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CNN Live Event/Special

CNN Heroes Salutes. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired June 26, 2022 - 22:00   ET




ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Everyday people, each changing the world in their own way. These are the extraordinary men and women we honor as CNN Heroes. But tonight we salute the not so everyday individuals who are dedicated to doing the same. Celebrities and public figures making a difference by shining a light on important issues and working to find solutions.


BURNETT: Chef Jose Andres feeding those in need.

SEAN PENN, ACTOR, CORE CO-FOUNDER: Hey, we think we can help.

BURNETT: Sean Penn responding to international disasters.

PENN: We watched people learn that they matter that they can make a difference.

MILA KUNIS, ACTRESS: We hit our goal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over $30 million dollars raised.

BURNETT: Mila Kunis mobilizing support for her native country Ukraine and Glenn Close, breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health. Don Lemon and Dr. Sanjay Gupta join us as we recognize the humanitarian work of those who are using their star power for good.

This is CNN Heroes Salutes. I'm Erin Burnett. For more than 15 years, we have celebrated remarkable individuals as CNN Heroes. These so called ordinary people work every day without access to fame or power, and they do it to make the world a better place. Well, tonight we're doing something a little different. For the next hour, we'll be featuring celebrities who are taking action on issues close to their hearts. Whether helping people in war torn Ukraine, destigmatizing mental health or responding to global disasters. These public figures are using the power of their platforms to help those need.

Kicking us off is Chef Jose Andres. This culinary innovator has built an empire of restaurants across the United States and beyond. But in the last dozen years, he's given away millions of meals through his nonprofit World Central Kitchen. And now whenever disaster strikes, earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, even school shootings, Andres and his team mobilize bringing hot meals where they're needed most.

In February, after Russia invaded Ukraine, Andres and his organization also pushed into new territory, operating for the first time in a warzone. Don Lemon caught up with Andres to find out more about his passion to serve others.


CHEF JOSE ANDRES: I'm here in the southern part of Poland. What you're going to see is that people don't stop arriving. They are bringing children. It's freezing cold. I don't know how people make it. For us coming to Ukraine was to come in the border in Poland. But we realized that we could do more. That's where we came into Ukraine to start partnering.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: A couple of weeks that I was in Ukraine, you were in and out, back to America, going other places coming back. You're still there as of this interview that I'm doing now.

ANDRES: We are here north of Chernihiv. We have some bags of food. We'll give them away, until there's no more.

LEMON: How do you find the time and the energy and the commitment and the willpower to go to the frontlines of catastrophes and run businesses at the same time?

ANDRES: Because in my business, I have amazing individuals. They know how to run my company. They know how to run the restaurants. And I can dedicate myself to things that I do believe are very important to.

We have a team of over 7000 people across 200 series in Ukraine. Boots on the ground, they make decisions on the fly, they're empowered to make those decisions. And at the end of the day, that's where I'm learning that the marine sees can only be run with people that are local that know their situation that you empower them to be successful.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Breaking news out of Haiti, the largest, most powerful earthquake in --

LEMON: A lesson Andres says he learned after the deadly earthquake in Haiti, his first time in the field.

ANDRES: Chronic hunger in the middle of on earthquake.


2010 was the moment that I decide not to be in the comfort of my home watching the news on TV. There was one moment that I began saying big problems actually have very simple decisions, very simple solutions. You send doctors and nurses you send emergency experts when you need to feed people. Who do you think are the best people to feed people in emergencies?

LEMON: World Central Kitchen was born during that trip, and has been filling the void and government response to catastrophes ever since.

ANDRES: We're going through very high water. The only way to meet the rainfall we have here around the house and fields.

LEMON: Once on the ground, Andres and his intrepid WCK team, partner with local volunteer chefs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many people do you have here?


ANDRES: We are able to respond quickly. Why? Because we use the local resources, local restaurants, local catering, local food drugs, and we partner with them and we support them with logistics and money. This way we can do it within hours not within weeks.

LEMON: How do you decide where to go?

ANDRES: Hard that we decide. We don't decide. The events decide for us. Where are we going in many ways, was the beginning of what World Central Kitchen is becoming.

LEMON: The team fine tune on their operation when Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico in 2017.

ANDRES: The Marina Puerto Rico is very important because we show up on first day with the 1000 meals in one restaurant. We went from one restaurant to more than 36 restaurants. We are doing 150,000 meals a day, almost 4 million meals.

LEMON: Evolving over the last 12 years from grassroots volunteers to one of the most highly respected humanitarian organizations in disaster relief. You're all over the world. But I just remember here in the United States during the pandemic, what a huge role you played.

ANDRES: I cannot believe that I opened this place 27 years ago and today, it's close.

LEMON: In March 2020, as states ordered public spaces closed, Andres converted nine of his acclaimed restaurants in Washington, D.C. and New York City into community kitchens.

ANDRES: I'm going to open on the side, people will be able to stop for pickup right in the back entrance. My challenge is how we can keep nimble as we grow. But it's still keeping the spirit of being fast. We've been in the last few days alone in Bangladesh. We've been in Wahaca. We've been unfortunately after the shootings in Buffalo, in Texas.

LEMON: Andres incredible drive and resilience is captured in a new documentary, aptly called, We Feed People, directed by Ron Howard.

RON HOWARD, DIRECTOR "WE FEED PEOPLE": I was fascinated by how he instigated this amazing program and a short period of time, and grew it into something so substantial, so meaningful. Also the spirit of the organization. Entrepreneur is a habit. His problem solving challenging. It's just inspiring. And then there's his personality. He's charismatic. He's funny.

ANDRES: Here we are cooking from home because when we cook together with rise together.



INES ANDRES, JOSE'S DAUGHTER: Honestly, before any of my friends ever meet my dad, I'm usually already saying sorry. Because who knows what he's going to do. He's just very unpredictable. And that's taken us a while to learn actually, like he's not embarrassed of who he is.

J. ANDRES: I steam to this day I remember the many aromas coming out of my mother's kitchen in my house.

LEMON: How do you balance your professional and personal life?

ANDRES: I came as an immigrant. I love the country. I came from Spain. For me as a cook, I feed the few but gives an opportunity to also feed the many in a very difficult time.

My daughters believed in that. They join me at times, and they understand that sometimes we're not together as much as we should. But they do understand that if we want to fix the big problems, we have around the world eventually all of us we are going to have to show up.


LEMON: Does it ever get too dangerous for you or your crew?

COOPER: Jose, it's good to see you. First of all, how was everybody who was working in that facility?

ANDRES: We keep assessing, I will say, even hour by hour.

LEMON: The kitchen area.

ANDRES: We got the kitchen that was destroyed with missile in Kharkiv. Even we got four wounded. The man and woman on that restaurants, they do not stop cooking. Why we're here, because I have a feeling of everybody wants to be here. Not all can come. But the few of us that we can, we are.

PADMA LAKSHMI, HOST "TOP CHEF": What he's done is really nothing short of extraordinary in decades to come, you know, people will look at World Central Kitchen, like we look at the Red Cross. It's on that global scale.

HOWARD: In one's own way, in my mind, he's a kind of a superhero.

LEMON: How do you feel about people calling you a hero?

ANDRES: I'm not hero. I mean, it's more than 7000 people making this happen. The people making those happen are all Ukrainians. It's only few of us. We came from World Central Kitchen on that front. I'm super proud of. We are here to cover the needs. We are like a Trojan horse. We come to motivate people. And we are seeing that this brings people together and doesn't solve any problem. But at least sends a message of love, how we care. We're here for you. And you're not going to go through this alone.


BURNETT: Chef Andres and World Central Kitchen say they have served up nearly 70 million meals worldwide. To donate to the organization and learn more about everyone you'll meet tonight, go to CNN right now.

Coming up.

SEAN PENN: Next thing I knew I was going to tunnel a railroad track with the train coming. I just couldn't get up.

BURNETT: Dr. Sanjay Gupta gets to the CORE of actor Sean Penn's humanitarian work aiding communities in the face of crisis.

PENN: I have gotten a front row seat to what heroism is.


BURNETT: Welcome back on January 12, 2010, the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, devastating its capital city Port-au-Prince. The tremor lasted just 35 seconds, but its impact on the nation, the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, was profound. More than 220,000 people died. More than one and a half million were left homeless.

Donations poured in from around the globe and 1000s of volunteers came to Haiti to help. Among them Actor and Director Sean Penn. The experience led him to start a disaster response organization along with aid worker Ann Lee. Dr. Sanjay Gupta sat down with them to find out how their work has evolved since those early days.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The magnitude seven earthquake rocked the poorest, most disaster prone nation in the Western Hemisphere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is going to be a catastrophic disaster. Focus shifts from search and recovery, to making sure that people who survive Tuesday's earthquake survive the aftermath.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Come with me over here to give you an idea of what's happening. It's hard for me to believe still that Haiti was over 12 years ago now.

PENN: It's where you and I met. They say, hey, you and I say hey, you back, hey you.

GUPTA (on camera): You're just the age of my daughter.

(Voice-over): Sean Penn, a bonafide movie star with a film career spanning four decades is there with me in the rubble.

PENN: This was a river all by itself at that time, then it would flood over, go right through the bottoms of these tents.

GUPTA: Haiti is also where he met Ann Young Lee, who already lived in work there, one of the poorest countries in the world, years before the devastating earthquake.

PENN: Very quickly Ann became my mentor in that world of development and disaster relief.

GUPTA: Ann already had years of experience managing large scale humanitarian responses.

(On camera): How did that first interaction take place?

ANN LEE, CO-FOUNDER AT CORE: With so much love.

PENN: I think significantly in most people's minds in Haiti at the time, the actor who what the hell was he doing here? And what was he going to have a value added? I would say no one or no face I saw in those early days occupied more skepticism than the ones sitting next to me.

Do we have the baby number posted anywhere?

LEE: I was skeptical, because we had seen so many people fly down, take photos and then leave. And it was really disheartening. But this one stayed and was in a tent for nine months, you know, right on the place where we had 60,000 people displaced.

PENN: I'll admit, my idea was to be there for two weeks. And next thing I knew I was in a tunnel of a railroad track with the train coming, I just couldn't get up.

LEE: He comes in as an outsider and then came and said, why aren't we bringing people outside of the camp and returning them back home? You know, I have this idea. It's like the green house, like what the hell is this green house approach? But it was genius. It was essentially how do you attract people to go back home.

PENN: That's the priority to be able to do that to provide clinics and education, and hopefully, ultimately jobs.

LEE: From there, it was a huge amount of collaboration and scheming to make things happen together.

GUPTA: Born in Haiti, Sean and Ann co-founded CORE, a nonprofit, which stands for Community Organized Relief Effort, a team of 1500 staff and volunteers, with one mission, bring immediate aid and recovery efforts to underserved communities across the globe.

PENN: I had a great teacher who told me in junior high school, the rugged individualists are all either dead or in prison. The rest of us are out here trying to work with each other. GUPTA: Got to work with each other. How does it work between you guys and a CORE? You're watching something on TV, it's unfolding. What happens next?

PENN: Well, usually either Ann get a text from me, or I'll get a text for him. And it'll have the name of a place that likely we both would have heard is suddenly in some kind of immediate peril. That we feel our skill sets as an organization would be adaptable to.

GUPTA: CORE skill sets have been adaptable, time and time again.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Hurricane Matthew battering the Florida coast with 120 mile per hour winds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Florence is far from done with this area and with much of the area surrounding us.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Puerto Rico pummeled by hurricane Maria, which made landfall as a category four storm.

Some of the nation's largest cities warning of being overwhelmed by Coronavirus, a wave of new cases and a critical shortage of supplies.

GUPTA: When it came to COVID in the United States, we sat down, it was July of 2020 and you're ramping up testing sites.

LEE: We need to have a huge volume of people tested and trying to rely on the existing infrastructure is just not possible.

GUPTA: Now more than 6 million tests had been administered, ramped up vaccines when vaccines are available now close to 3 million vaccines have been administered through CORE in the United States and around the world. We spend $4 trillion a year on health care in the United States. And yet we needed CORE to come fill the gaps. What should people take away from that?


LEE: It's scary. We've always focused on the reality that every disaster is really just uncovering the long term disaster that's been sitting there. And that social inequality there at the heart of everything that we do, just watching what's happened in our lack of health care systems. And even now, there's still neighborhoods where we're covering the cost of the uninsured, to get vaccinated.

GUPTA: Crises whether there be an earthquake, a global war.

COOPER: (Technical difficulties) has been decided right now. Russian forces gathering for what is now expected to be an assault on the Capitol.

PENN: In the case of Ukraine, as in the case of Haiti, initially, it was us coming and saying, hey, we think we can help. Right now they're in the fight of their life.

GUPTA: Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, CORE has placed their resources in neighboring countries. In order to respond to the critical needs of those fleeing CORE set up teams and Poland and Romania. They offer urgent goods, such as cash assistance, food, hygiene kits, and baby supplies.

(On camera): Do you think of your work as heroic?

PENN: I think that I have gotten to be, have a front row seat to what heroism is, when I was walking back over the border after the trip, during the invasion into Poland. And almost every car that was lined up, and almost every adult person was a woman with one or multiple children, who had no interest in leaving their husbands who, both by choice and also by mandate, had to stay in the country from 18 to 60. You know, what's a hero? I've never felt particularly brave in my entire life. But, you know, if your eyes are open, if your hearts open at all, boy, it's not hard to find it in this world.

GUPTA: Sean and Ann have found more heroes. They lie in the hundreds of CORE staff and volunteers, also on the front lines.

LEE: And we saw that in COVID, when we started, we didn't know how scary or how bad it was. And we never had a shortage of volunteers who wanted to put on that crazy hazmat with the goggles, gloves and everything, not knowing what that meant, how much they would be exposed, if they would get sick with that would mean bringing it home to their families. We never had a shortage of people who came to raise their hands to say, I'm in this. We're going to do this.

PENN: The young leaders that came up and became the cutting edge of CORE, we watched people learn that they matter, that they can make a difference. So I hope to be proudest of what we built and that in the next 10 years, I'm going to be watching some of those people become senators and other things that might matter more. Senators are going to have to learn how to work with each other, but these guys already do.


BURNETT: At a recent event CORE raised more than two and a half million dollars for its humanitarian response in Ukraine, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the organization for its efforts. To donate to CORE and learn more about all the organizations featured tonight. Go to CNN

Up next, Ukrainian born actor Mila Kunis talks about her efforts to aid refugees from her homeland.

(On camera): How did you get all that together so quickly?

MILA KUNIS: Man oh man, did I marry up. I have an incredible partner who never once questions my gut, doesn't question my intent, doesn't question me.


[22:28:30] BURNETT: Welcome back, since the Russian invasion in February, roughly 1/3 of Ukraine citizens have been forced to abandon their homes, and more than 5 million have sought refuge in other countries. For actor Mila Kunis, the tragedy hit close to home. She was born in Ukraine, and the images of desperation in her native country impacted her deeply compelling her to take action. I caught up with Kunis to hear how she is supporting those affected by the conflict through her stand with Ukraine campaign.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are big explosions taking place.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This place is completely destroyed. What happened here is horrible.

BURNETT: When Russia launched its war on Ukraine in late February, Ukrainian born actress Mila Kunis did her best to avoid the images of her homeland being ripped apart.

KUNIS: I don't do well with imagery. They try to avoid it because it makes me feel really hopeless, instead of like inspiring you to change, but it was unavoidable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Freezing temperatures with no food, no water, no bathroom with little children.

BURNETT: What Kunis was seeing and reading triggered an immediate change in how she viewed herself.

KUNIS: I came to the States at seven and a half. So when people would ask me, where are you from? I would always say Russia. Because when I came it was still the USSR. War starts and instantly I found myself being like, oh I am not Russian. I am Ukrainian, who speaks Russian and I turned to my kids and I was like, you are Ukrainian. You are not Russian.

BURNETT: Those children with husband Ashton Kutcher are part of why Kunis knew she had to do something fast.

KUNIS: As a mother, anytime you see children at any facet of harm, it is indescribable pain because all you want to do was help a child.

BURNETT: Did you know immediately what you were going to do?

KUNIS: No. No, thing was like two, three days went by. Once I realized that this thing's not going to end anytime tomorrow, I could wrap my head around the refugee situation and getting supplies into the country. And I knew that my husband might facilitate that.

BURNETT: Within a week, Kunis and Kutcher had a plan and a goal.

ASHTON KUTCHER, MILA KUNIS' HUSBAND: We need to get housing and we need to get supplies and resources into the area.

KUNIS: So Ashton and I have decided to match up to $3 million worth of donations to and through In an effort to raise $30 million. Please Go Fund Me, find our page, donate what you can.

BURNETT: They wanted to raise $30 million to pay for shipping supplies and for temporary homes for refugees.

(On camera): How did you get all that together so quickly?

KUNIS: Man, oh, man, did I marry up? I have an incredible partner who never once questioned my gut, and I think has the same morals that I do.

BURNETT: Those morals required the fundraiser be accessible to average people working with GoFundMe made that possible. And for Kunis and Kutcher partnering with a proven freight company Flexport meant that all donations would be used as intended.

KUNIS: They were working with other NGOs on the ground. They had already done your due diligence to make sure that those NGOs were the right types of NGOs with the right people. Stuff was going into the right hands.

BURNETT: Just two days after launching their effort.

KUNIS: We're halfway through, we're super excited.

KUTCHER: We have raised over $20 million.

KUNIS: We just want to say that we hit our goal.

KUTCHER: Over $30 million raised.

KUNIS: Over 65,000 of you donate.

SUSY SCHONOBERG, FLEXPORT.ORG: That 1.2 million people that are being reached by the shipments managed by Flexport and this number will also only continue to increase.

KATHERINE WOO, AIRBNB.ORG: All your donations can provide two weeks days to 35,000 refugees.

BURNETT: The effort caught the attention of Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who reached out to Kunis and Kutcher for a video call.

KUNIS: It was very, very smart. There was no chitchat. It was literally get down to business, like who do you know they can assist with this, who do you know, they can help with this. Can you call this person, can you get this person? Can you connect us to these people? And Ashton I was super fortunate where I feel like our Rolodex is really fat. And that is probably one of our greatest superpowers, is we can get a lot of people on the phone.

BURNETT: The couple Zelenskyy and his wife a few years earlier in Kyiv and left that meeting believers in Ukraine's new leader. KUNIS: Sometimes you meet a magical unicorn and you go, I hope that you succeed because you're a normal nice human being who has the best intent.

BURNETT: It will take more than best intentions for Ukraine to continue its fight and to rebuild towns marked by bullets littered with destroyed buildings and missing residents killed in the war. Like this man step's son.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): He dreamed of a house, a car. He dreamed of living on.

BURNETT: How do you go from here to what the next steps are for you philanthropically in such a chaotic and disastrous situation?

KUNIS: There's a two part solution to this. One is, get the public involved, right? If you feel like you donated $5, $2, $10, you have an invested interest in the outcome of your donation. For two, is all the private philanthropy that we can do, that we are doing, we will forever do that we don't talk about and there's multiple ways people can still help. You can still always donate to the GoFundMe. You can always sponsor a family, you can do a lot of things, but unfortunately it is a war torn country that is in a state of war.


BURNETT: So far, more than 75,000 people have donated to Kunis and Kutcher's campaign, which has now raised more than $36 million. You can find the link to their GoFundMe and more information about their effort at CNN

When we return.

GLENN CLOSE: It was like a bolt out of nowhere.

BURNETT: Legendary actor Glenn Close is on a mission to end the stigma surrounding mental illness.

CLOSE: It's a chronic illness, it's not who you are.



BURNETT: Welcome back. In the United States, nearly one in five adults lives with mental illness. That's more than 52 million people, but fewer than half of them get treatment. One major reason for that is stigma, a fear that others will think less of you or discriminate against you if you admit that you have mental health concerns. That's exactly what Dr. Glenn Close is working to change. When her younger sister Jessie was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, close realize that fear can prevent people from seeking life-saving treatment. So in 2010, she and her sister started Bring Change to Mind, a nonprofit that aims to help people across the country realize that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of.


GLENN CLOSE, BRING CHANGE TO MIND CO-FOUNDER: I've always said that mental health is a family affair, where my sister Jess came to me and said, I need help because I can't stop thinking of killing myself. It was like a bolt out of nowhere. Our family had no vocabulary for it. We didn't really understand it. We never talked about it. Now we know that she had bipolar disorder.


When you look back, I saw evidence of Jessie's mental distress when she was very young, she would rub her fingers like this, you know, when she was anxious until it was raw, sometimes bleeding. And now that would be a major red flag.

JESSIE CLOSE, BRING CHANGE TO MIND CO-FOUNDER: We face a stigma that can be as painful as the disease itself.

CLOSE: We have over the last 10 years learned a tremendous amount about stigma about how toxic it is. Her son, Calen, was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

CALEN PICK: I'm Calen, and I've been living with schizophrenia for 11 years.

CLOSE: We have found that the best way to start ending stigma is to talk about it.

It's time to talk about mental illness, start the conversation, and pledge to end stigma.

When Calen came out of the hospital, he lost all his friends, and they never came back. The stigma is the trickiest to change. I remember when I was little cancer was a terrible word. If you had cancer, you had the big stigma right there on your forehead.

Well, now I think mental health needs that same normalization, we need to talk about our mental health as easily as we talk about our physical health. And we need to get funding for it on every level. Calen and Jess 10 years ago, decided with me to start bring change to mind with the help of some wonderful friends.

Bring Change to Mind is a nonprofit organization that fights against the stigma that surrounds mental illness.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's hard to know but I have to because almost no one else does.

CLOSE: It seems simple. But it takes courage. And it takes a lot of support. We are empowering people to have the courage to talk about and to seek help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not going crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're not alone. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know how it feels.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't have the right word.

CLOSE: We have created clubs in high schools now across the country where kids are empowered to talk about it.

You can talk to me whenever. Cool.


BURNETT: Bring Change to Mind now reaches 12,000 young people from 30 U.S. states. And this spring, they brought together their clubs for student summits across America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been struggling with mental illnesses from a really young age. It was just something that as a Latina wasn't really talked about in my family. So I really started to connect with Bring Change to Mind. And I can definitely see a change in just how those conversations go with my family members and how I can not only help them, but help them, help me.

CLOSE: That's a chronic illness, is not who you are. It's something because we have this amazing wondrous fragile brain. It's part of being a human being. And especially now because our collective mental health is under such stress. It should be something that really connects us, this need to take care of our brains, makes us human.


BURNETT: Last May, Bring Change to Mind was one of several groups invited to the White House for the first ever Mental Health Youth Action Forum. First Lady Jill Biden and U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy are joined by Selena Gomez to share the message that mental health is health. To donate, to Bring Change to Mind and learn more about everyone featured tonight, go to CNN

Coming up.

RAINN WILSON: I was looking at the CNN website and had the CNN Heroes. I think it was in the first year and I saw the story on this guy Aaron Jackson.

BURNETT: Find out which of the brightest stars have joined forces with some of your favorite CNN Heroes.

WILSON: He has inspired me to step up my game and try and do more to help the world.



BURNETT: While CNN Heroes are everyday people who often share a passion for the same causes have been (inaudible). Over the years famous supporters have enabled our (inaudible) expand their work in ways they couldn't have imagined. And some have even been so inspired that they've gone the extra mile. One of them is actor Gerard Butler.

GERARD BUTLER: Please join me in honoring CNN Hero, and I'm proud he's a fellow Scotsman Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow.

I was actually a little bit starstruck when I met Magnus like two years ago, an organization (technical difficulties).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you give the kids the tools, anything can happen.

CHRISTY TURLINGTON BURNS: She's delivered 1000s of babies and that is why they call her Eboo (ph) Mother Robin.

BURNETT: In 2011 midwife Robin Lim became the CNN Hero of the Year. Before presenting the award, Christy Turlington, burns traveled to Bali to meet her and see firsthand her work with the Bumi Sehat Foundation.

BURNS: I had heard about her before we had the opportunity to meet. She's just so committed to that idea of gentle birth of loving birth have a transformative birth experience for all.

ROBIN LIM: You're the one that kept me up all night. Yes.

BURNS: It's a very busy clinic and birthing center and community.

Is this a big baby? She got to meet the people here in Bali, we had a great connection. And that connection continued.

BURNETT: Because Christy and Robin have a shared vision.

BURNS: I founded Every Mother Counts in 2010 really after having had my own personal postpartum complication, Every Mother Counts is really focused on making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother everywhere.

LIM: Today, 830 mothers will die on Earth. And those deaths are largely preventable. Our mission is to take care of all of these mothers and their babies and to give them the support they need.

BURNETT: At Bumi Sehat nurses and midwives are available 24/7 and all services are free.

LIM: For the poor, we are the only place they can call on.

BURNS: Every Mother Counts has supported Bumi Sehat since we first met in 2011. We first were able to support the building of a laboratory to test mothers for HIV/AIDS. Throughout the years we were able to provide emergency funding support. In the last few years we've been able to provide unrestricted funding.

LIM: Christy has helped us to make sure that all six of our locations stay open.

BURNS: Birth is an incredibly life affirming event when things go well. That's what gives her the energy to make sure that families have access to her kind of care and love.


LIM: So proud of you.


BURNS: Individuals like Robin models in how to live a life of purpose, how to really contribute to this world.

RAINN WILSON: I was literally sitting in my trailer at the office, and I was looking at the CNN website and had the CNN Heroes. I think it was in the first year, and I saw this story on this guy, Aaron Jackson.

BURNETT: Rainn Wilson was inspired by Aaron story in 2007.

WILSON: This is a young kid from Florida grew up on a golf course. He went traveling and he saw poverty, and he decided to just devote his life to making the world a better place.

BURNETT: Aaron co-founded the nonprofit, Planting Peace. It started by opening orphanages and deworming children in Haiti.

AARON JACKSON: The average worm parasite eats up to 20 to 40% of adults nutritionally, every day. It costs one penny to deworm a child.

WILSON: Right here.

BURNETT: Rainn traveled with Aaron to Haiti.

JACKSON: It took him around to different villages, showed him our orphanages in Haiti.

WILSON: You broke my wrist. Look.

JACKSON: He helped us hand out deworming medication.

WILSON: So many kids can be eating their fill, but because they're so filled with worms are unable to digest and process our food. So it's really just kind of a waste.

JACKSON: You see a kid that's highly anemic, not alert at all. And once you read them of worms, they come back to life.

WILSON: We all can in some way look at the nature of Aaron's sacrifice and what he's done to be of service to the world.

WILSON: It's been great to be able to help out Aaron Jackson and Planting Peace by doing some fundraisers.

JACKSON: Because of people like Rainn Wilson, so far now, we have dewormed roughly 23 million children around the world.

One of our main missions right now is helping Ukraine refugees. We've helped over 300 refugees. And right now we just opened up a dog rescue brain not only gave us a nice donation, but he has put us in contact with some important people that have helped further our mission.

WILSON: OK, all right. To see Aaron Jackson, who's just devoting his life to being of service to the betterment of humanity, inspire me to step up my game and try and do more to help the world.

DEMI MOORE: Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to present CNN Hero Anuradha Koirala.

BURNETT: In 2010, Anuradha Koirala was named the CNN Hero of the Year. After meeting her, Demi Moore traveled to Nepal.

MOORE: So wonderful to be here.

BURNETT: To see her tireless efforts to save 1000s of girls and young women from sex-trafficking.

MOORE: So how is it that she ended up being trafficked?

ANURADHA KOIRALA: She had gone for shopping in the city for her brother, and then she never returned home.

BURNETT: Through her organization Mighty Nepal, Anuradha provides a safe haven, a home where survivors and those who are vulnerable can go to school and learn a skill. They also receive medical care, counseling and love by helping to raid brothels and patrol the border between India and Nepal. Her organization rescues women and girls.

KOIRALA: Now they will go with us to the transit, have little bit of food, wash faces, and then they will travel back to Mighty Nepal.

BURNETT: Important part of her work is to raise awareness in remote parts of the country.

KOIRALA (through translation): Girls are our pride.

CROWD: Don't sell them.

MOORE: We need to hear their stories we need to know that they're not just a statistic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Before I came to Mighty Nepal, I had given up hope. But now I know I have that courage. I can do something for myself and I can take care of my child.

MOORE: The incredible beauty was in seeing what Anuradha who herself is a survivor of domestic abuse, the power of a survivor led organization. It just continues to deepen my commitment. And I look at you and just how tirelessly you work, your dedication and the effort that it takes really, to really fight this.

KOIRALA: Can you see that thing, that keeps you going. We still have to live in the hope that one day we will end it, one day we will end it.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BURNETT: Mighty Nepal has helped save 10s of 1000s of girls and women from trafficking. By the way, Christy Turlington Burns also partnered with another CNN Hero. To see that story and learn more about everyone you've seen tonight, or to donate directly to any of their organizations. Just go to CNN And while you're there, please tell us about someone in your community who is making a difference by nominating them to be a CNN hero. Well, that's our Salute to those who are using the power of their platforms to help others. Thanks so much for watching, and goodbye.