Most inspiring nominees of 2009

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By: Tayi (122 month(s) ago)

Wonderful presentation Xiby!!!!!!!

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Most Inspiring Nominees of 2009 The nominees were all selected by Beliefnet. Beliefnet’s mission is to help people like you find, and walk, a spiritual path that will bring comfort, hope, clarity, strength, and happiness. Click to proceed>

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"Kids are never too young to make a difference," says 12-year-old Zach Bonner, a sixth-grader in Tampa, Fla. "No matter how old or how young, how rich or how poor, you can always make a difference. Whether you donate a dollar or a hundred dollars, it all adds up.“Zach began at 6, hauling his Radio Flyer through his hometown, collecting bottled water for hurricane victims. But his greatest concern was the plight of homeless children. At 7 he was filling backpacks with food, hygiene products, and simple toys for kids living on the street, some of whom had never had a new toy. “There are 1.3 million homeless kids in America,” says Zach. “And 13 die each day on the street.” One of his projects, “24 Hours,” got kids like him to spend a day and night living on the street in cardboard boxes to experience what homeless kids go through. Last year he made a 1200-mile "My House to the White House" walk to raise money to house homeless youth, and he is now embarked on a coast-to-coast walk to benefit a boys' and girls' club in Los Angeles.Zach is nominated as one of Beliefnet's Most Inspiring People of the Year for living his conviction that no one is ever too young to change the world. …the Most Inspiring Person of 2009.

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Minutes after takeoff, both engines of US Airways Flight 1549 went dead, and Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the commanding pilot, knew he had just moments to save the 155 people aboard.  The plane had hit a large flock of birds, and Capt. Sully determined that returning to New York’s La Guardia Airport was impossible. As the towers of the city loomed, there was only one option--landing in the Hudson River. Six minutes after takeoff, all aboard were rescued, with only five serious injuries. Capt. Sully waded through the flooded cabin to check for stragglers and collect the maintenance book. He was the last to exit the sinking plane.Sully was hailed as a savior--a title he continues to shun with typical selflessness. "I was just doing my job," he said to grateful survivors and their families hours after the rescue, but those who know him say a lifetime of preparation gave him steadiness under fire. "He was cool because he had all this experience," said Jeff Zaslow, who co-wrote Sully's memoir, "Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters.” Capt. Sullenberger, 58, is nominated as one of Beliefnet's Most Inspiring People of the Year for his display of grace under pressure and devotion to duty.

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Call it the Two-Buck Economic Stimulus Plan. With many businesses struggling to survive the economic downturn, Danny Cottrell, a pharmacist in tiny Brewton, Ala., gave his 24 employees a bonus--$700 for full-time workers and $350 for part-timers.  There was a catch--they had to give 15 percent to charity or to someone in need, and the rest had to be spent in local businesses. Cottrell is nominated as one of Beliefnet's Most Inspiring People of the Year for demonstrating that neighbors can help neighbors out of tough economic times. "I wanted to help my employees and I wanted to help the town and I wanted to help people in need," Cottrell told NBC News. "I think we've managed to do all of that."  "They've done a good job," Cottrell said of his employees and the townspeople. Since Cottrell gave out the money in March, dozens of businesses from New Hampshire to Alaska have done the same. A website that charts what it calls "The People's Stimulus Package" has put more than $120,000 back into local economies.

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When Kaleb Eulls, 18, saw the girl waving the gun around the school bus, he didn't stop to think. He went into action.As one of the best high school quarterbacks and defensive ends in Mississippi, Kaleb's years of athletic training kicked in and he tackled the girl, knocking the .38 caliber semi-automatic out of her hands and allowing the 20 other children on the bus to escape unharmed. Kaleb, 18, is nominated as one of Beliefnet's Most Inspiring People of the Year for having the courage and clear-headedness to think of others before himself. "I just tried to catch her attention, tried to get her to point the gun directly at me," Kaleb told reporters. "I just tried to calm her down and get the gun away from her and she refused. So I just tried to get her attention, and as she blinked for a second, I just lunged at her.“ If he had not reacted so selflessly and quickly, there might have been a bloodbath and a lot of sad families.  The gun had five rounds of ammunition in it, and the girl, upset over being bullied, was distraught and threatened every child, ages 5 to 18, on the bus.

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Jorge Munoz is a man who has made it his mission to help the less fortunate by putting his money where their mouths are. Mostly financed by his modest salary as a school bus driver, Munoz buys food, helps cook it and personally delivers it—every day! For the last five years.  He has devoted a huge chunk of his time and money, providing daily free meals to the hungry in Queens, a borough of New York City. Rain or shine, hot or cold, weekday or weekend, Munoz dishes out chicken, rice, hot chocolate, and coffee to the poor from the back of his truck parked under an elevated subway stop. "I think God has given me this to do.“ "Everyday, when I get up, I pray to God and say thanks a lot because I have a bed, hot coffee, something to wear. These guys, they do not have that. His mother, Blanca, prepares the food while Munoz or his sister, Luz, serves it. Munoz, 45, is nominated as one of Beliefnet's Most Inspiring Persons of the Year for his selflessness in using his own resources to look after the less fortunate.He was born in Colombia and went to New York after his mother, a widow, found work there. In 2004 he began handing out brown bag meals to day laborers, most of them undocumented.

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Last June, as bride-to-be Jill Peterson, her fiancé Kevin Heinz, and 16 wedding attendants rehearsed the couple's wedding procession, they put on Chris Brown's recording of "Forever" and let loose their inner hip-hoppers. Their super-sassy, booty-busting, uninhibited wedding dance down the aisle, captured on video, is five minutes and 10 seconds of utter joy. Last June, as bride-to-be Jill Peterson, her fiancé Kevin Heinz, and 16 wedding attendants rehearsed the couple's wedding procession, they put on Chris Brown's recording of "Forever" and let loose their inner hip-hoppers. Their super-sassy, booty-busting, uninhibited wedding dance down the aisle, captured on video, is five minutes and 10 seconds of utter joy. Kevin and Jill Heinz, both 28, are nominated as two of Beliefnet's Most Inspiring People of the Year for spreading joy and creatively using their experience for a good cause. Fans of the video can click onto the couple's website and make a donation to the Sheila Wellstone Institute. To date, it has generated more than $15,000 in donations to the charity.

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In a year of devastating budget cuts with thousands losing their jobs around the country, Paul Levy, CEO of Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, was faced with the painful prospect of cutting 600 jobs due to budget shortfalls. But Levy, 59, went a different route. He involved the entire hospital staff in brainstorming ways to avoid layoffs. "I knew it would be very hard for people to find new jobs and I did not want to put them through that, so I immediately started thinking if everybody in the organization makes a small sacrifice, we can save these jobs.” “How could that happen?“ It happened in "town meetings" where skilled employees--doctors, nurses, accountants--came up with a plan to cut their own salaries and benefits so that low-wage workers might be spared. Many of them were struggling immigrants, and others had a spouse already out of work. Setting an example, Levy cut his own $1 million-plus salary. Other hospital's skilled workers took a pay cut. What they gained was greater than any dollar amount--a recharged sense of family, support, and the value of each employee's labor. Paul Levy is nominated as one of Beliefnet's Most Inspiring Persons of the Year for showing consideration for his employees and trusting in their compassion.

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Reaching out to the people of Afghanistan is one of the hardest parts of the war effort. It is not easy to get Americans, with all their challenges at home, to focus their concern on people who are half a world away.  But two Air Force officers have found an unusual method--turning the football rivalry between their two universities into something much bigger: a battle for the hearts and minds of Afghans. Major Tobin Griffeth and Capt. Katie Illingworth, two Air Force officers and who are both lawyers, serving at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, are nominated as Beliefnet's Most Inspiring People of the Year for turning the Battle of the Red River--the University of Texas Longhorns vs. the University of Oklahoma Sooners, into Operation Red River Cares, a charity drive for warm clothes, shoes, and school supplies for suffering Afghans. "We started this because it's the right thing to do," said Griffeth. "In a war where we'll spend millions on bombs or missiles, it only makes sense to spend money on clothes, or socks."  "We thought it would be great to direct that energy to helping people there." The officers came up with the idea when military chaplains expressed a need for basic supplies among local Afghans.

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In his long struggle with Parkinson's disease, Michael J. Fox has never given in to the darkness of the disease--the trembling limbs, the frozen muscles, the vertigo that threatened to end his acting career. Instead, he has made misfortune his ally, using it to rally people against the degenerative brain disease. Fox is nominated as one of Beliefnet's Most Inspiring People of the Year for his unwavering optimism, even in the face of debilitating illness and the uncertainty of a cure. In the forefront of the battle against Parkinson's his Michael J. Fox Foundation, is in pursuit of a cure. To date, it has raised more than $154 million dollars for research. He has also been a vocal advocate for stem cell research because of its potential to help those with Parkinson's and many other illnesses. Fox is also the best-selling author of  "Lucky Man" (2002) and "Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist" (2009). The titles of his books reflect his conviction that every setback is a chance to rise up even stronger. "I see possibilities in everything, for everything that's taken away, something of greater value has been given. As big as my problems are, as big as Parkinson's is, for example, it can't take up that much space in a world that has so much capacity for good stuff. It just doesn't. I just don't let it take up that much room."

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"There is more happiness in giving than in receiving." Acts, 20:35 "In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us." Flora Edwards “Do something for somebody every day forwhich you do not get paid.” Albert Schweitzer "Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds." George Eliot Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have." Jim Rohn "People never forget that helping hand especially when times are tough." Catherine Pulsifer "Help someone who can't return the favor." Author Unknown "Do all the good you can, and make as little fuss about it as possible." Charles Dickens My selected Quotes for 2010.

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