Every year, an annual television special is hosted by CNN to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to humanitarian aid.  Ever since 2007 when the contest was created, there has been a website where the public can choose among selective nominees the CNN hero of the year; the lucky winner who will receive $250,000 to continue their cause.

The charities and programs organized by the philanthropists vary between an array of different causes.  This year’s nominee Chad Pregracke, for example, is an environmentalist agitated by the pollution in the Mississippi river, who took action and assembled a crew to remove eight millions pounds of garbage from seventeen major rivers in the United States. On the other hand, other heroes work to promote human welfare, including fellow 2013 nominees Richard Nares, who organized a charity for children with cancer, and Dale Betty, who created a fund to help disabled war veterans.

The charities and programs organized by the philanthropists vary between an array of different causes.  This year’s nominee Chad Pregracke, for example, is an environmentalist agitated by the pollution in the Mississippi river, who took action and assembled a crew to remove eight millions pounds of garbage from seventeen major rivers in the United States. On the other hand, other heroes work to promote human welfare, including fellow 2013 nominees Richard Nares, who organized a charity for children with cancer, and Dale Betty, who created a fund to help disabled war veterans.

 Presently, the media is intent on portraying events with underlying negativity. However, the CNN Heroes Award reminds people of the optimism and the hope that exists for the world in which we live.  It is important to recognize and appreciate people who help others out of pure altruism, sincerity, as well as the love of mankind, society, and the planet.  It is especially relevant today, when an abundance of problems is rooted in impoverished, poor, and polluted areas.  By covering news on everyday heroes who stepped out to aid others, ordinary citizens watching it may be enlightened and inspired to take action.

 These heroes were motivated by a spark, by the inspiration to make a difference.  They transformed society by implementing the ideas and clear vision that came to their minds.  Although it may seem as if few people have the greatness to bend history itself, the truth is that each one of us can work to change a small portion of events, which in its entirety may change the world.  One may not be born into the world to do everything, but one most definitely has the power to do something; and that in itself is something that will echo through eternity.

 Article by: Deedee Aeschliman

Photograph taken from: Globalcitizencorps.com

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