And the Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2009 are …


Anderson Cooper is revealing one Top 10 CNN Hero each hour Thursday before an 11 p.m.
An Army vet helping other veterans struggling with addiction, a drummer providing free music education to New Orleans students and a bartender providing clean water to communities worldwide are among the Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2009.

Roy Foster’s Stand Down House has provided life-changing services to nearly 900 veterans since 2000. Derrick Tabb’s Roots of Music program is giving more than 100 young people an alternative to New Orleans streets. And Doc Hendley’s nonprofit Wine to Water has brought sustainable water systems to 25,000 people in five countries through creative fundraising. “It’s rather difficult to understand something that you love to do could have such [a] reward to it,” Foster said. Hendley said news of his selection “just made my year, maybe the next 10 years … maybe my whole life.” “This will be huge for the organization,” Hendley said. “By recognizing people that don’t normally have a voice but are still trying to do something good, [the CNN Heroes program] just totally takes [an] organization and what they’re doing and increases it tenfold at least.” “This program has been hard to run and everyone just tells me, ‘Keep going, you’re doing a great thing,” and they tell me it pays off,” said Tabb. “And this right here is a real payoff. It lets me know that everything I do is not in vain.”

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In Depth: CNN Heroes

The Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2009 — remarkable individuals nominated by viewers for their sacrifices and accomplishments — are being announced Thursday on the global networks of CNN. CNN’s Anderson Cooper is revealing one Top 10 CNN Hero at the top of each hour today, with the final honoree to be revealed at 10 p.m. The announcements are being made on CNN, CNN.com and CNN.com Live. The daylong event, which began at 1 p.m. ET, culminates with a special edition of “AC360,” profiling this year’s honorees and their causes. “Change the World, You Vote, CNN Heroes” airs at 11 p.m. ET Thursday on CNN and CNN International. The year 2009 marks CNN’s third annual global search for everyday individuals changing the world. Since February, the network has aired weekly profiles of CNN Heroes, chosen from more than 9,000 nominations submitted by viewers in 100 countries. A panel comprised of luminaries recognized for their own dedication to public service selected this year’s Top 10 CNN Heroes. The blue ribbon panel includes humanitarians such as retired four-star Gen. Colin Powell, philanthropist Wallis Annenberg and Sir Elton John. Each of this year’s Top 10 CNN Heroes will receive $25,000 and will be honored at “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute,” airing from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood at 9 ET/PT on Thanksgiving night, November 26. The global broadcast, with Cooper as the host, will culminate with the announcement of the CNN Hero of the Year, selected by the public in an online poll that begins at 11 p.m. ET Thursday. Viewers can go to CNN.com/Heroes to participate in the poll, which continues through November 19 at 6 a.m. ET. The individual receiving the most votes will receive an additional $100,000. Here are the Top 10 CNN Heroes, in order of their announcement Thursday:

Jorge Munoz School bus driver Jorge Munoz is helping hungry New Yorkers make it through tough times. Since 2004, he has handed out more than 70,000 meals from his mobile soup kitchen in Queens — for free. Full story | Video | Extra | How to help

Jordan Thomas Jordan Thomas, 20, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, lost both of his legs in a boating accident in 2005. Since then, his Jordan Thomas Foundation has raised more than $400,000 to provide prosthetics for children in need. Full story | Video | Extra | How to help

Budi Soehardi Budi Soehardi founded a children’s home in one of the poorest areas of Indonesia. Today, Roslin Orphanage in West Timor provides food, shelter and education to more than 45 children. Full story | Video | Extra | How to help

Betty Makoni Zimbabwe native Betty Makoni founded the Girl Child Network to provide a haven for young victims of sexual abuse. The organization has rescued more than 35,000 girls since 2001. Full story | Video | Extra | How to help

Doc Hendley Bartender Doc Hendley is providing clean water to communities worldwide. Through creative fundraising, his nonprofit Wine to Water has brought sustainable water systems to 25,000 people in five countries. Full story | Video | Extra | How to help

Efren Peaflorida Efren Peaflorida gives Filipino youth an alternative to gang membership through education. His Dynamic Teen Company’s 10,000 members have taught basic reading and writing to 1,500 kids living in the slums. Full story | Video | Extra | How to help

Derrick Tabb Derrick Tabb started The Roots of Music to give young people an alternative to New Orleans’ streets. His music education program provides free tutoring, instruments and music instruction to more than 100 students. Full story | Video | Extra | How to help

Roy Foster Army veteran Roy Foster started Stand Down House to help veterans struggling with addiction and homelessness in Florida. Since 2000, his program has provided life-changing services to nearly 900 veterans. Full story | Video | Extra | How to help

Andrea Ivory Breast cancer survivor Andrea Ivory is bringing early detection to the doorsteps of uninsured women. With mobile mammography vans, her group has provided more than 500 free screenings in Miami, Florida. Full story | Video | Extra | How to help

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