Monday, December 19, 2011

Liz and Zack at CNN Heroes 2011

An update from Liz on CNN Heroes 2011:

On Sunday night Zack and I attended CNN Heroes in Los Angeles. It was a star-studded affair attended by Ice Cube, Jerry Seinfeld, Christy Turlington, AnnaLynne McCord and many more. But despite the many celebrities there, the Hero nominees stole the show. Their selfless acts of kindness were deeply inspiring (The show should be sponsored by Kleenex!). They are ordinary people doing truly extraordinary work around the globe.

While there were many heart-warming stories being told, I was especially moved by Taryn Davis, founder of the American Widow Project (at left with Zack). Taryn founded the organization after her husband, an Army corporal, was killed in Iraq. Feeling like she had had nowhere to turn, Taryn reached out to fellow widows and the Project was born. We met Taryn in April 2011 when she brought a dozen widows to volunteer at SBP. For a weekend these women worked tirelessly drywalling and sanding Ms. Tanya Scott's house in Gentilly. The sweat, tears and laughter from the weekend of service seemed to further strengthen and heal them.

The 2011 Hero of the Year is Robin Lim, an American midwife living in Bali, Indonesia. Her clinic has delivered over 4,000 babies and provided maternal and child health care for thousands of residents. As the daughter of a midwife, I know how hard these women work. Congrats Robin!

Every year, returning to CNN Heroes gives me a chance to reflect on the tremendous impact that being recognized by Heroes has had on SBP and our clients. The show brought the challenges families in New Orleans faced into the homes of millions of viewers. And many responded heroically—they helped. Thank you for supporting SBP and helping us rebuild the homes and lives of thousands of residents in New Orleans and now Joplin, where we recently opened an office. Your support, donations, and volunteer hours have truly made an enormous difference.

More news soon from Washington, DC where Zack and I just visited the White House for the holidays...

Right: Liz and Zack with Kate Flannery from NBC's The Office!

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