Brad Ludden, Becca Stevens, and Harry Swimmer are three of the nominees for CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute.
The award-winning television special CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute announced the 10 nominees for their 10th annual awards show airing on December 11. From helping kids with disabilities to providing homes for older stray dogs, each of the 10 nominated have made a noticeable positive impact on the world and have set an example to follow. Three nominees in particular caught our eye with their ties to the West and unique ways of serving the world for better.
After watching his aunt battle breast cancer when he was twelve, the Montana native and professional kayaker started the non-profit organization First Descents. The organization provides young adults with cancer the opportunity to face their fears head on with free outdoor adventures based around kayaking, surfing and rock climbing. Today, the program has provide over 3,000 participants a once-in-a-lifetime experience with a chance to kayak down a section of river no one has paddled before.
20 years ago, Stevens, an Episcopal priest, set out to change the lives of woman who have been hardened by a life of abuse and addiction. A few years later after seeing a need for jobs from these woman, Stevens created the nonprofit, Thistle Farms, a bath and body care company that provides jobs and a community to be welcomed home. The business, based in Nashville, Tennessee, now has five residential communities in Nashville and has transformed the lives of over 200 women.
Swimmer was set to retire when he met a girl with cerebral palsy who inspired him to build a foundation that would change lives forever. After retiring from an insurance company, Swimmer and his wife turned their for-profit horse farm into a non-profit haven for kids with special needs. The organization Mitey Riders, provides free, certified equine-assisted therapy to young people with a range of disabilities. Today, at 86-years-old, Swimmer and his horses have hosted more than 700 children.