Ten everyday people are recognized for their remarkable efforts to make the world a better place.
Arthur Bloom (Bethesda, MD) Since 2007, Arthur Bloom has used the healing power of music to help hundreds of injured soldiers recover their lives. His program, MusiCorps, pairs professional musicians with troops recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, helping them play instruments and write and record music.
Jon Burns (Stockton-on-Tees, England) Jon Burns is rallying fellow soccer fans to help children from poor communities in cities hosting the World and Euro Cups. Since 2006, his nonprofit, Lionsraw, has engaged more than 500 volunteers in construction projects and educational programs that have benefitted nearly 6,000 children.
Bridget Cutler was still adjusting to being a new mom when she read a magazine article that changed her life.
"It was about a mother who decided to give her child up for adoption because she couldn't stand to hear her crying from hunger," Cutler remembered. "I just thought that no mother should ever be faced with that choice."
It can cost close to $250,000 to raise a child in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture - and that is just for the basics. It's especially tough for families in New Jersey, where one in eight people struggle to make ends meet.
The following day, Cutler called her "mom friends" and started collecting gently used baby items.
"I had the intention, originally, of finding a local organization to donate them to that would benefit my neighbors," said Cutler, 34.
When she did not find what she was looking for, Cutler's idea for Moms Helping Moms was born. Since 2011, the nonprofit has distributed diapers, clothing, nursing supplies and other baby essentials for hundreds of infants and toddlers in New Jersey.
"So many people have such an abundance, and so many others strive to afford even the basics," Cutler said. "What we're doing is trying to bridge that gap."
Growing up in Guatemala, Juan Pablo Romero Fuentes watched many of his peers succumb to drugs, gangs and crime.
"Kids here are forced to grow up in a very harsh environment filled with violence," he said.
Reeling from decades of civil war, Guatemala continues to be plagued by poverty and violence. According to the United Nations, the country has the fifth-worst homicide rate.
Romero Fuentes became a teacher in his hometown, and he found that many of his students were struggling with the same issues his generation had faced.
"Their parents had no jobs; their families were disintegrating. They had no hope or motivation," he said.
So, at 23 and with his parent's blessing, Romero Fuentes turned part of his family's home into a community center. In 2006, he began tutoring and mentoring a handful of kids after school. Word spread quickly, and children from all over the community joined the group.