CNN Hero of the Year 2009

Each year CNN nominates 10 or so individuals for the Hero of the Year for their humanitarian efforts.  Click HERE to view the 2009 nominations and then vote for your favorite.  After that come back to the blog site and post who you voted for and why.  I’ll post my nomination this coming Sunday.

25 responses to “CNN Hero of the Year 2009”

  1. Erika Oldenberg says:

    I voted for Doc Hendely who is bringing clean drinking water to the people who live in developing countries. He holds wine tasting events to raise funds for his Wine to Water Organization. I voted for him because this is an issue I am passionate about. This is a huge social problem that is occurring in many third world countries. Building clean water wells and sanitation systems will save many lives. These are preventable deaths. 1 in 6 people are left without clean drinking water and lack of hygiene. There are thousands of families dieing from contaminated water. We even have problems here in the United States with contaminated water because corporations are not following the Clean Water Act and are not being punished for it. Many people in the United States don’t know or don’t care about this problem because our conditions are not as bad as other countries, but it could be someday. This problem is risking many lives and I am so grateful that someone is doing something about it.

  2. Andrea Nelson says:

    Like Erika, I also voted for Doc Hendley. I think so many Americans today take advantage of being able to turn on sink and drink water, when there are so many other people in the world that can’t do that. There are so many other people struggling to just find some source of water, let alone clean water! I think it’s awesome that a local bartender is wanting to help others, and that’s why he created Wine to Water Organization. That’s why he got my vote 🙂

  3. Diana Olson says:

    I would also have to agree with Erika and Andrea. I would vote for Doc Hendley and his Wine to Water Organization. He is providing the most essential element of life to people who desperately need it. Already he has helped over 25,000 people in 5 developing countries, and the growth of this organization is only going to help more people in the future. He is building water systems to help these communities sustain life for years to come. He built his organization on such a unique concept. People can help and contribute to his cause by doing something they enjoy. He has proved that just a regular person can help thousands of people with such a basic but life-saving way.

  4. Kalib Hrbacek says:

    My vote is for Efren Pinoflorida. By using education as something for children to cling to rather than street gangs and violence, he’s giving children of the Philippines another chance. Why I like this so much is because I strongly believe that programs like this could be implemented world wide, especially in the United States and Mexico, the two largest gang affiliated countries on the map. Have you, Doc Hendley has made life better for many with his organization… I’m a sucker when it comes to helping kids, and giving children a better way of life.

  5. Jamie Forman says:

    I voted for Betty Makoni because she has fought to protect young girls from her country from sexual abuse. These predators not only take something from these girls they can never get back, they also most times infect them with HIV.I commend her for empowering her community and and advocating for these girls and not keeping silent. As an aspiring Social Worker I think it is important that the girls at GCN are in charge of their own healing because this focuses on empowering the individual.

  6. Tyiece Oninski says:

    I voted for Doc Hendley because of what he does affects people all around the world. There are many other people that are doing many great things to help people, like that lady that helps young women from getting raped by men that have AIDS, the many who help children receive wheelchairs, the man who helps kids find better things to do with their time than joining gangs, ect.., but Doc helps people everywhere and clean water has been a problem for many countries for quite some time. By helping people have clean water to drink will help alleviate diseases and other illnesses. It’s amazing how much affect water has. We take it for granted, but there are so many countries that severely need this kind of help. And since the United States is full of “lushes”, there is plenty of wine drinking to raise funds to support this.

  7. Wesley Jahnke says:

    It was really hard to pick just one person for the award, but I voted for Jorge Munoz. The reason being that he has handed out 70,000 meals to people for free, that is insane that he has taken that much time and money to help others. All of these people have done amazing things and they all should be applauded, but the person that stuck out to me was Jorge Munoz. I mean the thousands of people that he has helped to not starve is unbelievable.

  8. Loy Vang says:

    Well, I’m stuck between two people, Doc Hendley or Jorge Munoz. I mean, they both are doing great things around the world and in their community.But if I had to absolutely choose between the two, I’d go with Doc Hendley. The reason why I chose him is because water is a giver of life and without it, many people will die. He showed great determination in helping people get fresh and clean water for the people lacked it. Despite his job as a barkeeper, the quote “wine into water” is a pretty catchy quote that means alot more than what it says. Plus, people in other parts of the world need it more so than many of us who takes it forgranted. So therefore, I think Doc Hendley would be my vote for the Hero of the Year.

  9. Antonio Williams says:

    I voted twice:

    I voted for Efren Penaflorida. Giving youths an alternative to gang membership through education is highly beneficial to communities. Especially when our world is more youth populated, and considering the crisis we’re going through.

    My second vote was for Doc Hendley. Agreeing with the rest who voted for him, we do take our usage of water for granted. What got me interested in such crisis was on Oprah Winfrey show when she was talking about her school in Africa and how the woman would have to walk miles and miles to obtain water to feed their family.

  10. derrick says:

    Well they are all deserving to be but the two i had trouble choosing between was the wheelchairs for kids and the help for our veterns. being that i have been in a wheelchair sense i was born and knowing my chair enables me to live my life i know how bad that would be not to have one. altamently, i choose the veterns because without them be would be able to live free and pursue all our goals and dreams. they put their life on the line for us everyday and it’s just not right to use them then throw them away in a sense.

  11. Christy Vachavake says:

    I voted for Doc Hendley because what he helps is a serious issue that affects a lot of people. Plus, it’s water and if you don’t have clean water to drink then nothing else really matters because you won’t be healthy enough to do anything. I think the most important thing he does is educates these people how to build the filters or wells. He doesn’t just install them and leave. He actually teaches the locals so that they won’t need him one day and they can do it on their own.

  12. Miranda Majors says:

    Like several others in class, I voted for Doc Hendley. Doc Dendley stood out from the other canidates in that he has provided the most assistance across the world in efforts to provide clean drinking water to those who go without. His actions of not only installing clean filters/wells but also providing the people with knowledge of how to build their own, really made him stand out aginst the other canidates. Knowledge is the most powerful tool of all and by providing impoverished people with knowledge to serve themselves, hopefully the knowledge will be shared among the communites so that eventually all drinking water will be safe for consumption.

  13. Wow! This was a tough assignment. I’d give each of these people a vote if I could. In the end, I chose to cast my vote for Brad Blauser, for his development of, and participation in the Wheelchairs for Iraqi Children program. This guy is voluntarily separating himself from his family, and risking his life to help the innocent victims of war, who are often times forgotten by many.

  14. Holly Winn says:

    I voted for Betty Makoni and had a really difficult time trying to decide for whom I should. Every one of the candidates deserves recognition and are inspiring people that we should all be grateful for. Betty stands out as a hero for the added element of persevering while her life has been threatened for doing what she believes in. Many of the candidates face danger and various deficiencies because they care so vahemenently about their purpose. All of them are admirable for their efforts and sacrifice in helping other people. Thanks for this link!

  15. Antonio Mendoza says:

    I voted for Roy Foster. His work with homeless vets is great. Im a vet too and I belive that not vet should be let behind.

  16. Cody Schmittinger says:

    Doc Hendley got my vote. 1.5 million deaths can be prevented if the people had access to clean water systems. Hendley has been increasing awareness and helping to establish these clean water systems throughout the world for awhile now, and it’s great to see all the people getting one of their basic needs – water. It really helps bring knowledge to the general public knowing everyone doesn’t have the basic things like clean water. In America we are skeptical on many levels this being one of them. Just because we have elaborate water systems allowing water in deserts like Los Angeles doesn’t mean other countries have access to the technology to do so. Doc Hendley has my vote all the way.

  17. Kimone Holtzman says:

    My vote is for Doc Hendley-the Bartender. After reading through his profile I feel that he is a real hero. He created this great program “Wine to Water” that helps many people in need internationally as well as it creates a closer/involved community here in the US. Doc Hendley will get my vote because I feel he is a hero and spreading great community unity here in the US and over seas. He isn’t just a normal bartender, and I admire his efforts to improve the amount of able drinking water around the world.

  18. Paul Gregory says:

    After deliberating, I think I like Jorge best and voted for him. I really like programs and the people that run them that deal with homelessness.

  19. Kyle Kiser says:

    It is very hard to just pick one person to vote for they are all doing such great things for the world, but I voted for Betty Makoni. I voted for her because unlike the other people that have been helped I really think that the people being sexually assualted/rapped really need help and they need people to be there for them, but in the end props to all the people in the running!

  20. Ryan Weston says:

    I voted for Jorge Munoz. No one can argue that 70,000 meals did not save people’s lives. I have personally witnessed homeless people eating Toppers out of the dumpsters here in Whitewater and have seen these people whittle away to nothing. After personally seeing starving people suffer, it makes Jorge a personal hero to me that he has helped so many.

  21. Phillip Brent Miller says:

    I vote for Betty Makoni. In so many other countries, one of the biggest problems is sexual abuse of children as well as child prostitution. After reading some research and watching documentaries of this as well as personal association with some Christian orphanage ministries, I am all for people who help solve this kind of social problem. All the people deserve this award really. What they’re doing is amazing.

  22. Tiffany Hulberg says:

    I voted for Doc H. I’ve been following that work and I think it is so great because so many people take advantage of the water we receive without fail. Our water is off for a day and we don’t know what to do with ourselves, imagine…

  23. Amannda Hollis says:

    I voted for Jorge Munoz because of all the effort that he is doing to help these people. Jorge personally feeds people who are starving every single day. He doesn’t just open up his wallet and take a couple days off, but instead he is driving around with his truck every night at 9:30. He personally gives more than half of his earnings that he worked for to help strangers inspite of the economic downturn. His life revolves around helping these people and it has become a family production. All of the candidates have done amazing work to help those in need but I think Jorge deserves to be the Hero of the Year since he literally is a hero to these people every day of the year.

  24. ashley lepak says:

    I voted for Betty Makoni because I think that sexual abuse is subject where there is not enough help and programs for young girls. I think that it is extremely important to help young girls in this situation because they are easily traumatized by events such as this and it is more likely to effect the rest of their life. I think that it’s great that she was able to help 35,000 girls. It is extremely hard to find programs in other countries and this program is well developed. Girls get medical treatment, counciling and help speak out, and become leaders

  25. Debbie Kyser says:

    There were several candidates that I felt were very worthy to be the hero of the year. Being that we could only chose one candidate I chose Betty Makani. When I heard that her organization rescued 35,000 girls from rape and abuse I thought she has to be the one. Having read about and seen movies on human traffickking I know how young women can get kidnapped and have such an awful life. Being sexually abused and having 10 girls a day report rape, I thought that something has to me done about this. Having gone through it herself Betty has been an advocate to help others. The real sad thing is that those who rape especially young girls have HIV and AIDS and pass it on to the girls. Betty had to finally leave her country of Zimbabwe due to threats. She is able to continue in some capacity in the United Kingdom and is partnership with another organization.

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