This year’s Top 10 CNN Heroes were announced last week. Each will receive $25,000 and be honored during a televised All-Star Tribute airing on Thanksgiving night, culminating in the crowning of Hero of the Year. The top hero will be selected by the public in an online poll, continuing through November 19 at the website, CNN.com/Heroes. The person receiving the most votes will win an additional $100,000.
The Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2008 are:
Tad Agoglia, Houston, Texas —
Ted provides his own volunteer First Response Team to areas hit by natural disasters. In the last year, he and his crew have aided thousands of victims at more than 15 sites across the United States.
Yohannes Gebregeorgis, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia —
Yohannes established Ethiopia Reads to bring free public libraries and literacy programs to thousands of his native country’s children.
Carolyn LeCroy, Norfolk, Virginia —
After serving time in prison, Ms. LeCroy started The Messages Project to help inmates stay in touch with their children. She and volunteer camera crews have taped roughly 3,000 messages from parents to their children.
Anne Mahlum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania —
Anne remembers jogging past homeless men and now she is transforming their lives by running with them as part of her “Back On My Feet” program.
Liz McCartney, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana —
Liz has dedicated herself to giving back their homes to Hurricane Katrina survivors — more than 120 families, so far — with her nonprofit St. Bernard Project.
Phymean Noun, Toronto, Ontario —
Ms. Noun offers hundreds of Cambodian children who work in Phnom Penh’s trash dump a way out — through free schooling and job training.
David Puckett, Savannah, Georgia —
David provides artificial limbs and braces free of charge to people in Mexico. In the last eight years his mission has helped more than 420 people.
Maria Ruiz, El Paso, Texas —
Several times a week, Maria crosses the border into Juarez, Mexico, to bring food, clothing and toys to hundreds of impoverished children and their families.
Marie Da Silva, Los Angeles, California —
Having lost 14 family members to AIDS, the Los Angeles nanny funds a school in her native Malawi for AIDS orphans.
Viola Vaughn, Kaolack, Senegal —
The Detroit, Michigan, native moved to Senegal to retire, but instead, started a school for hundreds of girls who were falling through society’s cracks. Today, her “10,000 Girls” program helps girls succeed in school and run their own businesses.