instead, he felt compelled to help the medically underserved population of the island. McConnell saw the enormous chasm that existed on the island-abject poverty on one side and enormous wealth on the other-and wondered how the 8,000-10,000 working poor could afford good medical care. And so McConnell conceived of a clinic staffed by retired physicians, nurses, dentists, and lay people that would provide high-quality free medical care to the community. For two years, he worked tirelessly to make his vision a reality. He persuaded the South Carolina legislature to pass a bill to create a special volunteer license, allowing retired physicians to practice medicine at the clinic without having to sit for or pay for the state's licensing exam. He also obtained unlimited malpractice insurance for clinic volunteers. After raising the necessary capital to build and equip the clinic, the Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) Clinic opened its doors. Its volunteer staff, which includes 54 physicians, 57 nurses, 4 dentists, and 150 lay volunteers, has since treated 7,000 patients, and 500 cities nationwide have requested information on replicating the VIM model, with 10 actually already in existence. McConnell sums up the success of the clinic by saying, "It's a win-win situation that costs nothing-just to give of yourself. It's one of the most beautiful and enriching things we can do."

  • Jane Goodall

    Silver Spring, Maryland, United States

    1996 Adult Award Winner

    Best known for her pioneering research work with chimpanzees, Jane Goodall is also a strong believer that, together, we can effect global change. This belief forms the basis of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), which she founded in 1977. Throughout her 35-year career Goodall has made profound scientific discoveries that have laid the foundation for all primate studies and transformed natural history field studies. One of her Institute's 17 programs is targeted especially toward youth and is called Roots and Shoots. Fifteen thousand students worldwide take part in this program that teaches children to observe and understand the world around them, and encourages their active involvement in environmental and humanitarian issues. JGI's other programs provide for ongoing wildlife research, education, and conservation projects, such as a Tanzanian reforestation program and the Gombe Stream Research Center. Over 23,000 members worldwide support JGI's mission. Goodall travels the world with her message that endangered species can be saved, that threatened habitats can be preserved, and that each individual-human and nonhuman-matters. The message is being heard by not only the general public but by heads of state and business and government leaders who can influence positive action. Goodall is a truly remarkable individual who uses her intelligence and talent to forge the way for a better life for all on this planet. What began as a passion for animals in her youth has led to a career and a life that have revolutionized the way we think about animals, the environment, and our fellow humans.

  • John Steinbruck

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    1996 Adult Award Winner

    In 1973, when Reverend John Steinbruck opened the doors of Luther Place Memorial Church in Washington, DC to poor and homeless women, he was a pioneer in the crusade against homelessness and poverty. At that time, there was not a single resource in the entire city for this needy population. Today, Steinbruck's vision of a refuge for the needy has evolved into N Street Village, which provides around-the-clock care and feeding for the city's homeless people. It is a healthful, hospitable place where they can receive support, recover, and resume their lives. Each of the row houses that make up N Street Village offers different programs-from the basic needs of a night shelter where women can connect with various city services to drug and alcohol abuse counseling, job counseling, literacy programs, and psychological therapy services. Volunteers provide access to medical care, assist in recovery, and teach life-training skills to over 1,000 women each year. Steinbruck also founded the national Lutheran Volunteer Corps, whose members make a one-year community service commitment, and created the Religious Freedom Roundtable, which advocates the role of religious institutions in the care and feeding of the needy. In addition, under Steinbruck's leadership, Luther Place has helped establish a referral and crisis intervention service, a medical clinic that offers free prenatal and primary health care, and a food and clothing distribution center. His contributions to society have been enormous, having spent over two decades building bridges for women from lives of despair to lives filled with hope.

  • Jon Huntsman

    Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

    1996 Adult Award Winner

    In 1995 Jon Huntsman provided a $100 million endowment to find a cure for cancer-a disease that has taken its toll on his family. While the size of this bequest was significant, it was by no means out of character for the president of the Huntsman Corporation. Born into a humble home, Huntsman's early years were austere-his family had little money and lacked amenities like indoor plumbing. Yet, his parents instilled in him the importance of helping those less fortunate. After supporting his family as a teenager, Huntsman earned his MBA and joined the Navy. He then entered the private sector and created the nation's largest privately held chemical company, the Huntsman Corporation. Throughout his successful career, he has remained constant in his desire to assist others of less privilege. He has poured his wealth back into the local, national, and global communities. His compassion and desire to serve are rooted in his religion-the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but he greatly respects good works carried out by people of all faiths. Huntsman has quietly but significantly supported causes as varied as the Jake Garn Institute, Utah State's environmental research center, the Bennion Center, Armenian earthquake victims, and Catholic Charities, among others. He has also come to the aid of numerous individuals facing difficult circumstances. Huntsman and his family make it a priority to volunteer their time at a local shelter. It is this commitment to his community that extends beyond the giving of money that earns Huntsman such high regard worldwide.

  • Leeanne McGrath

    Lisle, Illinois, United States

    1996 Adult Award Winner

    Leeanne McGrath, founder of Sharing Connection, provides a vital link between caring people and people who need care. Founded in 1987, Sharing Connection transformed McGrath's suburban Chicago home into an overflowing redistribution center for clothing, furniture, baby items, toys, and food. Every nook and cranny of her home and two-car garage is filled with items that are on their way to homeless shelters, food pantries, and other service organizations that come to McGrath for donations. McGrath has a remarkable ability to locate and redirect resources, which has helped to position Sharing Connection at the center of the Chicago social services network. These organizations collect goods from her home by the truckload five days a week and distribute them to people in need. In addition to providing basic needs, McGrath also finds and refurbishes cribs and donates them to new mothers-each crib is outfitted with linens, bumpers, a baby afghan, and teddy bear. She has donated nearly 700 cribs to needy families. It is important to her that the items she distributes instill in the recipient a sense of pride and dignity. Beyond Chicago, children in Romania, Mexico, Haiti, Bosnia, and Honduras have felt the reach of McGrath's caring. Among her other initiatives are the Storybook Project and the Dishpan Project, which reach out to incarcerated mothers and those who have just been released. McGrath will continue doing all she can to help those who need care, saying, "I have this wonderful space and this wonderful time and I'm going to use it well.

  • Leon Sullivan

    Phoenix, Arizona, United States

    1996 Adult Award Winner

    For more than 30 years Dr. Leon Sullivan has pioneered the way for African-American community development. He has worked tirelessly to gain both social and economic equality for blacks and other minorities in the United States and abroad. Sullivan was one of the most prominent civil rights leaders during the 1960s. From church pulpits he and four other ministers implemented a "Selective Patronage" campaign that encouraged their congregations to patronize companies that hired African Americans. The campaign was a huge success and created new job opportunities that, because of years of discrimination and segregation, the minority work force was not qualified to fill. As a result, in 1964 Sullivan founded a job training program called Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC). Today, more than 80 OICs exist across the country. The programs have helped more than 2 million American minorities who have received job training. Encouraged by the success of the centers in the United States, Sullivan introduced the OIC concept to the international community. Twenty years before the end of apartheid in South Africa, Sullivan began promoting equal opportunity in that country, helping pave the way for an end to segregationist policies, much as he had in America in the early 1960s. In an effort to build a bridge between African Americans and Africans, he founded a leadership training corps in 1984 and he coordinates biannual African-American summits. Sullivan served as pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church for 38 years and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his leadership in the fight for equality in this country and abroad.

  • Mimi Silbert

    San Francisco, California, United States

    1996 Adult Award Winner

    In 1971 Mimi Silbert founded the Delancey Street Foundation in San Francisco, California, an organization dedicated to helping change the lives of society's castaways-criminal offenders, alcoholics, drug addicts, and prostitutes. With doctoral degrees in psychology and criminology, Silbert set out to create a criminal rehabilitation center whose central tenet was self-sufficiency. She and a partner began working with ex-cons and drug addicts and quickly earned the respect of those she was trying to help. Delancey Street soon grew so large that it had a lengthy waiting list. The program operates under these simple rules: each resident must own up to self-responsibility, develop at least three marketable skills, earn a high school equivalency degree, perform volunteer work, and serve as a role model for other residents. "Each one teach one" is the guiding principle. The residents' skills are parlayed into a group of businesses that earns $6 million annually to support the foundation, which is run entirely by ex-cons and has evolved without one single act of violence. Since it began, more than 11,000 people have completed the four-year program. Five states have successfully replicated the Delancey Street model and Silbert has developed a training institute to provide assistance to organizations that wish to create programs in other communities. Delancey Street succeeds against all odds because Silbert requires residents to assume responsibility for their actions and for each other. She notes, "Mainly we teach our residents how to believe and how to love, [which is] difficult for people who have hurt others and who have been burned all their lives."

  • Sharon Darling

    Louisville, Kentucky, United States

    1996 Adult Award Winner

    Twenty-seven years ago, school teacher Sharon Darling began spending her evenings teaching adults how to read. So began a career dedicated to erasing illiteracy in this country. Darling founded the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) in 1989. Central to her work with literacy is the belief that family literacy programs can better motivate parents and children to succeed together by addressing the literacy issues of both generations. Darling understands that working with parents and children as a unit, rather than individually, helps break the intergenerational cycle of under-education. Since the NCFL was founded, thousands of teachers have been trained as literacy specialists. Each year 30,000 parents and preschool children are enrolled in family literacy programs. The results have been phenomenal: employment among graduated parents increased by 25%, and 80% of the program graduates in kindergarten are at or above their class average on all factors. More than 500,000 people have improved their basic skills or learned the English language as a direct result of Darling's efforts. NCFL also functions as an advocacy group, helping to design and assess federal and state policies to sustain and expand family literacy nationwide. NCFL helps states develop their own family literacy legislation and was actively involved in the 1991 Adult Literacy Act and the formation of the National Institute for Literacy. The source of Darling's motivation is an unwavering belief in the importance of sharing the gift of caring. "I get so much more back than I ever give that I don't feel like it's service."

  • Teddy Gross

    New York, New York, United States

    1996 Adult Award Winner

    Inspired by a question about homelessness from his three-year-old daughter, playwright Teddy Gross created Common Cents in 1990. His concept: to collect "useless" pennies and raise money for needy causes. Society regards pennies as having no value and therefore does not spend them. Gross saw the symmetry between the lowly penny and our country's homeless population. So he began by asking the residents of his building to part with their change to benefit the Coalition for the Homeless in Manhattan. He and his daughter collected more than $900 worth of pennies and other change that first weekend. Gross encouraged his friends to begin harvesting their buildings and solicited cash grants to cover the administrative costs of the program. He shared his idea with his synagogue, which also began harvesting pennies. Soon, synagogues and schools nationwide became involved in harvesting pennies through Common Cents. By 1995, one thousand volunteers had collected over $500,000 to benefit programs that work with children and the homeless. Because many of the volunteers were students, Gross created the Student Community Action Fund, to involve New York City's 1.2 million children in this meaningful activity. In 1995 students in New York harvested 28 tons of coins, totaling $102,739. Cookies & Dreams is Gross' newest venture, pairing preteens with homeless preschoolers once a week, pioneering a concept of reciprocal education and service. What began as a simple union of two of society's castaways-pennies and the homeless-has grown into a movement that celebrates the human spirit and underscores the importance of community.

  • Anne Chun

    Ft. Lee, New Jersey, United States

    1996 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Anne has played a leading role in almost every school-based service club throughout high school. She has served as vice president of Students Against Drunk Driving, and as a leader for the Volunteer Action Cabinet and the Interact Club. She cofounded Ecoscare, the school's environmental club, and was selected to sit on the school district's Source Reduction Committee. Active in her community as well, Anne serves on the state's Student Action Board of Youth Service, Diversity 2000, the Youth Council for the Homeless, and the Peer Outreach Service Team (POST).

  • Brianne Schwantes

    South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

    1996 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), the "brittle bone" disease, Brianne has rallied to forge a partnership among those facing the same battles. An accomplished speaker, Brianne was just eight when she began testifying before Congressional subcommittees to promote funding for OI research. In 1994 she developed Little Bones, a worldwide quarterly newsletter for OI patients, their families, and medical professionals. Choosing not to focus solely on her own problems, Brianne flew to Iowa to assist victims of the 1994 floods and she single-handedly raised $20,000 for a South African orphanage.

  • Eric Perlyn

    Boca Raton, Florida, United States

    1996 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Eric used the money he received at his bar mitzvah to provide new shoes for six underprivileged brothers. This selfless act inspired Eric to seek donations from local shoe stores for other needy children. He formed a non-profit corporation called Stepp'n Up and continued to expand his efforts by contacting shoe manufacturers and involving students from his high school. Since the program's inception, 5,400 pairs of shoes have been distributed to the poor. Eric is currently preparing a guide so that other young people can create their own Stepp'n Up chapters around the country.

  • Jacob Green

    Los Alamitos, California, United States

    1996 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Three years ago, when Nazi hate materials began to filter into Jacob's high school locker, he decided to take a stand. He helped create a human relations club at his school, dubbed Griffins with a Mission (GWAM). GWAM sponsors a Week of Understanding, conflict mediation training, anti-racism assemblies, and a host of other programs that include elementary and middle school students. To date, over 2,000 students have taken part in the club's multi-cultural retreats. In 1996, Jacob raised over $9,000 to host the first annual Human Relations Conference for 200 students.

  • Katherine Eller

    Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States

    1996 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 13

    At the age of 10, Katie donated the proceeds from her lemonade stand to the Day Center homeless shelter. Buoyed by her good deed, she began speaking to schools and community organizations to promote her simple but effective idea. By age 11, she was fundraising and garnering donations to create starter packets and a Lemon-Aid hotline to assist others who wanted to take part in what was to become an annual Labor Day weekend venture. Katie works on the program year round and, thanks to her efforts, the city-wide project raised over $25,000 in 1996 for the Day Center.

  • Katy Ballenger

    Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

    1996 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    As president of Bishop Dwenger High School's Habitat for Humanity chapter, Waning organized 13,000 Catholic school students from 44 Since her sophomore year Katy has been eagerly volunteering with a myriad of local service agencies. In eleventh grade she created Help Us Give Service (HUGS), a school-based organization to encourage student volunteerism. In the two years since its inception 123 students have given thousands of hours of service to 150 agencies. HUGS has spread to two other schools and Katy is forming a nonprofit organization to promote the club nationwide. Beyond the scope of HUGS, Katy works with Down Syndrome children and teaches dance to mentally and physically challenged youth.

  • Richard Jones

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    1996 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Richard was just 13 when he approached the local Veteran's Administration Medical Center with his offer to volunteer in their long-term care unit. In the three years since, he has amassed over 1,300 hours of voluntary service with the aged residents, helping to plan and implement the seniors' recreational activities. His dedication to the center and its residents has earned Richard, an inner-city student, the Center's Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award three years in a row. He has also twice been selected to receive the Veteran Administration's national youth scholarship award.

  • Robert Rutland-Brown

    New Smyrna Beach, Florida, United States

    1996 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Three years ago, after the racially charged beating death of a town resident, Robert began Chisholm Friends, a mixed-race mentor program between some 20 elementary and high school students. Once regarded with caution by the community, Chisholm Friends has dramatically improved the behavior of and outlook for the elementary school students, most of whom are from poverty-stricken, single-parent homes. The mentors cite a new appreciation for different races and the obstacles that poverty can create. The program is now lauded by townspeople for improving race relations within the community.

  • Stephen Massey

    Phoenix, Arizona, United States

    1996 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Since 1992, Stephen has averaged over 400 volunteer hours annually with his state's March of Dimes Chain Reaction Youth Leadership Council. In 1995 he led his high school to raise over $21,500 for Walk America-doubling his previous year's total. As council chair, many of the projects initiated under his direction, such as a city-wide baby shower project for disadvantaged mothers and a Walk America school recruitment program, were approved for adoption by the 37 additional youth councils. He was the first youth selected to join the state March of Dimes board and speakers bureau.

  • Tabitha Kulish

    Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States

    1996 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 12

    An avid Brownie and youth group member since age six, Tabitha started the home-based, youth-run Operation Cheer Up in 1995. Club members create hundreds of cards for residents of local nursing homes, VA hospitals, and service men and women. In addition, young Tabitha has been serving the underprivileged and disabled of her community through the local chapters of the March of Dimes , Red Cross, Salvation Army, United Cerebral Palsy, and the American Lung Association. Since her volunteer work began, Tabitha has donated thousands of hours of service.

  • Bill Shore

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    1995 Adult Award Winner

    Bill Shore left a life of politics to work full-time for Share Our Strength (SOS), an organization he founded in response to Ethiopian famine, as well as hunger concerns in the United States. "Billy Shore gave it all up to fight hunger. Is this guy real?" read a 1992 Washington Post headline. The 800 world-wide anti-hunger organizations that have received more than $26 million in SOS grants know the answer to that question. So do the 400,000 children who were added to a school breakfast program in 1994. And so do SOS' 10,000 volunteers. SOS volunteers are asked to become involved rather than just write checks. Chefs donate their time and talent to SOS' Taste of the Nation, the largest national benefit for hunger relief, which has raised and distributed more than $18 million. Leading authors read their books in bookstores for Writers Harvest, with ticket profits going to local hunger relief and prevention agencies. Anthologies of original writings, which are released by major publishing houses and sold in bookstores around the world benefit hunger relief, literacy, needy children, and programs to prevent infant mortality. Ninety-four cents of every dollar SOS spends goes directly to hunger relief projects, with only six percent going to administrative costs and fundraising. "Most people consider this altruistic work, but I feel kind of selfish about it," Shore says. "I do it for the same reason I think other people do what they do, which is that it just makes me feel good to do it."

  • Corla Hawkins

    Chicago, Illinois, United States

    1995 Adult Award Winner

    For two decades Corla Hawkins, also known as Momma Hawk, has been teaching children in one of Chicago's worst neighborhoods. Though parents and teachers have given up on most of these children, Momma Hawk's experience has taught her that every child has a special gift to offer. Because she feels compelled to "recover" that gift, she created Recovering the Gifted Child in 1990. Ninety percent of her new students, when asked what they wanted to do when they grew up, replied, "Receive a check." The welfare system is so ingrained in their psyche that they scarcely know another way exists. Mamma Hawk, however, believes her students should learn new expectations and redefine themselves. From the required "uniform" to the etiquette lessons, strict rules about dating, and corporate mentors assigned to each young person, Momma Hawk attempts to give them a new lease on life. She cooks breakfast for her kids each day and takes most of them home with her in the evening. She spends 40% of her own take-home salary caring for them, asking that they perform at least 75 hours of community service in return. With her influence, their test scores have dramatically increased, their social behavior has markedly improved, and the pregnancy rate is near zero. The 30 kids per year who graduate from her program stay in school-a remarkable feat in an area with an 80% dropout rate. To these children, who come from severely dysfunctional homes and gang-infested neighborhoods, Momma Hawk is not just a teacher. She is mother, mentor, and savior.

  • Jacques d’Amboise

    New York, New York, United States

    1995 Adult Award Winner

    Jacques d'Amboise turned down a Broadway and film career, and an opportunity to run the New York City Ballet, to establish the National Dance Institute (NDI) in 1976. He did it, he says, to challenge children to discover excellence in themselves. Begun with a group of 80 boys, NDI now reaches more than 40,000 children each year. One of the country's largest arts education organizations, NDI has fostered self-confidence and an awareness of the arts in more than 500,000 inner-city students. The children, ages 8 to 14, are chosen not for their skill but for their willingness to dance. The core program uses a combination of dance classes, performances, and educational materials. Not only do the children learn to dance, they learn self-esteem and discipline. They are taught to set a higher standard of achievement for themselves, and learn that they can succeed at reaching their goals. In addition to the core program, NDI offers scholarship opportunities and conducts national residency and international exchange programs. The Mainstreaming Program intermingles visually-, emotionally-, and hearing-challenged kids with other NDI kids. The exchange program has engaged Russian, Indian, Chinese, Ethiopian, Siberian, and Chilean children, as well as a group of adults from Australia. At the end of each year, the children perform on stage, in costume, with professional sets and music. D'Amboise marvels in the miracle of having an idea and a year later sitting in the audience as it becomes a glorious reality. "Talk about having your cake and eating it too!" he says.

  • Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter

    Atlanta, Georgia, United States

    1995 Adult Award Winner

    While others quietly retire after reaching the pinnacle of leadership, President and Mrs. Carter have sought new ways to serve society. In 1982, Jimmy Carter founded the Carter Center at Emory University and, in 1987, Rosalynn Carter established the Rosalynn Carter Institute (RCI) for Human Development at Georgia Southwestern College. The Carter Center is a consortium of nonprofit organizations promoting world peace and international health policies. It includes the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum; The Task Force for Child Survival and Development; the Carter-Menil Human Rights Foundation; the Atlanta Project, which attacks social problems associated with urban poverty; and Global 2000 Inc. Through Global 2000 Inc., the Carter Center has initiated disease control, rehabilitation, and large-scale agricultural demonstration projects in Africa and Asia. Meanwhile, RCI has organized an impressive array of extensive programs to assist people with physical illnesses associated with aging, as well as caregivers of persons with mental and emotional problems. Mrs. Carter says that problems such as poverty, malnutrition, mental illness, substance abuse, and violence toward women "defy separate solutions and are interconnected." In addition to these national and international commitments, the Carters feel it's important to act locally. One of their favorite charities is Habitat for Humanity. Since 1984, they have built at least one home each year for someone in need. If they could be separated, each of the Carters' accomplishments would stand as a monument to goodness of some magnitude, but in combination they have made a mark few can equal.

  • Joe Carroll

    San Diego, California, United States

    1995 Adult Award Winner

    Bronx-born Joe Carroll told San Diego Magazine, "I grew up in a family of 10, and we all lived in this tiny two-bedroom apartment." Though there was a lack of living space, there was no lack of love in the home. Ultimately, the Boy Scouts led the young street-wise kid onto a celestial path. "Scouting took the 10 commandments and made them positive for me," he says. As a priest, Carroll directed the formation of St. Vincent de Paul Village, one of the country's most widely replicated programs for the homeless. In 1987, he conceived and created this $11.7 million, 110,000 square foot state-of-the-art complex in San Diego that serves more than 2,000 people a day. The Village houses a medical and dental clinic, provides residential services for 855 people, and supplies meals for 1 million people each year. It also offers a full range of support services designed to give a step up to the estimated 40% of homeless people who are "situationally homeless." With a budget of $16 million and a staff of 250, the Village includes centers for runaway teens, the chronically homeless, and persons living with AIDS. Carroll still works with the Boy Scouts, and he coordinates SHARE, a food co-op distributing groceries to 30,000 participants a month. Embarrassed by the hundreds of awards he's received for his good work, Carroll says, "I'm just doing my job. I'm just being the best priest I know how."

  • Marie Banister

    Houston, Texas, United States

    1995 Adult Award Winner

    Born into a large family in Armel, Colorado, Marie Banister had a heart condition that forced her to live a restricted childhood. This early understanding of being different formed an integral part of Banister's outlook on life. "I know what it feels like to be on the outside looking in when you cannot participate," she says. With those memories never far from her mind, she has dedicated 40 years to helping the ill and infirm. For the last 25 years, Marie Banister has been ministering to the needs of long-term cancer patients and their families, totaling nearly 40,000 hours in service. A regular visitor at six of Houston's hospitals, Banister provides a familiar, consistent, and reassuring presence for the patients and their families. The most famous of her simple gestures is the pillow project, for which she is affectionately known as "the pillow lady." Banister coordinates the production and distribution of pillows designed to spiritually comfort patients, and physically ease the pain associated with IV injections, spinal taps, and surgeries. When she founded the project, Banister was the only pillow maker. Today she oversees approximately 40 volunteers and distributes more than 2,000 pillows annually. Her efforts outside the hospitals, helping folks far from home and in difficult circumstances, are even more extensive. She finds lodging for visiting families and does everything from searching for platelet donors to preparing home-cooked meals. "She is the most selfless person I've ever known," says fellow volunteer Marjorie Bourland. "This is just her calling."

  • Marilyn Carlson Nelson

    Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

    1995 Adult Award Winner

    Vice chair of Carlson Holdings Inc., one of the largest privately held companies in the country, and co-chair of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Marilyn Nelson's volunteer experience spans more than four decades. Perhaps most well-known for bringing the 1992 Super Bowl to frigid Minneapolis, Nelson not only pumped an estimated $100 million into the state's economy but, for the first time in NFL history, a portion of the proceeds were designated to charity. She called it "a party with a purpose." As a senior executive in the Carlson business empire, a conglomerate of 100 companies ranked by Forbes and Fortune magazines as one of the largest privately held companies in the country, Nelson's current focus is to ensure the company maintains its values. These values, known as "The Carlson Standards" are based on the Carlson family philosophy of creating jobs and contributing to society. Under her leadership, Carlson Holdings continues to contribute five percent of pre-tax earnings to charity. Nelson has also given her time and energy to serve many nonprofit organizations, such as the Girl Scouts, Junior Achievement, and the Heart Association. Her other commitments include heading numerous nonprofit boards, such as the United Way, KTCA Public Television, the Junior League, and the Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Most of Nelson's community activities are guided by her sense that mankind is indivisible. "None of us can get so pompous that we say, 'This is mine; I'm important, and you're not,'" she says. "The answer is to find something bigger than you are to care about."

  • Nancy Mintie

    Los Angeles, California, United States

    1995 Adult Award Winner

    For Nancy Mintie, becoming a lawyer was simply a means to an end. After graduating from law school, she set up a one-person practice in a makeshift garage office bartered from a local community service movement. In exchange for running a soup kitchen and giving free legal services to the indigent, Mintie was given room, board, and $3 a week. Thus, the Inner City Law Center on Los Angeles' Skid Row was founded. From that first day in 1980 when the city's homeless and poor lined up outside her store-front practice, Mintie has been their stalwart defender. She and her small band of poverty lawyers have never lost a housing case. Three full-time attorneys, who specialize in slum housing litigation are joined by three advocates charged with connecting the homeless with the necessary social services to get them off the streets. Though the Center serves more than 3,600 clients annually, with judgments and settlements for each client averaging more than $100,000, Mintie takes home less than $30,000 a year. A glimpse into her heart reveals her continued commitment to helping the poor. "I'm not romanticizing poverty in any way," she says. "Poverty stinks. And that's what this place is all about: remembering the injustice of poverty. It's a terrible thing and it brings people down and damages them and it tears families apart as much as it could ever ennoble people. But for those it doesn't destroy...I have seen things that are just incredibly inspirational come out of their lives."

  • Stan Curtis

    Louisville, Kentucky, United States

    1995 Adult Award Winner

    One day in 1986, Stan Curtis, a successful young investment banker, found himself in a sumptuous buffet line. Just as he was helping himself to some green beans, the serving dish-which was not empty-was whisked away and replaced with a new platter heaping with beans. When he questioned the manager, Curtis found that presentation is paramount in the restaurant business, and the beans remaining from the first dish would have to be thrown away. Incredulous, he learned this was standard procedure for restaurants. Because his own childhood had given him a first-hand understanding of hunger, Curtis was well aware that there were hungry people who could have enjoyed eating those beans. He walked out of that restaurant with a mission: he would do something about hunger. From his determination, USA Harvest, the largest all-volunteer organization dedicated to feeding the hungry, was born. Each day USA Harvest distributes 600,000 pounds of food to 4,500 agencies, with a total of 1.2 million meals served daily. Because he believes personal involvement has a great impact on people's lives, Curtis does not ask for or accept money. Instead, he forms partnerships with shipping companies, hotels, airlines, hospitals, and the 57,000 people who make up his volunteer army. He asks for their time, their services, and their commitment. In so doing, he has discovered a rich, untapped resource. "People really want to help," he says, "and when they come in contact with hungry people eating the food they've brought, they never forget it."

  • Vantrease Russell

    Orlando, Florida, United States

    1995 Adult Award Winner

    Since 1951, Vantrease Russell has been "mother" to more than 1,200 children. Recognizing her special ability to communicate with and care for children, she reached out to parents of disabled children in the Orlando community by creating the nonprofit Russell Home for Atypical Children. At any given time, the place is home to at least 27 "children," some of whom have lived there for 45 years. Russell provides a supportive environment, filled with love and acceptance for these special-needs kids, and no child is denied services because of a family's inability to pay. Russell, four of her own children, 27 paid employees, and a corps of volunteers provide around-the-clock specialized care, love, and a home-like atmosphere. There is a dormitory wing, a nursery, a kitchen, a large laundry room, playrooms, and living room areas. There are no locks anywhere in the house, and punishment and raised voices are forbidden solutions for dealing with a child who is acting up. The guiding philosophy of the Russell Home is a belief in a loving and positive environment. They work hard to ensure that each child recognizes his or her highest potential. Russell has yet to move into a small guest house behind the main house, which was built for her own use. It is used, instead, for visiting guests. Russell says she just can't bring herself to be that far away from her children. "I never had any idea I'd do anything like this," she says. "It wove around me like a spider web."

  • Amber Coffman

    Glen Burnie, Maryland, United States

    1995 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 13

    At the age of ten, motivated by the work of Mother Teresa, Coffman founded Happy Helpers for the Homeless. Every Saturday at her home, Coffman and a handful of volunteers prepare 400 bag lunches for the homeless, which she and her mother distribute to people living on the streets. Coffman has given almost 2,000 hours of her time to service. She volunteers weekly at her church nursery and donates her time to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Adopt-a Grandparent program, the National Kidney Foundation, and dozens of other charities. On National Youth Service Day this year, she delivered a speech to 1,000 young people encouraging their community service involvement.

  • Cassandra Martin

    Boca Raton, Florida, United States

    1995 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Martin is the consummate community service leader, holding leadership positions in the District V Student Councils, Governor's Initiative for Teens (GIFT), Vision 2,000, Key Club, school student council, AIDS Peer Education Program, Principal's Forum, and Principal's Attendance Appeals Board. Martin also actively participates in direct community service, and has completed over 1,000 hours of volunteer work for dozens of different organizations-logging in 600 hours in the past two years on her pet project, AIDS education. Martin has initiated programs wherever she sees a need. She co-founded Change for Children, which raises funds for local children's projects and she led a fundraising campaign for an orphanage in Zambia. Martin, who has been volunteering since the sixth grade, is currently a freshman at Boston College.

  • Claudia Aranda

    El Paso, Texas, United States

    1995 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Frustrated with the lack of resources available to teen volunteers, Aranda dreamed of creating a referral system that connected teens with community agencies in need of their volunteer services. She founded the Teen Volunteer Corps (TVC), a school-based community service club, and kicked off the program in 1993 with Make a Difference Day. The day of service generated over 2,000 student volunteer hours in the El Paso community. The following year Make a Difference Day produced hundreds of new teen volunteers and garnered 10,000 books for local libraries. Recently, TVC's referral system was computerized, an achievement that Aranda had worked towards since the group's founding. In addition, in order to encourage replication of this successful program throughout the state, she has developed an implementation guide. Through Claudia's efforts, thousands of Texas teens have begun giving back to their communities. Aranda is currently a freshman at Stanford University.

  • Emily Kumpel

    Wakefield, Massachusetts, United States

    1995 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 11

    Kumpel began volunteering in 1993 as a news reporter for the radio show "Kid Company." Through her research for a story on apartheid in South Africa, Kumpel was motivated to provide books for the children in that country. In the drive's first year, Kumpel collected over 30 boxes of books and raised the funds to ship them through book drives, bake sales, and through talking to community groups to garner financial support. She has collected over 4,000 books this year and has made one large shipment, with another planned for December. Kumpel is also actively involved a pen pal program with the school children she's helping. Her concern for others can be felt at home as well. In 1993, she co-founded Kids Helping Kids, which has raised thousands of dollars for a local homeless shelter through the sale of home-made patchwork pillows signed by celebrities.

  • Jill Rappoport

    Wyncote, Pennsylvania, United States

    1995 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    As the driving force behind the student council's Charities Committee, Rappoport has initiated and coordinated a plethora of projects, including raising money for families devastated by the Oklahoma City bombing, distributing Thanksgiving dinner baskets to local underprivileged families, and coordinating a holiday gift program for children at a local orphanage. For the past three years Rappoport has also organized very successful food and clothing drives to benefit the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and Trevor's Place . She was a charter member of Homefriends, a university-sponsored program that matches students with senior citizens in need of companionship and help. When funding for the program was cut this year, Rappoport successfully lobbied to have the program adopted by her high school; she will recruit and train volunteers, and raise funds for the program. Additionally, Rappoport coordinates volunteer opportunities for members of her temple's youth group.

  • Kristen Belanger

    Woodbury, Connecticut, United States

    1995 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 14

    Belanger began her volunteer service at the age of 10 by collecting $705 for a soup kitchen and a truckload of provisions for a food bank. She has since coordinated the collection of over 4,000 pounds of clothing and nearly 1,000 books for charitable organizations. Belanger's compassion for those in need prompts her to get involved in and coordinate numerous projects that benefit others, such as planning an Easter Egg Hunt for underprivileged children, donating award money to promote volunteerism at her school, and raising $1,750 to prepare almost 90 Christmas stockings for Native American children in South Dakota and in the flood zone outside of St. Louis. Three years ago, Belanger reached out and befriended a homeless woman. Her love, acceptance and support helped the woman make a transition to a life away from the streets.

  • Kristin Waning

    Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States

    1995 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    As president of Bishop Dwenger High School's Habitat for Humanity chapter, Waning organized 13,000 Catholic school students from 44 local schools and raised $25,000 to build a house for a Fort Wayne family. She spent over 500 hours on this project alone during her senior year. Waning has helped Habitat in numerous other ways. As a project leader she coordinated ventures like rebuilding an elderly woman's roof, dry-walling and painting another senior's home, and landscaping an underprivileged family's newly remodeled home. Another successful effort was recruiting over 100 high school students to spend their 1995 spring break helping homeless people in West Virginia. Waning was also a member of the Key Club and SADD, and volunteered as a tutor with the Fort Wayne Boy's and Girl's Club. She served as secretary for her school's Council for Exceptional Children Club and was an active member of her church youth group's community service activities. Waning is a freshman at Xavier University.

  • Sarah Kreinberg

    Portland, Oregon, United States

    1995 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    At fifteen months of age Kreinberg was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Choosing not to focus on her own illness, she has dedicated her life to helping others. At seven, Kreinberg withdrew all of her savings and sent it to help starving Ethiopian children. Wanting to do more, Kreinberg created and sold Christmas tree ornaments, raising $7,000 to benefit the famine's victims. Kreinberg again emptied her savings account several years later to help a woman-a stranger-who needed a bone marrow transplant. More recently, when the Rwandan crisis made world headlines, Kreinberg organized an art show at which she sold over 125 pieces of her art, raising almost $12,000 to benefit the Rwandans. Additionally, Kreinberg is an active Key Club member, a peer counselor for Candlelighters, and a student ambassador for a program called People to People.

  • Tricia Michels

    Fountain Valley, California, United States

    1995 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    During her freshman year, Michels initiated a volunteer program at Thomas House, a transitional shelter for families. In addition to coordinating and planning the weekly activities with the children at the shelter, Michels, recruits and trains the other volunteers (who are members of her school's STOP/Economics Club) and has led an effort to raise funds for the shelter. Volunteerism is a way of life for Michels. She serves as STOP/Economics Club president, Vice Chair of the Youth Leadership Council, Red Cross Club treasurer, Parent Teachers Student Association vice president, and a member of the Youth California Action Network and her school's Key Club. She has completed 500 hours of service in outreach projects to the poor and homeless through the STOP/Economics Club, over 350 hours of service through participation in Youth Leadership Council projects, and hundreds of hours with the Key Club.

  • Yang Pao Chang

    Wausau, Wisconsin, United States

    1995 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Chang, a Laotian refugee who has been in the United States for only five years, is dedicated to promoting cross-cultural communication in the Wausau community. Three years ago, Chang helped found Tapestry Theatre, which educates the community about the Hmong culture. Through its performances that tell of the struggle of the Hmong, the troupe has reached over 80,000 people. Chang spends over 100 hours each month making presentations on the Hmong individually and through the Tapestry Theatre. Also, three years ago, he created a course on the Hmong language. This three-hour bi-weekly class is taught solely by Chang, who individually develops and grades all of the assignments and tests. Additionally, this high school teenager supports his family both financially and by acting as "the cultural bridge" for them.

  • Bill Milliken

    Alexandria, Virginia, United States

    1994 Adult Award Winner

    Every day 3,000 young people drop out of school in the United States; in major urban areas the dropout rate is as high as "50%". Bill Milliken was determined to do something to stem the tide of young people leaving school when he helped found Cities in Schools, Inc., the nation's largest nonprofit dropout prevention program. Since 1976, Cities in Schools has affected nearly 100,000 at-risk children through more than 665 project sites and 96 local programs. Milliken was no stranger to what an at-risk student needs. His mother was an alcoholic and sick much of the time. Milliken was transferred out of high school into a trade school because he was such a troublemaker. Soon thereafter, he turned his life around with the help of people who believed in him. As a young adult, Milliken served as a "street worker" assisting alienated youth in New York. He initiated the first street academies for young people who were failed by traditional schooling. Milliken saw the success of nontraditional education and started various programs in the 1970s that provided aid to young people in need. These organizations served as important predecessors to Cities in Schools, which coordinates social workers, employment counselors, recreation coaches, educators, health professionals, and volunteers together in the school, giving children direct access to the services they need. For more than 30 years Milliken has taken on the despair of troubled youth, ultimately triumphing over the overwhelming challenges that face alienated youth who drop out of school.

  • Carol and Hurt Porter

    Houston, Texas, United States

    1994 Adult Award Winner

    Houston is home to some 350,000 hungry children. Carol and Hurt Porter founded Kid-Care, Inc., to help feed those hungry children. Carol, a registered nurse, and Hurt, a radio announcer, gave up their full-time jobs in 1988 to dedicate themselves to Kid-Care, a meals-on-wheels program for the city's impoverished children. Today Kid-Care prepares and delivers meals for more than 17,000 needy children and their families each month. The organization operates entirely out of the Porters' home, which now accommodates six refrigerators, four freezers, and two stoves. Carol and Hurt prepare all of the meals, either in the evenings or very early each morning. Hot lunches and after-school snacks are delivered to children at local schools Monday through Friday. The Porters are strong proponents of community involvement and, as such, accept no government aid for their work. Kid-Care encourages families to become self-sufficient to eliminate the need for government-assisted programs, and it subsidizes day care costs for mothers who want to find employment or finish their education. Thanks to strong community support, the Porters have been able to further expand Kid-Care to create programs that are designed to help break the cycle of poverty. One such program is Kid-Care Academy, which provides underprivileged toddlers with preschool instruction that includes cultural programming. To the Porters, who work hard to encourage replication, Kid-Care is more than a feeding program; it is about creating community.

  • Dave Thomas

    Dublin, Ohio, United States

    1994 Adult Award Winner

    Dave Thomas, founder of the Wendy's hamburger chain, is the nation's leading advocate for adoption. As an adopted child himself, Thomas knows only too well what adoption is all about. In 1990 Thomas accepted President Bush' invitation to serve as national spokesperson for the Presidential Initiative on Adoption. Called "Adoption Works...for Everyone," the project was designed to encourage the adoption of nearly 100,000 special-needs children. Thomas also chose to commit his restaurant chain to that effort by introducing adoption benefits to Wendy's standard employee benefits package. The policy provides financial assistance and paid leave for company employees who choose to adopt. He has also mounted a national campaign to urge fellow CEOs to do the same. Thomas has appeared in 300 commercials promoting adoption, and he grants hundreds of interviews each year to raise awareness about the thousands of children awaiting adoption. He has also donated the proceeds from his two best-selling books to help fund adoption programs. Recently, Thomas created the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, which is dedicated to the tenet that every child deserves a permanent home and a loving family. Thomas is significantly involved in a number of other charitable causes, among them the Children's Home Society, Recreation Unlimited, and Charity Newsies. He has also endowed an educational center at Duke University and a cancer research center in Columbus. As a child, Thomas dreamed of creating a better burger. His dream today is to ensure that every child grows up in a permanent, loving home.

  • Donnalee Velvic

    Nampa, Idaho, United States

    1994 Adult Award Winner

    Donnalee Velvick's own unhappy childhood in a pornography ring prompted her, at the tender age of 11, to make a pledge that she would someday help other kids to have a happier life than she was living. Velvick kept her promise and, in 1973, established Hope House for abused, neglected, and abandoned children. Hope House consists of four homes, divided by age, gender and ability, on nearly 75 acres of land near Boise. When children first arrive, they are offered diagnostic evaluations for both their educational and emotional needs. Those who cannot attend the local schools are educated at the state-accredited school that Velvick has established on the property. She operates the home and school on $600,000 a year. Currently, 69 emotionally and physically disabled children live in Hope House. Velvick has adopted 19 of the children and serves as legal guardian to another 20. All of the children are made to feel safe and secure because they know they don't have to leave. These victimized children are close to Velvick-perhaps sensing her empathy for their tragic circumstances. They all have household responsibilities and contribute to the unit as a whole. In addition, all of the children must take part in special projects that help others. Velvick believes instilling a sense of belonging and permanence is Hope House's single most important function. Providing that strong foundation is what makes Velvick's heart sing, "I can go to sleep at night...when I see the [children]...snuggled in their beds and I know they're safe."

  • Edith Lewis

    Garland, Texas, United States

    1994 Adult Award Winner

    For the past 25 years Edith Lewis has been giving love and a second chance in life to hundreds of abused and traumatized youths. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, "Grandma" Edie provides a home, tough love, and understanding to dozens of young adults, ages 18-23, who have been given up on by society and labeled "lost causes." The youths she helps have lived their short lives on the streets; they have experienced satanic ritual abuse, incest, prostitution, and drug abuse. Lewis has the special ability to see their potential and, through her special blend of caring and discipline, she imbues in them a sense of hope. Hundreds of young lives have been rehabilitated by Lewis, who cares for them with her social security income, an annuity her husband set up, church donations, and her own door-to-door collections. Lewis refuses government support, and she boasts an 80% success rate, compared with the 10% success rate of government-sponsored rehabilitation programs. Youths hear about the fearless, six-foot Lewis on the streets and flock to her small home for help. Once inside her doors, they must respect the curfew, and may not fight, drink, or do drugs. Those who do are shown the door. Nearly all come back because Lewis loves them as no one has ever loved them. Recently, Lewis has been helping young people to walk away from gang life, declaring a new and dangerous battleground in her ongoing war to reclaim lost lives.

  • Lois Lee

    Van Nuys, California, United States

    1994 Adult Award Winner

    Lois Lee was researching the bond between prostitutes and their pimps for her doctoral dissertation in 1975 when she learned that many prostitutes were teens running away from incest and abuse. Shelters refused to help these kids so Lee began taking them home with her. Over the next four years Lee housed 300 children and assisted hundreds more. In 1979 she received a $3,000 grant to set up a 24-hour toll-free hotline, and Children of the Night was born. Children of the Night helps kids escape prostitution and pornography through a walk-in crisis center, street outreach program, counseling, crisis intervention, a job placement service, and foster or group home placement. In 1992, Children of the Night had raised enough funds from the private sector to realize Lee's ultimate goal-the establishment of a shelter. This first-of-its-kind facility provides a comprehensive 60-day program for 24 children at a time. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, the staff of Children of the Night is available to help keep runaways off the street. To date, Lee and her coworkers have rescued more than 8,000 children. Eighty percent of those children have not returned to the streets, and many of them work with Children of the Night to rescue other sexually abused teens. "We don't have any magic wand," Lee says. "It's as simple as giving them unconditional love...They will tell you that [they are here] 'because she's there for me, because she loves me, because she's my mom.'"

  • Michael Brown and Alan Khazei

    Boston, Massachusetts, United States

    1994 Adult Award Winner

    Michael Brown and Alan Khazei eschewed lucrative legal careers on their graduation from Harvard Law School and co-founded City Year instead. A unique public/private partnership, City Year unites young people from all backgrounds for a demanding 10 months of full-time community service and leadership development. Brown and Khazei first began working out the concept for City Year as college undergraduates. In 1988 this urban peace corps first brought together more than 600 young people-from college students to former gang members for a year of service. In exchange, corps members earn a modest weekly stipend and a $5,000 public service award that can be used for college on graduation. To date, City Year has provided more than 300 organizations with over a million hours of service. Program members have tackled more than 500 projects, from starting after-school programs for inner-city kids to building playgrounds, soup kitchens, and houses for the homeless. Each year, City Year conducts a serve-a-thon, where volunteers solicit pledges for their service-related activities. The money raised supplements City Year's largely private sector support. The program, which has been replicated nationwide, was used as a model for the national service program, Americorps. Brown and Khazei's hard work, determination, compassion, and vision have fueled the success of Americorps. They explain, "If you challenge young people and you provide them with the institutional structures to do it, you realize that the energy and idealism of young people is the single greatest untapped resource in the country."

  • Mitzi Perdue

    Salisbury, Maryland, United States

    1994 Adult Award Winner

    Businesswoman and syndicated columnist Mitzi Perdue has dedicated her life to public service as a writer, fundraiser, and founder and national chair of Youth Engaged in Service (YES!). In 1991 Perdue founded YES!, a nonprofit community service youth organization currently operating more than 100 programs in 12 states. YES! is a unique community-based program that helps teenagers "get into giving" through community service and philanthropy. Perdue also serves as director of Renew America and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maryland and as vice chair of the Fund for Democracy and Development. She raises funds and volunteers countless hours for a number of charities in Maryland, including a community rehabilitation center for the mentally and physically disabled, the Red Cross, and the Salisbury Zoo's "Fun(d) for Kids." Perdue gave more than $170,000 of the proceeds from her latest book, a cookbook called The Perdue Chicken Cookbook, to the American Red Cross. Hoping to provide inspiration to other people, Perdue chooses to write about environmental success stories in her weekly syndicated column. Though Perdue was born to a life of privilege and is married to poultry magnate Frank Perdue, her decision has been to find fulfillment in a wide variety of community-service activities. "I'm doing what makes me joyously happy, and I think I'd be bored with the jet-set stuff," she said. Perdue's life is a true reflection of her belief that success is measured not by what you can get but by what you can give.

  • Ranya Kelly

    Arvada, Colorado, United States

    1994 Adult Award Winner

    In 1986, Denver housewife and mother, Ranya Kelly, was foraging through a dumpster to find a box in which to mail a Christmas gift. What she found instead were 500 pairs of new shoes. She soon learned retailers commonly slash and trash leftover goods. Kelly retrieved the shoes from the dumpster and redistributed them to a local homeless shelter. Since then the "Shoe Lady" has distributed more than 12,000 pairs of shoes to children, to seniors, to anyone needing them. She soon expanded her redistribution network to include clothing of all sorts, and in 1991, Kelly formally dubbed her efforts The Redistribution Center. That same year, she personally delivered more than $1 million worth of clothing through the center, which operates out of her home on an annual budget of $12,000. In addition to distributing clothing, Kelly has been on a successful one-person mission to encourage corporations to donate rather than destroy out-of-date or slightly damaged merchandise. Kelly, who does not receive a salary, estimates she volunteers up to 100 hours a week. Her dedication is such that she wears a beeper so that her army of volunteers can reach her at any time. Asked how she can be repaid by those whom she helps, she answers, 'My response to them is someday you will be able to do something for somebody. Just remember that, and don't ever turn your back on them."

  • Tommie Lee Williams

    Vicksburg, MIssissippi, United States

    1994 Adult Award Winner

    Tommie Lee Williams has spent the past two-and-a-half decades as the driving force behind We Care Community Services, Inc. Through the distribution of food, clothing, job counseling, and educational services, We Care Community Services serves the needs of more than 3,000 people annually in Warren County, Mississippi. Hailed as a "sightless man with clear vision," he has always understood how to help his neighbors. The fact that Williams-a blind, African-American father of eight with a sixth-grade education felt he was in a position to help is remarkable. He started his community service as a one-man clothing distribution network. As word of his work spread, so did the public's request for services. Today, We Care Community Services offers emergency assistance to clients, providing food to needy families, helping them apply for social services, such as food stamps and Medicaid, and assisting with home repairs. We Care Community Services also provides counseling and outreach, job placement, and education and enrichment services, such as life-coping skills. Williams has also started a low-income breakfast program in the public school system and supports the rights of disabled children. He serves as local chapter president of the National Federation of the Blind and hosts an inspirational radio program on Sundays. His lack of sight has, paradoxically, given him great vision, "I believe if I could have been able to keep seeing, I would not be helping people on as large a scale as I am."

  • Angie Koons

    Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania, United States

    1994 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Koons served as a peer counselor and tutor at her school, beginning in her freshman year. During her senior year she coordinated the counseling program, which provided assistance to over 100 students. Koons helped to plan a teen hotline in her community in conjunction with two alcohol and drug treatment centers and was chosen as a speaker for a county conference on drugs and alcohol. She served as vice-president of SADD and was a member of Students Helping to Aid the Disabled and Elderly. As public relations representative for the student council she coordinated several events, including an Earth Week trash bash and a Cystic Fibrosis fund-raiser that raised over $2,500.

  • Brad Shuman

    Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States

    1994 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Shuman began his community service involvement his freshman year. In 1992, he co-founded Help Our People Everywhere (HOPE), which received the Volunteer Club of the Year Award from the Village of Schaumburg. Focusing on socially pressing issues, HOPE sponsored numerous events, including a World AIDS Week. Shuman was responsible for coordinating an annual clothing and food drive to benefit Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS), volunteering at the PADS site for four years. He was also the driving force behind his high school's Save the Planet Club, and he served as a peer counselor, peer coach for handicapped students, chair of the Big Brother/Big Sister program, and tutor for the Learn to Read program.

  • Christopher Burrus

    Ocracoke, North Carolina, United States

    1994 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Chris has been involved in virtually every volunteer activity available to him on the tiny island of Ocracoke for the past six years. Burrus assisted in every community service project possible, including playing a pivotal role in the Ocracats Spay & Neuter Clinic, feeding and caring for the legendary wild ponies on the island, and working for the National Park Service. During the summer of 1993, Burrus volunteered with the Smithsonian Institution's pelican tagging project. Last year, Burrus became a member of the volunteer fire department. Burrus is also active at his school and is the youngest person at his church to serve as a delegate.

  • Desiray Bartak

    Novato, California, United States

    1994 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 14

    Bartak, founder of Children Against Rape and Molestation (CARAM), was, at age 12, the first young victim of sexual abuse to go public. Starting with a pamphlet on rape and molestation that Bartak distributed to local police stations, CARAM now generates a bi-monthly newsletter with a circulation of over 3,000. A national voice for victims of child abuse, Bartak has helped other children to organize state chapters of CARAM and counsels children daily who have been sexually abused. The latest venture of the Desiray Project, the incorporated nonprofit organization for all of Desiray's activities, is the production of a video to prepare abuse victims for the court room.

  • Jamie Yeh

    East Brunswick, New Jersey, United States

    1994 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 19

    For four years, Yeh served as the community impact coordinator for the Rutgers Community Chinese Church Youth Ministry, where he worked as a translator for new exchange students, organized food and clothing drives, and started a peer counseling program. Yeh organized a tutoring program for foreign students in his position as assistant supervisor (and founder) of the Department of Volunteer Services at the Mid-Jersey Chinese School. As founder of his school's Bible Club, Yeh developed an activity called "Love in Action," which provides assistance to senior citizens. As founder and vice president of the twenty-member Chinese Student Association, Yeh arranged for tutoring, peer support groups, and volunteer outreach.

  • Janelle Askew

    Bronx, New York, United States

    1994 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    In the four years since she created a literacy program called "CheeREADing," Ashley has reached almost 5,000 Texas children. An after school program that rewards children for their efforts and triumphs in reading, CheeREADing has been adopted by two hundred YMCA After-School sites. The manual Ashley has developed is distributed at National Cheerleaders Association summer camps throughout the state of Texas. Ashley was named "Volunteer of the Year" by the National Charity League, and is working to have the program adopted by all of the organization's member chapters. Ashley says she created the program because she loves to read. "I've seen such wonderful things come out of this program," she says. "It doesn't matter whether I helped one person or 100 people. If I only helped one child to understand the importance of reading, then it was all worth it."

  • Jeanette Boydston

    Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

    1994 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Jeanette researched, planned and founded Community Outreach Onsite Learning (COOL) as a high school freshman after noticing the lack of enthusiasm her fellow students felt toward school. Members of COOL, a service learning club, help their community while learning skills necessary to attend college or enter the work force. Students are able to choose from a variety of volunteer opportunities that Boydston coordinates and they are required to journal their experiences and attend pre- and post-service workshops headed by Boydston. Involved with her school's peer counseling group, Boydston also volunteers with Christmas Unlimited and has been active in service since seventh grade.

  • Jennifer Hagel

    New Hope, Minnesota, United States

    1994 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 19

    Hagel developed the idea, as a junior in high school, for a district-wide toy drive to benefit abused and underprivileged children in her community. She solicited the participation of all principals in the district and trained over 45 student representatives from various high schools to begin the drives at their schools. In the toy drive's second year, donations tripled to over 1,300 quality toys. Hagel also served as a peer helper/mediator at her school for three years and, during her senior year, was a driving force behind the Homework Club, a tutoring program for residents of low-income housing.

  • Richard Julian

    Greenville, South Carolina, United States

    1994 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 19

    Julian was the driving force behind many community service activities throughout high school. In his senior year alone Julian spent over 400 hours volunteering with many programs, including the American Cancer Society, Drug Awareness Resistance Education, Special Olympics, and Project Host Soup Kitchen. In his sophomore year, Julian helped coordinate activities that raised over $13,000 for Children's Hospital. As a junior, Julian helped raise $23,000 for Camp Spearhead for handicapped children. As a senior, Julian volunteered with Camp Opportunity for neglected and abused children and he made time to help an elderly couple in the final year of their lives.

  • Shareen Ismail

    DeWitt, New York, United States

    1994 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Ismail began volunteering as a freshman with the Eric A. Trust Youth Group, an organization devoted to reducing racism. For three years, Ismail organized a fund raising fashion show to benefit the youth group and other charities. In her senior year, over 76 students from nine high schools participated in this project to promote student diversity. Ismail coordinated activities for the International Club and the African American Club, and served as a member of the Onondaga County Youth Court, Amnesty International, and Students in Action, a leadership-building community group. She was also a mentor for the Boys and Girls Club.

  • Bea Gaddy

    Baltimore, Maryland, United States

    1993 Adult Award Winner

    Bea Gaddy and her five children moved to Baltimore in 1964 after being evicted from their New York apartment. She found a job, but had to quit because she couldn't afford child care, and the family lived without electricity or heat that winter. Gaddy resorted to picking through the trash for food, just as she had done as a poor child in North Carolina. She promised God if He would show her how to feed her kids, she'd spend her life in service. She kept her promise, and with her neighbors' support and $300 in earnings from a 50-cent lottery ticket, the Patterson Park Emergency Food Center was opened. "Miss Bea" now helps to feed, house, clothe, and educate more than two million people through the more than 25 programs she has founded since 1981. She feeds 200-500 people daily. She hosts and organizes one of the country's largest sit-down meals on Thanksgiving, feeding over 21,000 people in 1992 alone. Gaddy has opened a family center, mental health center, furniture bank, and the Bea Gaddy Women and Children's Center, a transitional housing program for homeless women and children. In addition, she has grassroots programs, including AIDS education, alcohol and drug prevention, voters' education, entrepreneurship, youth education, and a sister-to-sister radio program. Once homeless herself, Gaddy understands the people she serves. "If you don't have self-respect, how can you respect anyone else?" she says. "Once you learn to love yourself, it's a different ball game."

  • Becky and Bobby Simpson

    Cranks, Kentucky, United States

    1993 Adult Award Winner

    As children growing up in the poorest parts of Kentucky, Becky Simpson and her husband Bobby saw and experienced human suffering. Since she was five years old, it has been Becky's dream to alleviate that suffering and "help the needy people." Following disastrous flooding in 1977, the poverty-stricken people of Cranks turned to Becky because she, like her mother before her, had always been there to help her neighbors through hard times. Becky, who has a third-grade education, became the voice of her community-a job that landed her in Washington, DC to testify against strip mining. Her efforts resulted in a 1982 million-dollar land reclamation case. Between meetings, planning, and testifying, the Simpsons saw to the everyday needs of the townspeople, who were in desperate need of food, clothing, and shelter. Over the years, their "mom and pop" operation has grown into the Cranks Creek Survival Center. Bobby, who is blind, coordinates the pick-up of donations and is in charge of all building and repair projects. From February to November, more than 800 volunteers from across the globe arrive, and together they have built and repaired more than 400 houses. In 1985, the Center fed a record 2,900 families. "If you can love people good enough to kind of forget about yourself a little bit and help, then I think it actually grows," Bobby says. "I do something nice for you, and you would do something nice for somebody else, and it grows. It's like a miracle to me."

  • Eugene M. Lang

    New York, New York, United States

    1993 Adult Award Winner

    As businessman Eugene Lang addressed 61 graduating sixth graders in east Harlem in 1981, he told them to dream about their futures and what they wanted to be. They should be prepared to work for their dream, he said, and that meant staying in school. As he spoke, he realized many of these kids did not see college in their future. He decided to make them a promise. "Don't for a minute think you can't go to college," he told them. "You can! Because right now, as a graduation gift, I'm giving each of you a scholarship." Thus the "I Have a Dream" program began. Four years later all of Lang's "Dreamers" were still in school and "90%" of them have their diploma or GED certificate. More than half went on to college-a major achievement considering the high school's 75 % dropout projection. The success of these children inspired Lang to establish the national I Have a Dream Foundation (IHAD), a partnership of individuals and organizations committed to motivating disadvantaged students to stay in school. Since 1986, IHAD has helped over 12,000 Dreamers around the country finance their college education. The program continues to grow, with individually sponsored projects in 53 cities and 27 states and is now trying to reach students as early as kindergarten. "Our basic concept can be practiced by any group," Lang says, "as long as they understand the basic philosophy of dealing with children: that there is no substitute for love and respect."

  • Harriet Hodges

    Melbourne, Florida, United States

    1993 Adult Award Winner

    Harriet Hodges is an American citizen and wife of a career Army officer who has spent much of her life stationed abroad. While in Korea in 1972, she was asked by her husband to help a friend who had a young daughter in need of heart surgery. Knowing the child couldn't receive the care she needed in her own country, Hodges worked day and night, calling US embassies, doctors, and charitable organizations. Soon afterward, she was able to arrange for the child to fly to Minneapolis for the necessary surgery and follow-up care, all free of charge. This one humane act led to her founding the Open Heart Surgery Program for Korean children. Hodges' real challenge is raising the funds necessary for passports and US visas, round-trip tickets to the US, escorts, and special medical procedures. In order to obtain these funds, Hodges devotes her time, energy, and resources to different clubs in exchange for donations. Because of her commitment, many clubs continue to donate to her cause. In the past 20 years she has helped secure necessary heart surgery in the United States for thousands of Korean children. Currently, 15 hospitals across the United States accept between two and twenty-five children each year for surgery. Hodges has built a bridge between the United States and Korea in this "heart repair" business. In America, she is known as the queen of hearts. In Korea, she is simply known as Halmonie, one of the most respectful words in the Korean language-grandmother.

  • Ignatius McDermott

    Chicago, Illinois, United States

    1993 Adult Award Winner

    Monsignor Ignatius McDermott has been helping chronically-ill or orphaned children, drug addicts and alcoholics, the sick, and the homeless in and around Chicago for almost 60 years. Because he believes the only thing better than doing good is doing good anonymously, we know only a small part of what he has done. Such is the quantity and quality of his good deeds, however, that streets and children have been named after him, books written about him, and he has been proclaimed a living saint. In 1975, after years of helping his friends on Skid Row, McDermott founded Haymarket House, the first free-standing, social-setting detoxification center in Illinois. Haymarket House has since expanded to a large complex known as the McDermott Center, housing 325 men and 175 women in private rooms. "Mac Hilton" provides a detoxification center, food and shelter for the homeless, counseling, drug abuse services, family support, and a Maternal Addiction Unit. Under McDermott's guidance, the Center offers dignity and self-respect to the approximately 1,000 people admitted to the facility each week. McDermott's illusions about keeping these good deeds quiet were shattered in 1986, when he celebrated his 50th year in the priesthood. More than 10,000 people joined in paying their respects, with city leaders standing in line next to the homeless. McDermott still shrugs off his own celebrity. "If you are doing something good, write it on an ice cube," he says. "The eternal scorekeeper is noting it on the immortal scoreboard, and that is all that counts."

  • Kurt Weishaupt

    Flushing, New York, United States

    1993 Adult Award Winner

    After escaping from the Nazi SS in 1935, Kurt Weishaupt began a six-year journey filled with the extremes of human behavior, from extraordinary cruelty to healing kindness. His journey ended in America and, after establishing himself as a stamp dealer in the 1940s, he searched for ways to help those in need. It is the goodness he and his late wife encountered on their way to America that he remembers, and from that stems the drive that led to Gift of Life's 1,000th heart operation in March, 1993. Gift of Life, a Rotary International project for children who need open heart surgery, began by assisting 10-15 children. As chairman of the board for the last 16 years, Weishaupt pushed the organization to do more, and it now assists 70-100 children annually in 26 countries. When he recognized the tremendous need for medical supplies in these countries, Weishaupt began sending medicines and supplies. He has single-handedly assisted hospitals in 11 countries for a total of $5.5 million worth of supplies. Among the dozens of charities he supports are the Salvation Army, March of Dimes, YMCA, Association for the Advancement of the Blind and Retarded, Inc., and United Jewish Appeal. In 1993, Weishaupt celebrated his 80th birthday with a party to benefit his 40 favorite charities. Almost $1 million was raised. "I'm a happy man, being able to do what I am doing...," Weishaupt said, "so I must have done something right the first 80 years."

  • Larry Jones

    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

    1993 Adult Award Winner

    In 1979 Larry Jones went to Haiti to work in a church for a week. A little boy came up to him and asked for money to buy a roll-probably the only thing he would eat that day. "As that hungry little boy looked up into my eyes, all I could think about were all the grain elevators overflowing with 'surplus' grain back home in Oklahoma," Jones said. "Here was a child, an hour and a half by air from the US, who didn't even have a piece of bread...I didn't know how I would do it, but I decided then that I had to do something to help get America's 'surplus' to the world's hungry children." That was the beginning of Feed the Children, an international non-profit hunger and disaster relief organization operating in 67 countries. Feed the Children provides more than 80,000 people with daily supplemental meals and provides clothing, medical care, and supplies to persons suffering as a result of poverty or natural disaster. The organization also digs water wells, starts clinics and schools, refurbishes buildings, and supports relief projects. Only 9.1% of funds go to administrative and fundraising costs. Ninety percent goes directly to relief efforts. The majority of relief-75%-takes place in the United States. Jones also helps raise awareness of the plight of the hungry through his ministry, Larry Jones International Ministries. "There's no reason for any suffering in the world," he says. "If we will work together, we can solve the problems."

  • MaryAnne Schreder

    Santa Clara, California, United States

    1993 Adult Award Winner

    "Death came into my life when I was 20," says MaryAnne Schreder. By the time she was 31, Schreder had lost 13 loved ones. She felt completely isolated, finding no real solace in the advice offered by physicians, psychiatrists, or clergy. "What I really needed to do," she said, "was talk about the horror that continued to happen in my life." In her frustration, Schreder turned to volunteerism. For more than 10 years she acted as a crisis intervention counselor dealing with suicide, alcoholism, rape, drug abuse, molestation, runaways, terminal illness, and bereavement. She took classes on dying from Elisabeth K?bler-Ross and others. Then, in 1976, with the help of friends, clergy, and health professionals, she founded the Centre for Living with Dying. The Centre, which provides community resources to assist people in dealing with the isolation of loss, grief, and death, has given support to more than 830,000 people through community outreach and education programs. The Centre has developed specialized programs for families in emergency rooms; emergency personnel who have witnessed traumatic incidents; seniors living in crisis; people dealing with AIDS; and people living in the aftermath of a homicide, drunk driving accident, assault, rape, or abuse. Through the Bereavement Training Program for Corporate Community, established by Schreder in 1992, communities throughout the US, and in England, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and the former Soviet Union have developed similar grief programs. "I have the greatest people to work with," Schreder says. "It's why we have been able to accomplish so much."

  • Patrick Taylor

    New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

    1993 Adult Award Winner

    Patrick Taylor, a self-made man and founder of Taylor Energy Company, was on his own at the age of 16. A child of poverty, Taylor attended Louisiana State University, which offered a free education to needy students. Using that education, he worked diligently and became an extremely successful businessman-but he never forgot his humble beginnings or the people who gave him a hand up along the way. In 1988 Taylor delivered a motivational speech to nearly 200 seventh- and eighth-grade students who had failed two years of school and declared that they would drop out after completing eighth grade. Taylor offered to sponsor their college educations if they would take core courses to prepare for college, complete high school with a B average, and stay out of trouble. While the students were making their way through high school, Taylor initiated the Taylor Plan, a college tuition assistance program for low- and middle-income students that assures that admission and attendance at a state college is based on merit and desire, not financial ability. The plan is now law in 11 states and is being considered in 10 more. Taylor also initiated the Merit Scholarship program at the University of New Orleans, which was designed to attract national merit and national achievement finalists. Since the program's inception, the numbers of merit students increased from 1 to 221, and the honors program increased from 60 to 600. "Losing a single individual child because of lack of opportunity," Taylor says, "is intolerable."

  • Yvonne Fedderson and Sara O'Meara

    Paradise Valley, Arizona, United States

    1993 Adult Award Winner

    Since 1959, Yvonne Fedderson and Sara O'Meara have been improving the lives of thousands of children in America and Asia. The women first met and became friends on the set of Ozzie and Harriet. While on a USO tour together, they discovered the horrendous plight of 11 Japanese-American orphans who had been turned out onto the streets of Tokyo to make room for full-blooded Japanese children in the crowded orphanages. This incident led to their 1961 founding of International Orphans, Inc., to help orphaned Amerasian children in Japan and Vietnam. In the mid-1970s they turned their attention to child abuse and neglect in America, founding Children's Village USA, the first residential treatment center in the country established solely for victims of child abuse and neglect. The center houses 80 severely abused children, ages 2-12, on 120 acres. In 1983, Children's Village expanded to become Childhelp USA, providing care, counseling, and support for victims of child abuse and neglect and their families. In addition to residential facilities on the east and west coasts, Childhelp USA has developed a specialized program to train potential foster families. The Childhelp National Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-CHILD) provides parents, children, and others direct access to trained crisis counselors. This 24-hour, seven-day-a-week hotline took 10,000 calls in 1982, its first year, and assisted 360,000 callers in 1992. "Love is the main ingredient that has kept this organization together," O'Meara says. "It's the key to healing the children."

  • Eaton Curtis

    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, United States

    1993 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Eaton is the founder of Cold Hands, Warm Hearts, an organization that distributes mittens and gloves to shelters in Pontiac, Michigan during the winter months. She was also heavily involved in local church activities such as the Inter-generational Task Force and the Youth Ministry Council. Curtis served as a class officer at Detroit Country Day School for the past three years and participated actively in the high school's chapter of Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD). Curtis also spent time in Israel where she assisted in the construction of a Christian school. That experience prompted her to volunteer in her own community, helping to fix up homes in need of repair.

  • Erica Lane

    Greensboro, North Carolina, United States

    1993 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 15

    Erica initiated a "Caring Makes Cents" campaign when she was in seventh grade to raise pennies for the Caring Program for Children in North Carolina, a program for children whose parents cannot afford primary health care. Lane and her friends created "bunny banks," which were placed in schools and other buildings throughout the city for contributions. As a result of the success of Caring Makes Cents, Lane was instrumental in developing a Caring Makes Cents curriculum guide for middle school teachers statewide and has spoken frequently to community groups.

  • Gregory Lewis

    Kings Park, New York, United States

    1993 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Greg served as president of the Kings Park High School chapter of Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) since the tenth grade. He also founded a drug awareness reading program in his town's two elementary schools and the Athletes Detest Drug Organization (ADDO) at Kings Park High. Lewis organized demonstrations to generate public awareness of drug abuse and he addressed the Board of Education to have April declared Alcohol and Other Drug Awareness Month. In 1992, he formed a coalition of students from all of the SADD chapters in Suffolk County to encourage them to establish a framework for future anti-substance abuse work. Members of the coalition met in April, 1993 for a day-long workshop conducted by Lewis on topics such as a drug hotline, drinking and DWIs, and visiting legislators in Washington, DC.

  • Javette Hayes

    Kansas City, Missouri, United States

    1993 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Hayes founded Reach Out and Teach Someone, a tutoring program for elementary school children, in 1992 at Center Senior High School. Later, she formed Reach Out and Build, bringing parents, teachers, and students together to generate community pride by beautifying their neighborhoods. Hayes also chaired the Community Service Committee of Center Senior High's National Honor Society, has been involved with UNICEF fundraisers and Hurricane Andrew relief efforts, and has served on the planning committee of a drug prevention program. Despite a personal battle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in her junior and senior years, Hayes never slowed her community service efforts and she continued to do well in school.

  • Kelly Cotter

    Madison, Wisconsin, United States

    1993 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Cotter is a cancer survivor who provides support to other young adults and children undergoing treatment for leukemia. She has raised more than $40,000 for the Leukemia Society by organizing two "Stompathon" dances at Orchard Ridge Middle School as well as other fundraising events including Jello-jumps and letter writing campaigns. Cotter has produced a video for the Leukemia Society and has participated in its telethons. She currently serves as the only student on the planning committee for the 20th anniversary celebration of the University of Wisconsin Research Center, a top center for cancer research in the nation.

  • Luci Hooper

    Independence, Missouri, United States

    1993 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Luci spent her years in high school fighting hunger. She served as a presentation leader for the Hunger Project and visited schools in her community to address the issue of hunger in the world. Hooper served as president of the Youth Ending Hunger Club at Notre Dame de Sion and she was later appointed coordinator for all of Kansas City's Youth Ending Hunger Clubs. During her freshman year, Hooper organized the only Candlelight Vigil in Kansas City in observance of the World Summit for Children. She also organized fundraisers to give underprivileged children the opportunity to attend summer camp. In addition to her organizational efforts, Hooper volunteered at St. Mary's Food Pantry weekly and delivered food to nursing homes.

  • Melissa Helmbrecht

    Clermont, Florida, United States

    1993 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Helmbrecht was appointed the youngest member of the Orlando Leadership Council in 1991. She used her position to involve youth in service projects around the city, including the renovation of the children's recreation area at the Frontline Outreach Center, which provides services to Orlando's needy. Helmbrecht also conducted a drive to collect sports equipment for the center. More recently, she became the first youth member of Leadership Orlando, an organization of area leaders created to find ways to better the community. Helmbrecht is also the only youth member of the design council for Community Builders, which is currently working on a plan for the Disney model town, Celebration.

  • Melissa Poe

    Nashville, Tennessee, United States

    1993 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 13

    Poe began a campaign for a cleaner environment at the age of 9 by writing a letter to then President Bush. Through her own efforts, her letter was reproduced on over 250 donated billboards across the country. The response to her plea for help was so overwhelming that Poe established Kids For A Cleaner Environment (Kids FACE) in 1989. There are now 200,000 members of Kids FACE worldwide. Poe has also petitioned the National Park Service to implement a "Children's Forest" project in every national park. In 1992, she was invited as one of only six children in the world to speak at the Earth Summit in Brazil as part of the Voices of the Future Program.

  • Nick Walters

    Baltimore, Maryland, United States

    1993 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 16

    Walters had a near-death experience with Juvenile Diabetes when he was 10. Since then, he has dedicated much of his time to raising money for diabetes research and has raised over $150,000 to date. Walters has addressed Congress on the issue of funding diabetes research and he speaks regularly at health fairs, schools, and United Way meetings. He has also written a 112-page book entitled Diabetes and Doing Your Best, the proceeds of which are donated to diabetes research. In May, Walters received a letter from a Ukrainian woman who was forced to re-use syringes for up to three months to administer her diabetic son's medications. Walters embarked on a letter-writing campaign to successfully procure a year's supply of syringes for the woman and he is currently in the process of having his book translated and published in Russia.

  • Quynh Le

    Upland, California, United States

    1993 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Quynh and her family made their way to the U.S. after they were forced to leave South Vietnam. Never forgetting the help she was given when she came into this country, Le started an on-campus service club at Upland High School called Teens In Action (TIA). Members of TIA participate in programs to help those in need as well as projects designed to help beautify the environment. Le also started the Adopt-a-Sister/Brother program on her campus, matching troubled children with high school students, and she was a regular volunteer with the Adult Literacy Program. Le served on the Teen Advisory Board at KSCI Television and helped produce shows on subjects such as AIDS and drug awareness.

  • Anne Brooks

    Tutwiler, MIssissippi, United States

    1992 Adult Award Winner

    In one of the poorest regions in the country, the Mississippi Delta, Sister Anne Brooks, DO, dispenses more than necessary health care through her Tutwiler Clinic, she also offers a healthy dose of hope to the poor people who otherwise have none. Most families in Tutwiler live $3,000 below the poverty level and infant mortality, teenage pregnancy, malnutrition, and illiteracy rates are staggering. Brooks chose Tutwiler precisely because of these horrendous statistics. Approximately half of Tutwiler Clinic's patients have no means of paying for health care, and Brooks is one of only three doctors in the county. Every day Brooks works to provide medical care and improve the living conditions of the people who live in this "Third World" of the United States. Health care in this environment extends to education, jobs, housing, sewer, water, and transportation. Since its opening the Clinic has served as a virtual town center, providing comprehensive ambulatory health care to more than 8,000 people each year. Donated medicines are given to patients who are unable to purchase their medication. The outreach department of the clinic offers transportation, senior activities, adult literacy programs, GED classes, other educational classes, clothing, household items, emergency food, child care, and community awareness and improvement activities. The clinic also provides counseling for family problems, teenage pregnancy, stress, and grief. Brooks discusses the rewards of this work as, "something that you can't really express well in words, because it is a feeling within you, the knowledge that you have left this world a better place."

  • Clara McBride Hale

    Harlem, New York, United States

    1992 Adult Award Winner

    "Mother" Clara McBride Hale opened her doors in Harlem to provide a life-saving haven for babies born to drug-addicted mothers. It was the first facility in the nation dedicated to the treatment of babies with maternal addiction and it gave young women an opportunity to complete drug and alcohol withdrawal programs knowing that their children were in safe and loving hands. Since the program began, more than 800 children have returned to health and to their rehabilitated parents after receiving the love and care of Mother Hale. With help from her daughter, Dr. Lorraine Hale, a child psychologist and development specialist, Hale worked to establish a licensed voluntary child care agency. In 1973, the Hale House Center for the Development of Human Potential opened in her five-room apartment. Hale House was able to move to a larger space five years later thanks to an anonymous donor. Hale and her daughter sought funding and hired a staff to help her care for the infants. Referrals to Hale House come from the police, hospital workers, family members, and friends. Mother Hale spends her days loving the children just as she loved her own. Up to 22 infants aged three and under can be housed at a time. Hale's care of children born with drug dependencies has salvaged what otherwise might have been wasted lives. She has received many honors and awards for her devotion to these children. Hale says, " I would like to be remembered as loving children and loving God."

  • David Soukup

    Seattle, Washington, United States

    1992 Adult Award Winner

    Judge David Soukup's professional career and his private life have been devoted to the idea that all children deserve a permanent, safe, and loving home. He is the founder and president of the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association, a nonprofit organization of volunteers who speak for abandoned, neglected, and abused children in court proceedings throughout the United States. As a judge in Seattle's juvenile justice system, he was placed in the uncomfortable position of making decisions regarding the future of a child based on incomplete information. In juvenile cases, information came from the parties involved in the case, the state, and perhaps an attorney. Soukup believed that children had a right to independent advocacy-in the form of a court-appointed guardian-who would represent the child's best interests. By his account, through divine intervention he envisioned recruiting and training volunteers in the community to investigate the facts in the case and help determine the best decision for the future of the child in question. In 1977 Judge Soukup helped establish the first program to implement his idea. There are now 520 programs in 49 states. An impressive 28,000 volunteers serve approximately 91,000 children annually. After Soukup left the bench and went into private practice, he ensured his law firm's pro bono project was to serve as volunteer attorneys for children. As a private citizen Soukup is a CASA volunteer. He is a gifted and tireless advocate for children who need a voice to help protect their futures.

  • Ferdinand Mahfood

    Deerfield Beach, Florida, United States

    1992 Adult Award Winner

    Ferdinand Mahfood is the founder and president of Food for the Poor (FFP), which works to improve the health, economic, spiritual, and social conditions of the underprivileged in developing countries and the United States. After undergoing a profound spiritual conversion, Mahfood relinquished control of his family's multimillion dollar export business to establish this nonprofit relief organization. FFP works through existing missions in the Third World, which identifies needs and offers necessary assistance almost immediately. Aid is provided in the form of food, medicine, educational materials, and other supplies. Less than 10% of the program's income in cash and goods is used for administrative purposes. Since 1982 FFP has provided $123 million worth of aid. In 1990 alone $25 million worth of aid was delivered to needy people. Funding for the organization comes from 230,000 supporters. Twenty priests and 10 Protestant ministers are on staff full-time, and Mahfood or other representatives lead pilgrimages every few weeks to the countries FFP serves to highlight the needs of the poor and solicit help. In its several years of existence FFP has evolved from a basic relief organization providing food into a development organization supporting micro-enterprise development projects through the missionaries. In 1992, FFP expanded its program to include offering relief to nine major cities in the United States. Using skills he developed in his export business, Mahfood has become a tireless champion for the impoverished. Deeply spiritual and genuinely caring, Mahfood has touched thousands of lives and made them better.

  • Fred Matser

    Netherlands

    1992 Adult Award Winner

    Fred Matser is a businessman, philanthropist, and humanitarian whose life's work is to help create a more functional society through inspiration and empowerment. He was born to a Dutch family of modest means and grew up in the frugal post-war environment. When in his early twenties, he took charge of the family business at the request of his ailing father. Under his leadership, it became one of the largest independent real estate development companies in The Netherlands at that time. Later he retired from the business to volunteer with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Switzerland, where he headed the Child Alive Program for developing countries. The initiative helped reduce childhood mortality due to diarrhea-induced dehydration. Matser watched two of his brothers pass away and his father struggle with Parkinson’s disease. These family tragedies – plus his direct contact with suffering throughout the world – led him to develop a strong sense of compassion. Starting in 1983, this inspired him to found or co-found over 15 foundations that span the fields of health care, the environment, peace, and global transformation. Matser has also established The Twinkling Eyes Club and invites all the world’s inhabitants to join. He is now spearheading the Dutch campaign for “Malaria No More” as part of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals to meet the needs of the world’s poor. Matser enjoys giving lectures and is preparing a book for publication in 2008. For more information about him and his endeavors, see www.fredfoundation.org and www.fredmatser.com.

  • Jo Ann Cayce

    Thornton, Arkansas, United States

    1992 Adult Award Winner

    Jo Ann Cayce, of Thorton, Arkansas, has worked tirelessly as a volunteer to relieve the suffering of the poor in South Arkansas. Cayce has spent her life bucking the bureaucracy, getting it to work for the people it's supposed to help but who have often fallen through the cracks. She makes her rounds among the sick and diseased, battered women, and abused and neglected children. She fills out government papers and applies for assistance for the disabled and the mentally ill. She arranges for medical care for those who have no income or benefits to go to the doctor and provides them with transportation. She obtains appliances and housing for needy families and helps them pay utility bills. She helps people find job training and work. In addition, she writes hundreds of letters to legislators and local newspapers to advocate for the poor in our society. Cayce invites politicians and government officials to see the problems firsthand-to go with her to the homes of the poor, to the public health clinics and poverty-stricken schools. Cayce also collects gifts for area children who might not otherwise have a Christmas. She feeds hundreds at her Thanksgiving dinner and clothes thousands of adults and children with her clothing drives several times a year. She notes, "For as long as I live and breathe I will be speaking out for the children and the poor in the hope that someday things will get better." In doing so, Cayce performs miracles for those who would otherwise be forgotten.

  • John Adams

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    1992 Adult Award Winner

    Father John Adams has been the driving force behind So Others Might Eat (SOME), a nonprofit organization that provides meals and shelter to thousands of people in Washington, DC. What began as an attempt to feed the hungry has grown to an impressive array of services that includes Dwelling Place, an emergency shelter for abused elderly and a senior center; Harvest House, a community residence for seniors; Isaiah House, a socialization program for mentally ill people; Joshua House, an employment-transitional housing program that offers to help homeless men find work and housing; Shalom House, a permanent residence for the homeless; Exodus House, a residential drug treatment program; and Summer Camp, a two-week vacation in West Virginia for poor senior citizens. Adams also initiated Medical and Dental Health Centers to meet the health care needs of this population. SOME now has a budget of $3 million, 110 staff members, and more than 7,000 volunteers-thanks to Adams' fundraising and recruitment efforts. Father Adams has a single purpose: to make SOME the most efficient it can be to serve the poor. For him, the best part of the work is "bringing people of means together with people who don't have anything. SOME is about a process of reconciliation." Adams believes in the importance of individual action and in introducing children and young people to the necessity of individual action in service to others. The many programs that make up SOME touch the lives of thousands of people, for the better, on a daily basis.

  • John Van Hengel

    Phoenix, Arizona, United States

    1992 Adult Award Winner

    John Van Hengel enjoys a special place in the history of American philanthropy. He developed an innovative solution that provides food for millions of people, not only in the United States but throughout the world. Creator of the world's first food bank, Van Hengel has developed a mechanism that prevents waste and brings the basic necessity of life to those who are hungry. After many years of struggling for material possessions and wealth, Van Hengel's life changed when he became partially paralyzed from a neck injury. While recovering in Arizona he began volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul charity dining room and soup kitchen. Soon Van Hengel began to approach farms and neighbors' yards to get more food for the kitchen. The Franciscans of St. Mary's church gave him the use of an abandoned bakery and donated $3,000 for phones, utilities, and the cost of converting a room to a walk-in refrigerator. The program was so successful that it was soon imitated nationwide. In 1976, Van Hengel left St. Mary's to develop and run Second Harvest, a new entity started with federal funds to help cities establish food banks. This network has distributed more than 500 million pounds of food valued at more than $1 billion dollars. Internationally, Van Hengel's food bank concept has been taken off. Thirty programs have been implemented in Canada, 59 in France, 9 in Belgium, and others across the globe. He notes simply, "I just enjoy giving. I've learned that material things don't mean much."

  • Kevin Johnson

    Sacramento, California, United States

    1992 Adult Award Winner

    National Basketball Association star Kevin Johnson joined the Phoenix Suns basketball team in 1988 and founded St. Hope Academy in Sacramento in 1989 to give underprivileged children a chance at the future. His position as a professional athlete afforded him a unique opportunity to help those less fortunate and to serve as a role model for young people. Johnson built a 7,000-square-foot home in the neighborhood where he grew up that serves as a home away from home for young people. St. Hope provides unconditional love and individual attention in a safe, comfortable, home-like environment with positive role models and training toward developing a positive attitude about self, community, and the future. Johnson has assembled an excellent staff and group of volunteers who have created innovative programs to mold and mentor young people, including tutoring for grade school students. In addition, Friends Eating and Sharing Together gives kids an opportunity to observe how other families interact and share around the dining table. The Wise Elderly Bunch program is designed to expose children to the wisdom of senior citizens. The Neighborhood Improvement Team offers hands-on experience in community improvement, and a mentoring program matches kids with a responsible adult to be a friend or role model. Johnson is actively involved with St. Hope and is the heart and soul of the facility. When asked why he does these things, Johnson credits the unconditional love he received from his mother and grandparents-and vows to give other kids the same supportive environment.

  • Mel Blount

    Claysville, Pennsylvania, United States

    1992 Adult Award Winner

    Before retiring from a successful football career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Melvin Blount established his first home for underprivileged boys. Realizing that children respond to celebrities, he determined that he could help those growing up in troubled environments. Blount has since offered inspiration, encouragement, and a second chance to more than 220 boys who have been in trouble with the law or who have been removed from their homes by the court system. Blount established two homes for boys aged 7-13-one on the farm where he was born and raised in Vidalia, Georgia, and another in Claysville, Pennsylvania. In both homes the boys are nurtured by a caring, supportive staff in a family-style environment. Blount spends most of his time participating in daily activities with the boys, including exercise and recreation, farm chores, group discussions, and counseling. The boys are instructed by a certified teacher as part of an onsite school program and are given love, respect, discipline, structure, and hard work, all of which increases their self-worth and ability to face society again. When the boys leave Blount's homes, contact does not stop-a comprehensive followup program exists. Blount's success rate is high-about 85% of the children who have participated in the Georgia program have not returned to the juvenile system or committed any crimes. Blount states simply, "Kids idolize [celebrities], but they seek more than autographs; they seek attention and recognition. It was only right that I started the homes. I was given this fame to help kids."

  • S. Truett Cathy

    Atlanta, Georgia, United States

    1992 Adult Award Winner

    S. Truett Cathy is the founder of Chick-fil-A Company, a $324 million corporation with a unique caring philosophy. Since 1973, Chick-fil-A employees have received college scholarships totaling nearly $7.8 million. In 1984, Cathy created the WinShape Center(r), which helps to fund youth support programs and the WinShape Foster Care program, which provides a loving family environment for more than 45 children. Cathy's commitment to improving and enriching the lives of others has been an unwavering element of his adult life. His consistent and tireless pursuit of programs and opportunities to express this commitment has resulted in his touching the lives of hundreds of thousands of people for the better. Cathy has made his life's work helping children, yet he is also highly regarded among his peers in the business world. In 1989 Cathy received the Horatio Alger Award and in 1990 he was named Most Respected CEO in Atlanta by Business Atlanta magazine readers. Atlanta Gas Light Company bestowed the 1991 Shining Light Award on Cathy for his youth-oriented philanthropic programs. Cathy's philosophy of a positive and caring work environment explains why Chick-fil-A restaurants enjoy a turnover rate of less than "50%"-an amazing feat in an industry where turnover rates are about 200%-300% annually. For all his wealth and success, Cathy has never forgotten the important things in life. He notes, " even though we live in a changing world...the important things will not change...and the important things are free and in abundance."

  • Andrew Koerner

    Jupiter, Florida, United States

    1992 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Koerner organized and initiated migrant literacy programs in two counties and implemented and participated in a teen volunteer program at a community hospital. In conjunction with the county school board Koerner proposed and implemented the first annual sexual awareness week for county high schools. He also founded Moadeen, a social education group for teens and has worked with youths teaching them about the Holocaust and their Jewish heritage.

  • Andrew Rapp

    Pueblo, Colorado, United States

    1992 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Since 1989 Rapp has spent part of his summers on mission trips helping to rebuild communities in the U.S. and Mexico. As president of the National Honor Society at Central High School, Rapp focused the club's attention on assisting social service organizations in the community. He volunteered at an emergency shelter for homeless men several times each week and for the Teen Suicide Prevention Hotline. After joining Puebloans for Justice and Peace in Central America, Rapp organized a peace group for high school students.

  • Christine Nollen

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    1992 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Nollen founded and served as president of Action on Homelessness and Illiteracy, which was designed to give student volunteers active participation with the underprivileged. She also served as a youth ambassador to the Points of Light Foundation; acted as a co-president of Community Action Relief Effort (CARE) DC, a service club at Woodrow Wilson High School; was a member of SERVE DC; and volunteered at Hannah House for abused women.

  • David Castillo

    Hialeah, Florida, United States

    1992 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Castillo began his commitment to service as a student in middle school when he started volunteering for Hialeah Hospital, where he amassed a total of 1,000 volunteer hours. He initiated Hialeah Network at Hialeah High School to help terminally ill patients, abused children, and the elderly. As a volunteer for the outreach department at Hospice Inc., Castillo founded a reading program for terminally ill patients.

  • Javier Lopez

    San Jose, California, United States

    1992 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    hroughout high school Lopez volunteered for the Camp Fire Council through their Teen Leadership Corps - giving a total of 1,700 hours. After intensive training Lopez worked during the school year and summer months with younger children, using play activities to instill cultural pride and self-esteem. Most of the children are from migrant worker families. He was also selected to help organize and deliver a one-hour live presentation for cable television on teenage suicide.

  • Jennifer Prescott

    Lawrence, Massachusetts, United States

    1992 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    In seventh grade Prescott began filling her life with service to the Seton Asian Center, a center that aids extremely poor refugees. Over the years Prescott has served as tutor to Asian children and parents, and as a counselor to younger girls. In her junior year Prescott took as many as ten girls home with her after school each week to help the most hard-pressed parents. In addition, Prescott created and ran her own version of a big brother/big sister program by recruiting friends to act as role models for the Asian children. Prescott also volunteered at a soup kitchen and homeless shelter twice each month.

  • John Randles

    St. Louis, Missouri, United States

    1992 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    In 1989 Randles discovered he had cancer. After overcoming his initial bout of depression following the loss of his leg to the cancer, Randles became involved with the CURE teen group and rapidly became the most active teen volunteer in the hospital. For over two years Randles has come to the hospital on his days off and on holidays - volunteering almost every day in the summer. He also assists with program planning for the teen support group and helps out at a clinic once a week. Randles has also volunteered at several camps for children with cancer.

  • Maya Beasley

    Chevy Chase, Maryland, United States

    1992 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Beasley founded a local chapter of Youth Engaged in Service (YES) and a local RESULTS chapter at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. Over the past four years Beasley has volunteered with numerous service organizations, including Students Mobilized Against Drugs, the Child Welfare League, and the Community for Creative Non-Violence. She served on the President's Youth Leadership Forum and was chosen to co-author a guide for volunteering called 150 Ways Teens Can Make a Difference.

  • Megan Robb

    Duluth, Minnesota, United States

    1992 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Robb served as committee chair for the Discovery Center Board, which was established to create a children's museum in the city. She initiated a summer Neighborhood Outreach Program to provide low-income children with enriching artistic activities, while teaching peaceful resolution to problems. Robb also volunteered at a shelter for battered women and their children, caring for the children while their mothers attended classes. For two years, while attending The Marshall School, Robb joined the work study program to earn money towards another student's tuition so that the student could remain in school.

  • Michelle Hamm

    Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

    1992 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    After losing her brother in 1984, Hamm formulated the idea for one of the first support centers in the United States for grieving children - Fernside Center. For over six years Hamm has been actively involved at the center. She has also volunteered for an emergency shelter for homeless women and children for the past three years and given her Saturdays to St. John's Social Service Center and Thrift Shop. As chairperson of the Service Committee for Purcell Marian High School, Hamm organizes numerous community service activities.

  • "Sweet" Alice Harris

    Los Angeles, California, United States

    1991 Adult Award Winner

    Alice Harris gives freely to those who would otherwise fall through the cracks of the welfare system. For more than 30 years, "Sweet" Alice Harris has fought to improve the lives of those living amidst the pandemonium of drugs and violence in the Watts district of Los Angeles. To ease tensions in the community Harris began providing for some of the residents' common needs, including shelter, food, health care, and education. In 1983 Harris formally founded Parents of Watts (POW) to encourage children to stay in school and stay off the streets of their drug-infested community. POW now offers more than 15 programs on a budget of $70,000, and the programs are run out of six properties that Harris has purchased. POW provides food and shelter for the homeless each night and gives out food to families daily. In addition, the organization offers a young mother's program, designed to help young women become nurturing parents through drug-prevention counseling, education, and job training. POW offers legal counseling to parents and children; sponsors amnesty for immigrants and offers classes to help them learn English; offers summer classes for junior high and high school kids; and supports young adults through college. Harris, who was a teenage mother and homeless herself, has worked miracles in this tough community. She says, "If you'll give back what God gave you, God will turn around and give it back to you again. It's like a flow of energy, the more you give, the more you receive."

  • E. Fuller Torrey

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    1991 Adult Award Winner

    Physician, psychiatrist, author, and advocate, E. Fuller Torrey has a passion to heal and to help other people. His medical service began with the Peace Corps, and was followed by 20 years in the US Public Health Service. He has gained public visibility for the plight of the mentally ill and homeless, and he is one of the country's leading researchers of severe mental illness. Each year he donates hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to promote compassionate care and improved treatment for people with schizophrenia, manic-depression, and other serious mental illnesses. From 1970 to 1975, Torrey was a special assistant to the director of the National Institute of Mental Health, and from 1976 to 1984 he served as staff psychiatrist at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, DC. He has written extensively about mental illness, contributing to both professional journals and lay publications, including the now-classic book, Schizophrenia: A Family Manual. In 1986, 1988, and 1990, Torrey donated his time as principal unpaid field researcher and author of Care of the Seriously Mentally Ill: A Rating of State Programs, which has had a significant impact on the political process at both the state and federal levels. He was twice awarded Commendation Medals by the US Public Health Service. He also helped found the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, a grassroots family movement and support organization. In addition Torrey volunteers each week as a psychiatrist at a shelter for women. He exemplifies the finest tradition in medicine, selflessness, and public service.

  • Eileen Ayvazian

    Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States

    1991 Adult Award Winner

    For over half a century, Eileen Ayvazian has devoted her life to taking care of others as both a nurse and friend. Concern and love for her patients is much more than a job for Ayvazian; it is the focus of her life. At age 74, she continues to hold a more-than-full-time job serving the senior citizens of Virginia Beach, Virginia as a public health nurse. Each month Ayvazian sees close to a thousand people. She works 362 days a year and gives her home phone number to all patients, making herself available 24 hours a day. For almost 20 years, Ayvazian has driven her Health Department station wagon around the city to set up public health clinics in local drugstores, shopping malls, or wherever she can, and for those who are too ill to attend the clinics, she visits them at home. She ensures that each of her patient's needs are met-"health can be just a comfort, knowing that you are loved." Ayvazian serves on the boards of the local American Cancer Society, the local hospice, and the Alzheimer's organization. She also spends time lobbying for older Americans, vigilantly watching for cuts in funding and mobilizing a "mature strike force." Meals on Wheels and Hope Haven, an organization that takes in children whose parents cannot care for them, also benefit from her time and talents. Ayvazian believes, "I have been given so much. I want to give as much back until the day I go."

  • Ellen L. Bassu & David Jordan

    Boston, Massachusetts, Des Moines, Iowa, United States

    1991 Adult Award Winner

    Creators of the Better Homes Foundation, which is dedicated solely to helping homeless families, Ellen Bassuk and David Jordan have touched thousands of lives. Bassuk, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Jordan, editor-in-chief of Better Homes and Gardens magazine teamed up to tackle the rampant problem of homelessness in America. Bassuk combined her research efforts with Jordan's expertise in soliciting support from the private sector and disseminating information, and the Foundation was formed in 1988. It has since made more than 75 direct grants to 55 programs for homeless people in 26 states. In addition to helping families search for housing, the programs work with preschool child care and day care programs, health care services, recreation and tutoring programs, and counseling services. Job training and parenting workshops are provided for struggling mothers and fathers. The Foundation continuously evaluates the agencies to which grants are given to ensure that the money is supporting the most effective programs. Bassuk is an authority on mental illness, homelessness, and the effects of homelessness on children. She has coauthored several books and many articles for professional journals. Jordan was named "1990 Citizen of the Year" by the National Association of Social Workers, and his magazine won first place in the Community Action Network Media Awards for its coverage of the homelessness problem. Together these two individuals have helped to sustain the lives of the poor and homeless by founding an organization that supports programs designed to address their needs.

  • John Gardner

    Palo Alto, California, United States

    1991 Adult Award Winner

    Few people in America have had the impact on our society and inspired as many people as John Gardner. At 79 years of age he remains vital and active, teaching Stanford University undergraduates, counseling some of the nation's top leaders, and writing. He has been an advisor to six presidents, a public official, director of a leading foundation, and founder of the national civic groups Common Cause and the Independent Sector. He is also the author of seven books, including the best sellers, Self-Renewal, Leadership, and Excellence. Gardner served in the Marine Corps in World War II and then joined the Carnegie Corporation, where he was president for 10 years. He accepted a position in Lyndon Johnson's cabinet as secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare from 1965 to 1968. In this capacity he helped design and implement Medicare and Medicaid, new provisions in Social Security, and the Civil Rights Act. He then headed the National Urban Coalition, and in 1970 founded Common Cause, a grassroots lobbying organization. In 1980, he founded Independent Sector "to preserve and enhance our national tradition of giving, volunteering, and not-for-profit initiative." He has served on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations and has been director of many of the Fortune 500 private corporations. Through the clarity of his words and in the quality of his examples, John Gardner provides a role model for all Americans. He has led an active life as a teacher of truth and has remained constant in his values.

  • John McMeel

    Kansas City, Missouri, United States

    1991 Adult Award Winner

    John McMeel is cofounder of the Universal Press Syndicate, one of the largest newspaper syndication companies in the country featuring Doonesbury, Calvin & Hobbes, The Far Side, and Dear Abby. He also created the Andrews Scholars program at the University of Notre Dame as a memorial to his friend and associate, Jim Andrews. The Andrews Scholars program encourages students to become involved in the community by participating in social service projects across the country. Since its inception in the early 1980s, the scholarship fund, endowed by McMeel and his friends, has supported 219 placements in 81 cities nationwide and one in Ecuador. Students participating in the program are given a tuition scholarship for their summer work conducting social service projects. In addition, in 1984 McMeel organized Christmas in October in Kansas City, Missouri. More than 4,000 people gathered to restore 250 Kansas City homes in one year. Over $200,000 in materials and supplies were donated to the project by citizens and local businesses. McMeel also serves on the board of Christmas in April*USA. He says about the housing programs, "This is one program where you can really look right in the eyes of the person you're helping." McMeel consistently integrates his values into his daily life and feels compelled to give of himself. He believes, "If you have something that you want to do, especially if it can help others, do it. It'll never make you happier than having this opportunity. Don't hold back. It's an awfully good place to live."

  • Kent Amos

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    1991 Adult Award Winner

    Several years ago, Kent Amos opened his Washington, DC home and heart to several young people and began his very personal crusade to rescue young African Americans from the environment of hopelessness and crime. When faced with the problem of raising their children in a tough urban environment, Amos, a successful business person, husband, and father, and his wife decided to open their home to their children's friends-friends who did not share the same values as the Amos family. Since then, Amos has shared his home with more than 60 young adults in the District of Columbia and provided them with a positive environment in which to grow. Although it may have begun as a reflex action to protect his children, Amos' response, to give to each of these children all that he was capable of giving, with no limitations, was a most compassionate and noble solution. Amos has guided 18 of these teenagers from high school through college, and another eighteen are now attending college. Over the past 10 years, Amos has invested more than $300,000 to help these teenagers who have become a part of his family. As many as 20 kids a night meet at the Amos home where they enjoy a family dinner and two hours of learning without the television or radio. Amos has dedicated himself to instilling a set of values in these children to help them withstand temptation and stay out of trouble. He is succeeding one child at a time.

  • Rachel Wheeler-Rossow

    Ellington, Connecticut, United States

    1991 Adult Award Winner

    Over the years, Rachel Wheeler-Rossow has become the loving mother to 21 exceptional children, many of whom where born with severe disabilities. Wheeler-Rossow lives in a home that reflects the sudden and continuing growth of her family. She has added medical equipment, therapy pools, ramps, and other modifications to accommodate the disabled children she has adopted into her family. Branded by the judgments and preconceptions associated with the names given the various diseases that afflict their minds and bodies, the children were told they were handicapped, limited in mind, restricted in mobility. They believed they would never be "normal." Wheeler-Rossow has changed all of that by ensuring that her children use 100% of their talents. In addition to her work as mother to all of these children, Wheeler-Rossow is president of Alpha Omega, a private, nonprofit corporation working to improve the law and social reality of disabled children. She is developing a specialized adoption placement service called Symchris, which will work to ensure that HIV-infected children who need permanent homes will get them. Wheeler-Rossow was nominated by Connecticut's Department of Children and Youth Services for an "Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award" because of her efforts behind the child welfare program initiatives for children with HIV infections. She states simply, "I believe that the most important singular thing the children must realize is their complete value and treasure in who they are. I want each one to know their own incredible intrinsic value."

  • Robert Pamplin, Jr.

    Lake Oswego, Oregon, United States

    1991 Adult Award Winner

    After recovering from a serious bout with cancer, Robert Pamplin, a successful business person, redirected his life to become a servant, giving his time and talent to the benefit of others. He went into the seminary and after receiving his doctorate in Ministry in 1982, founded the Christ Community Church in Lake Oswego, Oregon. He serves as its senior pastor and is committed to helping individual members of society who are less fortunate. The church's primary ministry is providing food for the poor and for children's homes. Relief agencies that receive aid from the church must offer a counseling program that attempts to help those served become productive members of society, and there must be Christian emphasis in the delivery of the counseling service. In 1990, 37 agencies (food banks, drug rehabilitation programs, halfway houses for ex-convicts, shelters for battered women, orphanages, and programs for the homeless) received $300,000 worth of food. He obtains food at reduced costs directly from the manufacturers, produces some of it, and stores it all on his own farm. Only five percent of the church's total budget is spent on administrative costs. In addition, Pamplin now holds eight college degrees, has authored seven books, serves on the boards of directors of five colleges, and has granted to colleges and universities millions of dollars in donations. Pamplin has a wonderful way of empowering people through love, assistance, and his good example. He has realized his ambition to become a caring servant of humankind.

  • Sister Margaret Freeman

    St. Petersburg, Florida, United States

    1991 Adult Award Winner

    Sister Margaret Freeman is the executive director of the Free Clinic of St. Petersburg, Florida. Every month, under her direction, the Free Clinic and its "subsidiaries" provide needed health care to about 1,000 patients, distribute food to approximately 4,000 families, and provided emergency medical services to anywhere from 150 to 1,300 people. The Clinic offers free medical care, psychological counseling, food, a referral service, and the understanding that Freeman has gained through a lifetime of assisting people in need. Freeman has a staff of just 32 people, and has successfully recruited more than 300 volunteers. The Clinic accepts no government funds and depends totally on community donations. During her years at the clinic, Freeman has seen the yearly budget increase from $20,000 to more than $500,000. Only three percent of the budget goes toward administrative costs. She has expanded the Clinic over the years to include a birthing center, food bank, a center for abused women, and a thrift store that helps to finance the center. She also established "We Help," a program of emergency social services offering financial aid, food, and supplies to people in crisis. Her activity does not stop with the Clinic. She is active with the Health and Human Services Adult and Aging Committee, and an advocate for the medically and socially indigent, keeping a full speaking schedule on these issues. As an administrator, volunteer, and medical professional, Freeman never forgets the basic difference between "caring for," and "taking care of."

  • Carmelita Smith

    Seattle, Washington, United States

    1991 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 15

    While a senior at Nova Alternative School, Smith trained over 150 students at eleven different schools on how to avoid addictions to drugs and alcohol, and provided students with information on AIDS and STD prevention and awareness. For two years Smith has done this work through the Washington Teen Institute, Partners in Prevention, and the Coalition for AIDS Peer Education. Smith played a pivotal role in promoting racial awareness at the culturally diverse American Indian Heritage School.

  • Catina Washington

    Oakland, California, United States

    1991 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Once homeless herself, Washington is committed to helping improve conditions for the homeless and underprivileged. Washington, who graduated from Oakland Technical High School in the spring of 1991, helped the homeless through the Oakland Citizens Committee for Urban Renewal. She also tutored peers in high school, served as president of the Baptist Youth Fellowship, and served as a speaker for national organizations such as the NAACP.

  • Henry Nicols

    Cooperstown, New York, United States

    1991 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    Nicols, a hemophiliac, tested HIV positive almost a decade ago. In 1990 Nicols developed full blown AIDS. He publicly disclosed his illness in Cooperstown, which is a city of only 2,700. Nicols, who risked public humiliation and ostracism, received overwhelming support from his community and went on to present an AIDS education program to schools across the state and the nation. Nicols hopes to help people overcome their fears and prejudices about AIDS patients as well as provide a warning to teenagers who are sexually active.

  • Jason Gaes

    Worthington, Minnesota, United States

    1991 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 14

    At the age of six Gaes was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. During his illness Gaes wrote My Book For Kids With Cansur, which tells of his personal fight against the disease. The book was first published in 1987. Gaes included his address and home phone number in the book so that other children who have cancer can call him for support. Since that time Gaes has received tens of thousands of letters and has made presentations at schools, conferences, fundraisers, and talk shows across the country.

  • Jonathan French

    Orlando, Florida, United States

    1991 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    In 1988 French joined Today's Active Service Club and participated in many projects, including a canned food drive and fundraiser for the Jamaican Hurricane Relief Fund, and a food and supply drive for troubled boys. French began volunteering for Give Kids The World in the fall of 1989. Through his involvement with this organization, which provides cost-free vacations to central Florida for terminally ill children, French was invited to become a member of the Kids for Kids Board. Kids for Kids was created to provide aid and support for children in need in the Orlando community.

  • Julie Johns

    Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

    1991 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Johns worked with abused and abandoned children for almost four years. While a freshman at Albuquerque Academy, Johns volunteered at Casa Angelica, a home for children who have severe cerebral palsy. As a volunteer with All Faiths, a receiving home for children whose parents are incarcerated, Johns tutored, conducted play therapy, and organized and participated in holiday events and parties. During her senior year, Johns completed a six-week internship with Peanut Butter and Jelly, a therapeutic preschool for developmentally delayed children and their parents.

  • Laura Zimmerman

    Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

    1991 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Zimmerman is involved in a myriad of community service activities at her high school and her temple. As group leader for the Earth Corps project, Zimmerman spent many hours organizing environmental activities in her community. Although recycling is a large part of the group's work, Zimmerman has participated in rehabilitating parking lots and houses. In addition to these activities, Zimmerman serves as teen counselor for middle school children and acts as a "big sister" to a fourth grade student.

  • Mariah Sharkey

    Yuba City, California, United States

    1991 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 19

    Sharkey created and organized "Solidarity Week" at Yuba City High School. The program was modeled after the solidarity movement formed by Lech Walesa in Poland. Sharkey's goal was to celebrate the unique qualities of different groups and individuals, while promoting cohesion among the student body. It is estimated that nearly 50,000 California students will participate in Solidarity Week during the 1991-1992 school year.

  • Sarah McGrath

    Pine Ridge, Kentucky, United States

    1991 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 14

    At the age of ten McGrath and two friends initiated a project that evolved into the Just Say No to Drugs Club, currently a county-wide program run through the Wolfe County Board of Education. McGrath is the driving force behind the club and its many activities. McGrath was in sixth grade when the Just Say No to Drugs Club blossomed into a large group that coordinated many activities, including drug-free parties and dances. In addition to these activities McGrath volunteers at a nursing home twice a week.

  • Trevor Ferrell

    Ardmore, Pennsylvania, United States

    1991 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    At the age of eleven Ferrell began helping homeless people on the streets by handing out blankets and meals. Shortly thereafter he opened Trevor's Place. A transitional living center for homeless individuals and families, Trevor's Place helps residents acquire basic living skills to sustain an independent lifestyle. Ferrell has remained the driving force behind his campaign to help the homeless, which includes a transitional home for women and their children, a thrift shop, and daily food runs.

  • Ewing Kauffman

    Kansas City, Missouri, United States

    1990 Adult Award Winner

    Founder of Marion Laboratories, chairman emeritus of Marion Merrell Dow Inc., and owner of the Kansas City Royals, Ewing Kauffman has used his vision and resources to improve his community. The key to Kauffman's success is the sense of responsibility that each of his employees is encouraged to feel for the company and the community. Two fundamental tenets govern the structure of his corporation: those who produce should share the results, and treat others as you would like to be treated. Kauffman organized a foundation in his name to which he contributed half of his wealth from Marion Laboratories. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has funded Students Taught Awareness & Resistance (STAR), a program that is designed to help students in their first year of junior high school anticipate and deal with influences that might lead to their involvement in drugs and alcohol. All 15 school districts in the Kansas City area embraced the program and more than 1,000 teachers and 130,000 students have benefited from it. Kauffman also created Project Choice, a program designed to encourage high-risk students to graduate from high school and go to college. Kauffman pays the tuition for college or the vocational school of choice for individuals who complete the program. In addition, he created the Advanced Coronary Treatment Foundation, a public education CPR training program. Kauffman notes, "If you give kids hope and something for the future, they will deliver. The kids know somebody is interested in them and cares about them."

  • Father Ralph Beiting

    Lancaster, Kentucky, United States

    1990 Adult Award Winner

    As a young seminarian in the late 1940s, Father Ralph Beiting served the poor in the Applachian region of Kentucky. Once there he couldn't bring himself to leave. The experience had left an indelible impression on him, and so he dug in his heels and has continued to serve this needy population for the past 40 years. After being ordained in 1949, Father Beiting was sent to Berea, Kentucky to establish a church. He soon realized that his parishioners needed food as well as faith, so twice a month he would travel to northern Kentucky, cram his car full of food and clothing, and travel back to his community to distribute the goods. Out of these trips the Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) was born. CAP, which currently sponsors 70 programs serving over 45,000 people in 40 counties of Appalachia, was designed to cut the roots of poverty and promote the independence and dignity of the Appalachian people. By asking members of the communities what they need and listening to their ideas, Father Beiting, his staff, and volunteers gain a clear understanding of what will help people. Then, they organize programs to fill the needs-CAP has developed meals on wheels, schools on wheels, home repair, summer camps, dairy farms, greenhouses, sawmills, used clothing stores, day care centers, factories, and more. Father Beiting is the driving force behind CAP, which has grown from a one-man operation to an organization that employs a staff of 300 and controls a budget of $20 million.

  • Hugh Jones

    Jacksonville, Florida, United States

    1990 Adult Award Winner

    As chairman and chief executive officer of Barnett Bank of Jacksonville, Florida, Jones has molded a corporate philosophy that encourages bank employees to be responsible citizens. Jones is perhaps best known for his founding of the Korean Heart Program, which arranges for necessary heart surgery in America for Korean children. Between 1985 and 1990, the program provided heart surgery for 46 young patients. Jones also established the Ronald McDonald House in Jacksonville, where he is involved in its leadership. He also serves as cochair of the City Children's Campaign, which provides disadvantaged youth with an opportunity to build their self-esteem and self-confidence. As a board member of the local chapter of INROADS, a national program that selects promising minority high school students for four-year internships with local businesses, Jones works to make middle managers of promising students. Caring for Kids, a program that addresses the city's day care dilemma, was also initiated by Jones. The program helps single welfare recipients to attain independence and increase the availability of low-cost, quality day care in low-income communities. As of August 1990, 21 program graduates were operating family day care homes, providing income for their families and care for up to five children. Jones has developed a keen awareness of the real human service needs of his community and is willing to devote a great deal of his time, energy, and talent to meeting those needs. He demonstrates that it is acceptable to be a successful business person who cares deeply.

  • John Fling

    Columbia, South Carolina, United States

    1990 Adult Award Winner

    The 12th of 19 children born and raised near Columbia, South Carolina, John Fling knows what it means to be poor. He explains, "what we ate, we had to catch out of the water, dig out of the ground, or shake out of the tree." This upbringing made him what he is today-most lovingly refer to him as a good Samaritan. Septagenarian Fling has worked all his life, sometimes several jobs at once, and is a retired auto parts delivery person. He has almost no material possessions because he gives everything away to people less fortunate. The clothes he gives away are often better than the ones he wears. He doesn't have a television. He has never owned a home, yet has helped many people make the down payment to buy a home. He has never owned a car, but he has bought cars for others. He does what needs doing. Each morning dozens of calls for help start coming and Fling is off and running to help. Ninety-five percent of the calls are from people in need. Five percent are from people who want to know how they can help. Fling gives money to some 400 children for food and school supplies, helps 200 senior citizens get medicine or needed home repairs, takes care of 40 blind people by delivering food and laundry, and transports the needy to the doctor or to agency appointments. He is truly a one-man social service agency. As the people of Columbia say-"that man is a living saint."

  • Mary Jo Copeland

    Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

    1990 Adult Award Winner

    "Mary Jo Copeland loves the poor unconditionally and nonjudgementally. She doesn't ask why the people are poor-she feeds them. She doesn't ask what happened to their clothes-she gives them clean clothes to wear. She soaks sore feet and puts new shoes on them. She ministers to the poor and homeless in a manner that gives dignity and restores self-esteem." Donald Fraser, mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota, used these words to describe Copeland, founder of Sharing and Caring Hands, an organization whose goal is aiding the poor and the homeless. In the late 1970s and early 1980s Copeland worked for Catholic Charities to help the poor and underprivileged. Frustrated by what she saw as red tape and bureaucracy, she opened a shelter of her own in 1985-Sharing and Caring Hands. The center is run by volunteers; there are no paid staff. Copeland will not accept funds from government or third-party payors because of the paperwork attached to the money. She states, "I wanted all the money to go to the people. Paperwork dehumanizes the poor." The center offers a vast array of services including hot lunches; groceries; showers; foot care, hair cuts, and personal hygiene; clothing; gloves and shoes; shelter; emergency relief; travel expenses; legal services; advocacy and referrals; telephone and communication services; a medical clinic; and respite care. Copeland, mother of 12 children and advocate for thousands of needy people, believes that in the end, "we will be judged on only one thing, the extent of our love for others."

  • Norman Vincent Peale

    New York, New York, United States

    1990 Adult Award Winner

    Known as one of the best ministers in the world, Norman Vincent Peale has been one of the most influential spiritual figures in the country for more than six decades. He is the author of several best-selling and most influential books ever written, including The Power of Positive Thinking, The Amazing Results of Positive Thinking, You Can If You Think You Can, The Positive Principle Today, and The Power of Ethical Management. He is also editor of the highly regarded Guideposts magazine and a radio personality whose program has been on the air continuously for more than 50 years. In addition, he heads the Foundation for Christian Living. Peale's efforts and contributions have been recognized with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, a World Freedom Award, the Theodore Roosevelt Distinguished Services Award, and honorary degrees from a dozen universities. He has had a profound effect on millions of lives by teaching that the thought is the father of the deed, that if you can dream it, you can do it. Peale states, "While eating and exercise programs are no doubt important to a long life and the continuity of energy, of greater importance is the mental attitude, especially about other people. I can honestly say there is no one I dislike...nor am I jealous of anyone. I believe that resentment, ill will, jealousy, hate, and kindred reactions produce illness and reduce energy." Asked how he would like to be remembered, he states, "that I loved people and tried in my own imperfect way to help them."

  • Ruth Brinker

    San Francisco, California, United States

    1990 Adult Award Winner

    Project Open Hand began on the back burner of Ruth Brinker's kitchen stove. In less than five years the project grew to a million-dollar program that serves 1,500 meals a day to people with AIDS in the San Francisco Bay area. Brinker came face to face with the AIDS virus when a friend was diagnosed in the mid-1980s. She vowed to do everything she could to help him. Her dedication to ensuring that her friend had regular meals ultimately extended to every person in the city who was suffering with AIDS. Brinker had experience running a Meals on Wheels program and a food program for the homeless. Both of these experiences prepared her to take on Project Open Hand. Brinker began by prowling the produce markets, while volunteers peeled vegetables and prepared food in a church basement. As of 1990, 500 volunteers assist Project Open Hand in a state-of-the-art facility-in five years the program has prepared and delivered more than 1 million meals. Senior citizens grow vegetables in community gardens for the project. School children make holiday greeting cards for people receiving meals. During the 1989 earthquake, Brinker's facility was one of the few large kitchens in the San Francisco area still in operation; staff prepared more than 50,000 meals for earthquake victims in one week. Some call her the "Soul of San Francisco." Brinker notes, "If I'm helping [someone], I'm really doing it for myself. Feeling that I'm alleviating suffering gives me great satisfaction."

  • Sister Margaret McCaffrey

    Shreveport, Louisiana, United States

    1990 Adult Award Winner

    Known as the Mother Teresa of Louisiana, Sister McCaffrey has been working with the indigent in Shreveport since 1970. As a Roman Catholic nun, she worked in the early 1950s for Catholic Charities, taking assignments in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Louisiana. In 1957, frustrated that she was increasingly asked to do administrative work rather than hands-on care to those in need, she left the formal community and took private vows. With the help of a priest Sister McCaffrey started the Christian Services Missionary Center, a program that provides food, clothing, medical care, and shelter for the poor of east Louisiana. She moved into an inner-city neighborhood and began to make home visits to gain a better sense of what the community needed. From there, she established a program to provide breakfast for school children. The program was so successful that it was taken over two years later by the local school board and instituted in 40 schools located in other poor areas. Christian Services Missionary Center receives and responds to over 1,000 calls each month for emergency assistance, including rental payments to prevent eviction, payments for utilities, prescription medicines, food, clothing, medical care, or dental work. Sister McCaffrey created Mother Stewart House for battered women, Herbert House for homeless individuals, and the Martin Luther King Medical Clinic, which is staffed by volunteer doctors. A woman of vision, passion, and conviction, she has devoted her life to making the world better for others. She states simply, "To whom much is given, much is expected."

  • Trevor Armbrister

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    1990 Adult Award Winner

    When journalist Trevor Armbrister went to Texas in April 1973 to do a story about that community's efforts to repair the homes of elderly and handicapped individuals he had no idea that the trip would change his life. What Armbrister found in Texas was more impressive and inspirational than anything he could have imagined. Each April the entire community renovated several dilapidated homes in the area, giving the needy residents the feeling of Christmas in April. Armbrister carried these images with him back to Washington, DC and decided to start a similar Christmas in April program to address the needs of DC citizens. The first year 300 people showed up to renovate 18 houses in Washington. In 1989 over 2,000 people participated in the DC area, renovating 200 homes. With the success of the DC program behind him, Armbrister founded Christmas in April*USA to encourage the development of programs across the country. In all, some 65,000 volunteers have participated in this national effort to preserve and improve American communities and have helped restore more than 5,000 homes across the country. More than 1,400 homes were rehabilitated in 1990 alone. Some 32,700 volunteers were involved in 1990, making a contribution that is said to have a market value in excess of 8 million dollars. Armbrister notes, "I used to think [my] worth will be measured by how good [my] articles are...this experience has led me to believe that maybe there's something a lot bigger out there."

  • Wally Amos

    Kailua, Hawaii, United States

    1990 Adult Award Winner

    A classic success story, Wally Amos, maker of Famous Amos cookies, began his life shining shoes and doing odd jobs in Florida. He credits his Aunt Della, with whom he lived for years, for giving him his passion not only for chocolate chip cookies, but also for caring about others. After a stint in the Air Force, Amos joined the William Morris Talent Agency and was soon promoted to agent status but, after a few years, he no longer desired the fame and fortune that came with chasing celebrities. He decided instead to bake cookies and opened his first cookie shop in 1975. As his cookie business grew, so did his desire to help others. He began working on a campaign for national literacy, serving as national spokesman for the Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. Amos is fond of saying, "You cannot succeed if you cannot read." He has funded workshops, prepared public service announcements, organized state programs, and traveled thousands of miles at his own expense to call attention to a problem he compares to a cancer eating at the fabric of our society-illiteracy. He is also active in Cities in Schools, Inc., which seeks to prevent high school dropouts, and serves on the board of the Friends of Libraries USA and the United Way of Honolulu. He also has hosted 50 television programs for adult basic learning. In the process, he has learned that true wealth is the peace of mind gained from living a life of service.

  • Chad Perlyn

    Boca Raton, Florida, United States

    1990 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Perlyn created DOC-ADOPT, a program that provides medical care to foster children through the Children's Home Society. He not only developed the idea but solicited the support necessary to make the program work by persuading 120 physicians from every field of practice to donate one year of free service to the needy children. In addition, Perlyn initiated a toy drive for the Children's Home Society and raised funds to help build a shelter for abused children in Broward County.

  • Christy Kennett

    Canton, Massachusetts, United States

    1990 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 14

    Kennett began helping out at Handi-Kids, a recreational facility for mentally and physically handicapped children, at the age of eight. She has worked with the children throughout the school year and spent a summer running a series of summer camps-working ten hours a day. At the age of thirteen, she helped organize a bowl-a-thon to benefit the camp and the following year she hosted a Halloween party. As a student at Montrose School, Kennett orients new students and tutors peers in Spanish and Latin.

  • Cuong Huynh

    Los Angeles, California, United States

    1990 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    A refugee from Vietnam, Huynh volunteered with the Red Cross and the City of Monterey Park for three years. In eleventh grade, Huynh completed an AIDS training program through the Red Cross and became the first AIDS counselor at his school. Huynh participated in a Brotherhood/Sisterhood camp sponsored by the National Conference on Christians and Jews and was a member of United for Peace.

  • Jessica Davey

    Norfolk, Virginia, United States

    1990 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    In the four years since she created a literacy program called "CheeREADing," Ashley has reached almost 5,000 Texas children. An after school program that rewards children for their efforts and triumphs in reading, CheeREADing has been adopted by two hundred YMCA After-School sites. The manual Ashley has developed is distributed at National Cheerleaders Association summer camps throughout the state of Texas. Ashley was named "Volunteer of the Year" by the National Charity League, and is working to have the program adopted by all of the organization's member chapters. Ashley says she created the program because she loves to read. "I've seen such wonderful things come out of this program," she says. "It doesn't matter whether I helped one person or 100 people. If I only helped one child to understand the importance of reading, then it was all worth it."

  • Jody Wiatt

    Houston, Texas, United States

    1990 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    During her junior year at Memorial Senior High School, Wiatt organized the Mustang Memorial Outreach Bunch (MMOB). Beginning with a modest goal of one community service project a week, Wiatt established MMOB as the largest organization in the school, involving 20 percent of the student body in a range of projects, including painting the homes of the poor and elderly, initiating a "buddy" program for special education students, tutoring students in elementary school, volunteering for the Lighthouse of the Blind, and visiting nursing homes.

  • Kathy Perron

    Topeka, Kansas, United States

    1990 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    At the age of l4, Perron began volunteering at the Capper Foundation for Crippled Children, working from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, five days a week during the summer. For four years she volunteered at least two hours a day to help the severely handicapped children at Capper. Perron served as a member and officer of Students Against Drunk Driving while in high school and organized fundraising and special events for the program. She also worked with REACH (Religious Education Activities for the Community Handicapped) and organized her own Camp Fire Troop for inner-city children.

  • Mike Rothfus

    Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

    1990 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 18

    As a two-year member of the Youth Connection Council, Rothfus contributed over 230 hours to the project, which encourages high school and college students to volunteer for local non-profit organizations. He volunteered for the United Way, Youth to Youth, and was a member of the school's Caring Committee. Rothfus also served on the Steering Committee for Youth Service '89, volunteered at Camp Aldersgate for Handicapped Children, and helped organize the county's Kids' Day Program, accumulating l60 hours of service for the year by dedicating his Saturdays to the project.

  • Nicole Johnson

    Temple Hills, Maryland, United States

    1990 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Johnson worked with at-risk third, fourth and fifth graders three days a week to improve their language and math skills. At Suitland High School, Johnson helped to develop CHAT (Communicating to Help Alleviate Troubles). She tutored her peers in English after school and at-risk students in math twice a week for three years. At the age of 15, Johnson became involved with the Regency Nursing Home where she organized students to do weekly projects with senior citizens. In addition, Johnson was the leader of the County Community Council on Children and Youth.

  • Rob Torres

    Hillsdale, New Jersey, United States

    1990 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 17

    Torres volunteered in his school's guidance office and was instrumental in the development of a drug prevention program called LEAD. Torres organized social and instructional events to promote drug awareness, worked with the homeless, participated in city clean-up campaigns, and visited convalescent centers during the holidays. He also worked with mentally handicapped children every Monday afternoon for four years. Torres is credited with saving four lives by intervening and counseling students who were contemplating suicide.

  • Shauna Dillon

    Orlando, Florida, United States

    1990 Young Adult Award Winner

    Age: 21

    Dillon has volunteered for more than three years at Give Kids The World, an organization that brings terminally ill children and their families to Disneyworld(tm). She represents Give Kids The World as Clayton (the larger-than-life rabbit) at weekly parties and special events, and after the children have returned home, Dillon maintains contact with many of them through calls, letters, and birthday greetings. Dillon chaired the dedication of the two million dollar social science building at her high school as a memorial to the Challenger crew, and she organized and participated in triathlons for Multiple Sclerosis and other charities.

  • Annie Wauneka

    Ganado, Arizona, United States

    1989 Adult Award Winner

    Within the Navajo nation, Annie Wauneka is "The Legendary Mother"-a term of great respect for this woman who has done more than anyone to improve the health and welfare of the Navajo people. Her foremost achievement was her election to the Navajo Tribal Council, the entity governing West Navajo lands, which take up 25,000 square miles in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. In accepting her post, Wauneka shattered a centuries-old tradition that assigned tribal governance to men and duties related to family and home to women. As difficult as it was for her to break with tribal order, Wauneka approached her assignment with the benefit of a family tradition that compelled her to do all she could for her people. She is credited with preventing hundreds of deaths from tuberculosis, helping to wipe out trachoma, and reducing infant mortality during the 1950s when TB was devastating the Navajo nation. During the 1960s Wauneka served on the Surgeon General's Advisory Committee on Indian Health and successfully lobbied before Congress, receiving millions of dollars in aid for her people. So important was her service to others that President Kennedy chose her to be one of the first recipients of the nation's highest civil award, the Medal of Freedom. Mary Nelson, author of a book about Wauneka, writes, "She has made her life a total gift to the Navajo. Her work has been to build...a bridge of words linking the Navajo together and helping the Navajo and the White man understand each other."

     

  • Dorothy Height

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    1989 Adult Award Winner

    For over 60 years, Dr. Dorothy Height has fought tirelessly against oppression and injustice. Her first job was as a caseworker for the New York City Welfare Department. She next rose through the ranks of the Young Women's Christian Association, directing the activities of the Emma Ransom House in New York City and the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA in Washington, DC. Simultaneously, Height became involved with the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), having been personally recruited by Dr. Mary McCloud Bethune, who founded the organization in 1935. Height became president of NCNW in 1957, and has held that office ever since. She placed the organization on an action course, working to desegregate housing, swimming pools, restaurants, and other public facilities. She worked for equal rights in education, housing, and employment, and personally helped establish communication between Black and White women in communities across the nation. She once told a reporter for the New York Post that the idea of integration "must take place in the heart as much as anyplace else." Height has spent much of the past few years trying to preserve the American family unit. In 1986 she initiated the NCNW Black Family Reunion Celebrations. By September 1989, more than 3 million people-families of all compositions-had attended the 14 celebrations in 5 cities. "We can save our children," she said in the August 1988 issue of Ebony. "It will take working together in a spirit of unity, caring more about what needs to be done than about who gets the credit."

  • Emily Reno

    Boise, Idaho, United States

    1989 Adult Award Winner

    Emily Reno is loved and known by everyone in Boise, Idaho, from the mayor to the loneliest shut-in. "She genuinely cares for people," says Joy Brusmeyer, program director at the Salvation Army, "and that caring just spills over." Reno enrolled in the Salvation Army as a soldier in January, 1950. Over the years, she has been home league treasurer, Roll sergeant, Welcome sergeant, War Cry sergeant, Sunday school teacher, and for more than 27 years, home league secretary. She rings the hand bell at the kettle at Christmas time, visits shut-ins and residents in nursing homes, and helps in the Salvation Army kitchen. Reno goes wherever there is a need. She visits people in the Veteran's Administration hospital, the local jail, community nursing homes, and the Idaho State Veterans Home, where she runs errands, pays bills, and sits and chats with those who are in need of companionship. "I love to visit people," she says. "They all become personal friends...It reminds me how thankful I should be that I'm the visitor and not the person being visited." Reno has worked with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Eagles Auxiliary lodge, the Red Cross, and the March of Dimes, for which she routinely garners the "top fundraiser" prize. She also serves on the Veterans Affairs Volunteer Services Advisory Council. "Her hug is her trademark," Brusmeyer says. "She reaches out and touches people and they respond. If you took a poll, you couldn't find too many people in Boise who haven't been hugged by Emily."

  • Gerald Jampolsky, MD & Diane Cirincione

    Tiburon, California, United States

    1989 Adult Award Winner

    Gerald Jampolsky and Diane Cirincione are the driving force behind the 50 worldwide Centers for Attitudinal Healing, which were founded in 1975. The Centers support children with disabilities and life-threatening illnesses as well as adults facing catastrophic conditions. Jampolsky started the first Center as a way of dealing with his own demons. A successful child psychologist specializing in children's disabilities and life-threatening diseases, he was also an alcoholic who suffered self-image problems because of dyslexia. "I was an alcoholic, killing myself," Jampolsky has said. "At the same time I was consulting at an oncology service in a hospital where kids were having problems verbalizing their fear of dying." Jampolsky thought it might help to bring catastrophically ill children together so they could share their feelings with one another. He and Cirincione, who facilitates workshops and does education outreach for the Center believe people and conditions don't upset us, only our thoughts and attitudes do. Since 1974 their message has been carried in a series of bestselling books including Love is Letting Go of Fear, A Course in Healing Relationships, and Out of Darkness into the Light. In addition to the millions who have read their books, thousands have benefited directly from the Centers' free services, with over 2,000 people a year served by the Tiburon Center alone. Cirincione and Jampolsky also founded Children as Teachers of Peace, an organization that provides a mechanism for children of the world to express their feelings, ideas, hopes, and desires for a better world.

  • Lowell Bennion

    Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

    1989 Adult Award Winner

    After serving for 38 years as a professor and dean at the University of Utah, Lowell Bennion, at the age of 64, became executive director of the Community Services Council of Salt Lake County. As a teacher, he encouraged students and staff to identify community needs, explore possible solutions, and offer enlightened humane service. During his 16-year tenure with the Community Services Council, he began food service programs to feed the hungry; organized craftsmen to build and reorganize homes for the wheelchair-bound; and started a "sister country" relationship between Mali and Utah, finding support to provide for basic needs in that country. He was the driving force behind the creation of the Boy's Ranch in Teton Valley, Idaho, where several thousand boys have benefited from programs to promote drug and alcohol awareness and prevent juvenile delinquency. Until he was eighty years old, and his health began to deteriorate, Bennion spent most of his Saturdays organizing parties to paint the homes of the elderly, widows, and the disadvantaged. A prolific author, Bennion has written 20 books and scores of articles. In 1989, the University of Utah paid homage to Bennion's example and inspiration by naming its newly-completed community service center in his honor. The Bennion Center was established and funded by Bennion's former students, and is dedicated to the model provided by his lifetime of service. His advice to America's young people is simple and straightforward: "Love one another, keep your integrity, trust your inner voice, and strive to be creative."

  • Millard Fuller

    Americus, Georgia, United States

    1989 Adult Award Winner

    By the time he was 29 years old, Millard Fuller was a millionaire. "I pursued a life of material things," he says, "and justified it in my own mind by saying that later on in my life I would start caring again." The near break-up of his marriage made him re-think that philosophy, and upon their reconciliation, he and his wife decided to start a new life. They sold their business interests, and gave the money to charity. Following several years of building houses for the indigent in Georgia, and later in Africa, Fuller founded Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization made up of volunteers who assist the underprivileged to build their own homes. For a minimal down payment and a commitment of "sweat equity"-participation in the building process-low-income families were promised a decent home and an interest-free mortgage. Mortgage payments, often lower than the rent the families had been paying for the shack they lived in previously, were returned to fund the construction of the next house. Since its inception in 1976, Habitat for Humanity has organized over 378 affiliated projects in the US, Canada, and South Africa, and more than 71 projects in 26 developing countries. Thousands of people are involved, and houses are being built at the rate of one an hour. "One of the most beautiful things in the world is to care about somebody else," Fuller says. "You find the deepest meaning in your own existence when you reach out and touch someone else."

  • Myrt Armstrong

    Bismarck, North Dakota, United States

    1989 Adult Award Winner

    For the past 20 years, Myrt Armstrong has been the Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of North Dakota. Under her direction, this once-faltering organization has become a strong and vital advocacy group with thousands of volunteers and numerous programs. She is the architect behind many programs, including the Women's Resource Closet, which provides assistance to abused women; Recovery, a self-help program for state mental hospital patients; Parents Anonymous, a self-help group for parents concerned about controlling their violence toward their children; the Tractor Fund, which purchases and transports farming implements to Zaire; "I'm Thumbody," developed to help school children develop their self-esteem; and DART, a program for the prevention of depression. She is also internationally recognized for her work with "farm stress," a term she coined to express the anguish farmers feel in losing their farms, their inheritance, and their way of life. Under Armstrong's guidance, the first mental health commitment law was passed, assuring the rights and safety of all those in need of mental health treatment in North Dakota. She is also responsible for the creation of the North Dakota Commission on Mental Health Services and the Governor's Commission on Children and Adolescents at Risk. Many of the recommendations developed by these commissions were passed into law. "I feel I owe the people in this community and the world a great deal for what I have been given," she says. "It's the best feeling in the world to give to somebody just because you care."

  • Richard Bloch

    Kansas City, Missouri, United States

    1989 Adult Award Winner

    In 1978, Richard Bloch, cofounder of H & R Block, went to the doctor because his arm was a bit sore. Upon examination, the doctor told him he had cancer and there was nothing that could be done. He suggested Bloch should get his affairs in order. "This man took away all hope," Bloch says. "Some treatments for cancer are really bad, but nothing is as bad as a moment without hope." After five days without hope, Bloch decided he wasn't ready to quit. He sought another opinion and found a doctor who confirmed the diagnosis, but gave him hope of a cure. Two years later Bloch was cancer-free, and a changed man. He resigned his position as chairman of H & R Block, and dedicated himself to helping others win the same battle. First, he started the Cancer Hot Line in Kansas City to connect survivors of specific cancer variations with people fighting the same disease. The program involves hundreds of cancer patients and has logged over 25,000 calls. Once the Hot Line was established, Bloch founded the R.A. Bloch Cancer Support Center at the University of Missouri, where over 100 physicians provide free second opinions to cancer patients. He also created PDQ, a computer program adopted by the National Cancer Institute, which enables physicians to identify treatments for every form of cancer. "His commitment runs deep," says Henry Bloch of his brother, "He expects no thanks for his efforts. His only goal is to help others fight cancer and win."

  • Robert Macauley

    New Canaan, Connecticut, United States

    1989 Adult Award Winner

    For Bob Macauley, a graduate of Yale University and chairman of Virginia Fibre Corporation, it began simply enough. He heard about a man helping orphans in Vietnam, called his wife and children together, and put it to a vote: Should they use their $5,000 savings to buy a new car, or give the money to the kids in Vietnam? The vote was unanimous, and their gift became seed money for the Shoeshine Foundation. Macauley and the fledgling foundation provided shelter and long-term care for over 2,500 orphaned Vietnamese children. When Saigon fell, Macauley heard about an airplane crash in which half the children on board were killed, and others were injured. The Army said it would take 11 days to mount a rescue mission. "I had to act on the spot," Macauley says. "Some of my kids were on that flight." He chartered a jet for the rescue mission for $251,000, paying for it with a personal check and pledging his house as collateral. This type of successful effort led to Macauley's founding of AmeriCares in 1982. Today, when a famine strikes Korea, a leprosy epidemic appears in Venezuela, or a nuclear accident occurs in Chernobyl, Bob Macauley and AmeriCares are there. Operating without an endowment or guaranteed income, AmeriCares finds out what is needed, then finds a way to provide it-often within hours of the disaster. Since 1982, AmeriCares has provided $260 million worth of medicine and supplies to 41 countries, and is credited with helping save 3 million lives.

  • Sister Rosemary Connelly

    Chicago, Illinois, United States

    1989 Adult Award Winner

    Sister Rosemary Connelly is executive director of Misericordia, a model program and home for over 375 children and young adults with severe mental and/or physical disabilities. Founded in 1921 as a maternity hospital for the poor on Chicago's south side, Misericordia evolved into a facility focusing on the problems of young people with severe disabilities. In 1969, when Sister Rosemary became administrator, there were 132 children under the age of six, 69 of whom had Down syndrome. When she learned there were no special programs for the Down's children, Sister Rosemary called other institutions for ideas. She quickly learned that no such programs existed. Undaunted, Sister Rosemary began developing them herself. Today's Misericordia residents live in one of its three sites and work in the home's restaurant, tea room, wood shop, or crafts department. In 1969, Misericordia had a staff of 69 people. Today, there are over 500 employees and 2,000 volunteers. Sister Rosemary supervises all programs, maintains responsibility for fiscal management, and has planned for the home's future growth. She oversees volunteers and fundraising activities, including the annual Fannie Mae Candy Days, which raised almost $750,000 in 1988 and involves coordinating some 10,000 volunteers. On top of all these professional responsibilities, Sister Rosemary still manages to know each child and young adult at Misericordia by name. "In their weakness they are strong," she says. "How many of us would accept the limitations which are theirs and still rejoice in the goodness of the world?"

  • Arthur Flemming

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    1988 Adult Award Winner

    For most of his 83 years, Arthur Flemming has crusaded for social justice. Nine presidents have relied on Flemming for his counsel and judgment. Flemming began his career as a university professor but it wasn't long before he was asked to serve on Roosevelt's US Civil Service Commission. Nine years later, he left to become president of Ohio Wesleyan University. Truman called Flemming back to Washington to become a member of the first Hoover Commission. Under Eisenhower, Flemming held several different posts, including Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. While Kennedy was in office, Flemming served as president of the University of Oregon, but he chaired a special committee to help bring about the enactment of Medicare. Flemming next served on Johnson's advisory committee on labor management relations. Under Nixon, Flemming chaired the Second White House Conference on Aging and was appointed to the position of US Commissioner on Aging. He also became chair of the US Civil Rights Commission and served in this capacity through the Carter, Ford, and Reagan Administrations. In 1982, Flemming co-chaired a coalition of 120 national organizations called Save Our Security, which was organized to stave off cuts in Medicare and Social Security. In his current role as chair of the National Health Care Campaign, Flemming's goal is to bring comprehensive health care to all Americans. Throughout his career, Flemming has positioned himself first and foremost a man of the people, striving to make things better for the country and the people he loves.

  • Evelyn duPont

    Long Beach, California, United States

    1988 Adult Award Winner

    Evelyn duPont was 44 when she developed polio. She was told she would never walk again. A former swimming star and instructor, duPont was determined to prove the doctors wrong. Using the milieu she knew best-her own swimming pool-she began the grueling process of regaining the use of her limbs. It was a personal triumph, but one she soon found a need to share. She successfully worked with her two adopted children who had physical disabilities, and word of her work spread. Children lined her doorstep waiting to experience the magic of duPont's pool. She turned no one away. Before long, she was working her physical and psychological wonders with children from a local school for mentally disabled children. It became quite apparent that her own pool was inadequate for the growing demand, and duPont began soliciting businesses and corporations for money to build a larger facility. In 1963, she founded California Pools for the Handicapped. Twenty-five years later, the pool is open, free of charge, to anyone with a disability. DuPont and her staff of three work with anyone who wants to learn to swim. One child, a boy with no arms and no legs, spent eight years learning to swim by propelling himself through the water like a dolphin. By proving to themselves that they can swim, these disabled people have a positive life experience, and their self-esteem soars. DuPont's dedication has benefited more than 350,000 people, earning her program the reputation of being the "Lourdes of Long Beach."

  • Henri Landwirth

    Orlando, Florida, United States

    1988 Adult Award Winner

    As a child during World War II, Henri Landwirth looked into the face of death every day in Auschwitz and other concentration camps. He lost both parents during the war, and was separated from his twin sister. In 1945, at the age of 18, he was brought before a firing squad to be killed, but, inexplicably, the soldiers lowered their rifles and told Henri to run. This second chance at life is what drives Landwirth to care so tirelessly for others. As a prosperous businessman in America today, he has shared his wealth with those less fortunate. In 1985, he founded Give Kids The World, which provides a six-day, cost-free vacation for thousands of terminally ill children whose last wish is to visit Disneyworld. He contributed $1 million to create an entire village to house these sick children and their families during their vacations. Through the Fanny Landwirth Foundation, which he named after his mother, he has worked with retarded children; built a clinic for children with cerebral palsy; given scholarships to disadvantaged youths in Israel; created an exchange program to allow Israeli children to come to the US as visiting scholars; created transportation programs for the handicapped and disabled; and provided housing and meals for families, giving them food or emergency financial assistance. Asked why he has done these things, he says, "I love life. I shouldn't be here. By all rights I should have died. My whole life was a miracle. I feel it is my duty to give something back."

  • Jerry and Sandy Tucker

    Liberty, Kentucky, United States

    1988 Adult Award Winner

    Over 100 children, many of them disabled and most of them unwanted, have found a home with Jerry and Sandy Tucker. Twenty-five years ago when they were first married the Tuckers lived in Detroit. Jerry was a construction worker, Sandy was a car-hop, serving fast food in go-go boots. Today, the Tuckers live in rural Kentucky with 48 children. Jerry earns some money by working as a part-time carpenter. Sandy is a midwife. They began by adopting two special-needs children after raising their two natural children. They quickly discovered the joy that parenting handicapped children can bring. One by one they added to their special brood. Children with Down syndrome, children whose development has been delayed because of neglect and malnutrition, children with cerebral palsy-all find their home with the Tuckers. The Tuckers also care for a growing contingent of children from the Caribbean and Latin America, whom they bring to the US for life-saving surgery. The large family lives together in a rambling house, which they call the Galilean Home Ministries. Everyday chores like laundry can be all-consuming with 48 children under one roof. Lunch, the biggest challenge of the day, can involve feeding up to 80 people in shifts. Two to three days a week are often occupied simply with taking their kids to various doctors. "Some people say, 'Why does God let these children live like this?'" Sandy responds, "Maybe it is to see how we are going to treat them."

  • Lowell Bartels

    Helena, Montana, United States

    1988 Adult Award Winner

    The owner of several McDonald's franchises in Montana, Bartels has established a reputation in the community for helping in any way he can. According to Montana Governor Ted Schwinden, "He has a lifetime commitment to caring." The Farm in the Dell is his pet project. Believing that people must be given the opportunity to be self-sufficient, he purchased a farm in 1981, remodeled the house, and created a group home for developmentally disabled adults. The successful project allows residents to earn a living while they learn to live on their own. Bartels serves as chaplain for the Montana Development Center, driving the bus to pick up his mentally disabled students for his weekly two-hour class. He also holds Christmas dinners and church services for people who have nowhere to go. He sponsors kids' fishing derbies, a citizen-of-the-month program for each grade in school, and monthly parties at rest homes and senior centers. Bartels is active with the Special Olympics and United Way, is a member of the Governor's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, and serves on the Board of Good Shepherd Lutheran Home of the West. During local emergencies, it is Bartels who can be found organizing food for rescue personnel, or feeding hundreds of people snowed in by blizzards. Bartels responded to Montana's frozen winters by building an indoor play area in his McDonald's restaurant, despite the discouragement of corporate headquarters. Good neighbor Bartels can be found virtually everywhere people are in need in Montana.

  • Mary Lasker

    New York, New York, United States

    1988 Adult Award Winner

    As president of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, Mary Lasker is fulfilling her lifelong interest in health. Established by Lasker and her philanthropist husband, the foundation annually honors and encourages physicians and scientists for outstanding achievements in medical research. Those whom they honor have shaped the direction of medical science in the 20th century: over 40 Lasker Award winners later won Nobel prizes. Lasker worked closely with college classmate Claude Pepper in creating the National Institutes of Health. Congressman Pepper introduced legislation to create the centers, while Lasker lobbied tirelessly as a private citizen for the enactment of this legislation. Lasker is also passionate about the problem of overpopulation. She and her husband were intimately involved in the creation of the Planned Parenthood Association. She has also worked to create the Health Insurance Plan of New York and Group Health Insurance, and she has fought for the enactment of federal legislation to create a comprehensive national health insurance program. In addition to her work in health care, Lasker has worked to bring a little beauty to the nation. She has quietly contributed to many beautification projects, donating over one million daffodil bulbs and thousands of trees and flowering shrubs to the cities of New York and Washington. Lasker has received more than30 major awards for her work in health care. But perhaps most significant of all, in 1969, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Over the past half century, Lasker has helped transform the delivery of health care in the country.

  • Norbert Berg

    Bloomington, Minnesota, United States

    1988 Adult Award Winner

    A devotee of the concept that companies do not exist to make a profit but, rather, make a profit so they can serve people, Norbert Berg has instituted dozens of innovative human resource programs during his tenure with Control Data Corporation. In 1971 he conceived The Employee Advisory Resource Center, which provides 24-hour crisis intervention and counseling services. Networked nationwide, it provides service to 150 companies and a quarter of a million employees and their families. Thanks to Berg's influence, Control Data was the first major employer to offer its employees a flextime program. Another widely replicated Berg innovation is Homework, which provides homebound and handicapped employees with computer terminals and jobs that can be performed from home. In the 1960s Berg persuaded Control Data to place its new plant in a low-income, predominantly Black Minneapolis community. The company's commitment to hiring and training residents of that community paid off in record-setting production levels. Once again, a Berg innovation was copied in inner city areas throughout the country. Berg's focus extends beyond Control Data. Fair Break, which can be found in over 40 cities provides basic skills, education, career guidance and job placement assistance to unemployed youth. Twelve Baskets, a food distribution program, and a taxi service for runaway and lost children are additional Berg programs that have been replicated across the country. Berg's unwavering dedication to creating solutions that benefit the individual, the corporation, and the community has helped change the way we work and live.

  • Peter Grace

    New York, New York, United States

    1988 Adult Award Winner

    J. Peter Grace is best known in his role as president and chief executive officer of W.R. Grace and Company. He is also widely regarded for his work as chairman of Radio Free Europe and the Private Sector Survey on Cost Control in the Federal Government (Grace Commission). It is not well known, however, that he serves as president of an organization largely unknown to the public-the American Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. The Order of Malta, the oldest chivalric order in Christendom, is committed to helping "the sick and the poor." In 1987, Grace directed the shipment of pharmaceuticals and hospital supplies valued at $20 million to eight needy nations. Under his leadership the Order has also recently dispensed a drug that helps cure leprosy to 75% of the known lepers in Venezuela; coordinated the shipment of $21 million of medicines to The Philippines in January 1988; organized an annual effort to repair houses inhabited by sick and elderly persons in Connecticut; and shipped $3.5 million worth of medical supplies in 1988 to the needy in Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, and Lebanon. In addition, Grace serves as president of the Catholic Youth Organization for the Archdiocese of New York and chairman of the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, and he offers significant financial support to a host of worthwhile charities. As a quiet charitable leader Grace has generated millions of dollars in humanitarian aid and relief at home and abroad.

  • Rita Ungaro Schiavone

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

    1988 Adult Award Winner

    In 1974 Rita Ungaro Schiavone visited a homebound senior in her neighborhood. That visit forever changed Schiavone's life. She began making an extra portion of dinner and bringing that to her new-found friend. Then, she asked her friends to do the same with other shut-ins in Philadelphia. From this humble beginning, Aid for Friends, a network of thousands of volunteers who cook and deliver meals and visit hundreds of disabled and disadvantaged people was born. In 1988, some 4,500 volunteers have cooked more than 6,000 meals per week, which are distributed by over 500 visitors. In total over 300,000 meals (representing a cash value in excess of one million dollars) have been delivered in 1988 alone. Typically, a visitor will deliver seven frozen meals at a time, sometimes doing laundry, cleaning, running errands, and always watching out for the client. Aid for Friends serves people living in four Pennsylvania counties. Over 60% of the client-friends are over 70 years of age. The organization operates on a shoestring, with 1997 revenue of $170,000. Most of the expenses are spent on packaging the meals and for the electricity to run 70 freezers. Schiavone, who has overcome her own fears and illnesses to run this organization, spends her time recruiting volunteers to cook, visit shut-ins, or deliver food, making decisions about who is eligible for services, and writing the bimonthly newsletter. For nearly 15 years, Schiavone has been brightening the lives of tens of thousands of Pennsylvania's shut-ins.

  • Sister Mary Luca Junk

    Phoenix, Arizona, United States

    1988 Adult Award Winner

    Twenty-five years ago, Sister Mary Luca Junk was sent to Arizona by the home office of her order to begin the transition into retirement. She had been a parochial school teacher since 1923 and continued to teach when she reached Phoenix. But it was the poverty she found in the town's barrios that spurred her to action. "I began following the children home from school and learned that they lived in crowded conditions without even the barest essentials of life," she recalls. Unable to ignore the need, she began to fill it. She has since earned a reputation for tireless devotion to the disadvantaged. She lives among those she serves, visiting her poor friends every day to learn about their needs. As she walks among her friends, small children run ahead of her announcing, "It's God's Lady. Come and see." She stops to talk to a man about obtaining his green card and she is surrounded by a crowd of people telling her of their needs. Working with her own network of suppliers, as well as established agencies, Sister Luca stores her donated items in a church gymnasium before she distributes them to the poor. She also provides English classes, emergency food and funds for rent and medicine, and she arranges funerals and obtains legal aid for her friends. Her annual back-to-school clothing drive nets two sets of school attire for each of 10,000 children. Sister Luca's one-woman war on poverty has earned her her reputation as "God's Lady of Phoenix."

  • William Wendt

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    1988 Adult Award Winner

    For nearly 40 years, Wendt has been on the cutting edge of the struggle for social and racial equality in the United States. Wendt's activism began in the early 1950s when he became Priest-in-Charge of a team ministry in New York, which was designed to encourage direct involvement and community action in response to the needs of the inner city. He pioneered minority youth programs, reversed the homogeneous trend of the Episcopal Church, developed expertise in relating to gangs, and became a moderator in the resolution of gang wars in New York. In the 1960s Wendt moved to Washington as rector of St. Stephen's Church. He increasingly focused his ministry on the inherent racial and social unfairness of society. He played an active role in Martin Luther King's crusade, and was arrested and jailed for breaching the peace. In 1967 Wendt scandalized his parishioners by allowing H. Rap Brown to hold a black power rally at his parish. Not all of his innovations met with opposition. Wendt developed a drug rehabilitation program at St. Stephen's that was considered one of the best in the nation. He also organized several youth programs, a hot lunch program for senior citizens, and projects that feed and clothe the needy. Most recently, he founded the St. Francis Center, which seeks to counsel and comfort the dying and their survivors. Wendt is credited with saving many lives through his inspired counseling. His commitment to the dying is as unwavering as his decades-long commitment to ensure racial and social equality for all.