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CNN Live Event/Special

CNN Heroes Sharing The Spotlight Special; Aired 8-9p ET

Aired December 10, 2022 - 20:00   ET



PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: For one player it was all about mom. A Moroccan player invited his mother to the field where they both danced in celebration. Look at this.

Up next for Team Moraco, a semi-final clash against former colonial ruler, France, on Wednesday.

And for Team Portugal and super star, Christian Ronaldo, a long plane ride home.

We'll thank you for watching. I'm Pamela Brown. See you tomorrow at 5:00 Eastern.

Up next, get to know the people getting to make the world a better place. A CNN Special, "SHARING THE SPOTLIGHT," starts now.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): 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 recognize the not so everyday individuals who are dedicated to doing the same. Public figures making a difference by shining a light on important issues and working to find solutions.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything will be better.

COOPER: Chef Jose Andres feeding those in need.


COOPER: Sean Penn responding to international disasters.

SEAN PEAN, ACTOR & FOUNDER, CORE: We watch people learn that they matter, that they can make a difference.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over $30 million raised.

COOPER: Mila Kunis mobilizing support for her native country, Ukraine. And Glenn Close breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health.

Don Lemon, Erin Burnett and Dr. Sanjay Gupta join us as we recognize the humanitarian good using their star power for good.




For 16 years, we celebrate remarkable individuals as CNN Heroes. These everyday people who are working often without a lot of money or attention to make the world a better place.

Tomorrow night, we'll be honoring the top-10 CNN Heroes of 2022 and naming a new Hero of the Year on CNN HEROES, ALL-STAR TRIBUTE live from the Natural History Museum in New York.

Tonight, we're doing something different. In the next hour, we'll be featuring public figures who are taking issues close to their hearts, whether helping people in war-torn Ukraine, destigmatizing mental health or responding to global disasters.

They're using the power of their platforms to help those in need.

Kicking us off is Chef Jose Andres, a culinary innovator who has built an empire of restaurants and beyond.

But in the last dozen years, he's given away millions of meals through his non-profit World Central Kitchen.

Now whenever disaster strikes, earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires, Andres and his team mobilizes bringing hot meals where they're needed more.

In February, after Russia invaded Ukraine, Andres and his organization also pushed into new territory, operating for the first time in a war zone.

Don Lemon caught up with Andres to find up about his passion for serving


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): I'm here in the southern border of Poland. You will see the people don't stop arriving.

They are bringing children. It's freezing cold. I don't know how people make it.

ANDRES: For us, Ukraine was coming to the border in Poland, and we realized we could do more and that's when we came into Ukraine to start partnering. LEMON: The couple of weeks that I was in Ukraine you were in and out,

back to America, other places and you're still as of this interview that I'm doing now.

ANDRES: We are here north of -- (INAUDIBLE)

LEMON: How do you find the time and energy and he commitment and the will power to go to the front lines of cat of an officer and run businesses at the same time

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

We have a team of over 7,000 people across 200 cities 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 what I'm learning is that the emergencies can only be run with people that are local, that know their situation, that you empower them to be successful.

COOPER: Breaking news out of Haiti, the largest, most powerful earthquake.


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

ANDRES: Chronic hunger in the middle of an earthquake.

And 2010 was the moment that, I decided not to be in the comfort of my home watching the news on TV.

There was a moment when I began seeing 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 are going through very high water and it is the only way to be delivering food that we have here around 1,000 meals.

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?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About 200-plus. ANDRES: We are able to respond quickly. Why? Because we use the local

resources and local restaurants and local food drives and we partner with them and we support them with logistics and money. This way we can do it, we think with hours.

LEMON (on camera): How do you decide where to go?

ANDRES: How do we decide? We don't decide. The events decide for us. In many ways, it was the beginning of what World Central Kitchen is becoming.

LEMON (voice-over): The team fine-tuned their operation when Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico in 2017.


ANDRES: Puerto Rico was very important because we show up. On the first day we did a thousand meals in one restaurant. We went from one restaurant to more than 36 restaurants. We are doing 150,000 meals a day, almost four million meals.

LEMON: Evolving over the last 12 years, from grassroots volunteers to one of the most highly respected humanitarian organizations and disaster relief.

(on camera); You're all over the world, and I just remember here in the United States during the pandemic.


LEMON: What a huge role you played.

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

LEMON (voice-over); 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 pick up 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.

And we've been in the last few days alone in Bangladesh, within Oaxaca. We've been, unfortunately, at the shootings in Buffalo, 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: I was fascinated by how he instigated this amazing program in a shorts period of time grew it into something so substantial, so meaningful.

And also the spirit of the organization. Entrepreneurism of it, his problem-solving challenges. It's inspiring.


HOWARD: And then there's his personality and he's charismatic. He's funny.

ANDRES: We are cooking from home because when we cook together we 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. He's not embarrassed of who he is.

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

LEMON (on camera): How do you balance your professional and personal life?

ANDRES: I came as an immigrant. I came from the country and I came from Spain, for me, as a cook it gave us the opportunity to feed the many in a difficult time.


My daughters believe 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, how is everyone working in that facility.

ANDRES: We keep assessing and I will say, no, even hour by hour.

We've got the kitchen that was destroyed with a missile in Kharkiv. The men and women in that restaurant, they didn't stop cooking.

Why we are here? Because I have a feeling everybody wants to be here. Not all can come, but the few of us that can, we are.


PADMA LAKSHMI, HOST, "TOP CHEF": What he's done is really nothing short of extraordinary. For decades to come people will look at world central kitchen like we look at the red cross. It's on that global scale.


HOWARD: In his 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 a hero. It's more than 7,000 people making this happen. The people making those happen are all Ukrainians. There's only a few of us.

We came from World Central Kitchen on that front and I'm super proud, and we are here to cover the needs. And we are like a triumphant force. We came to motivate people.

And we are seeing that this brings people together. And it doesn't solve the problems, but it at least sends a message of love and we are here for you and you're not going to go through this alone.


COOPER: Jose Andres and World Central Kitchen say they've served up more than 200 million meals worldwide.

To donate to the organization, go to

And join us tomorrow night for "CNN HEROES, AN ALLSTAR TRIBUTE," live at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


COOPER: Coming up --


PENN: Next thing I knew, I was in the tunnel of a railroad track with the train coming. I just couldn't get up.


COOPER: Dr. Sanjay Gupta gets to the core of Actor Sean Penn's humanitarian work aiding communities in the face of crisis.


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




COOPER: Welcome back. On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, devastating its capital city Port-au-Prince.

The tremor lasted 35 seconds, but its impact on the nation the poorest in the western hemisphere was profound. More than 220,000 people were believed to have died and more than 1.5 million were left homeless.

Donations poured in from around the globe and thousands of volunteers came to help. Among them, actor, director, Sean Penn.

The experience led him to start his disaster response organization along with Ann Lee.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta sat down with them to see how the work has evolved since those early days.


UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: The magnitude seven earthquake rock the poorest, most disaster-prone nation in the western hemisphere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is going to be a catastrophic disaster.

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Focus shifts from search and recovery to making sure the people who survived 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 that Haiti was over 12 years ago now.

PENN: It's where you and I met.

GUPTA: They say, hey, you, and I say, hey, you, back.

Hey you. You're just the age of my daughter.

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

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

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

PENN: Very quickly, Ann became my mentor in that work of development and disaster relief

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

(on camera); How did that first interaction take place?


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 of value added?

I would say no one or no face I saw in those early days occupied more skepticism than the one sitting next to me.

Did we have the baby number posted anywhere?

LEE: I was skeptical because we had seen so many people fly down, take photos and 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 the next thing I know I was in the tunnel with a railroad track with the train coming and I couldn't get off.

LEE: He came in as an outsider and said, why are aren't we bringing people outside of the camp and returning them back home? I have this idea, and it's like the greenhouse.

I said what the hell is this greenhouse approach? But it was genius. It was essentially, how do you attract people to go back home?

LEE: 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 (voice-over): Born in Haiti, Sean and Ann co-founded CORE, a non-profit which stands for Community Organized Relief Effort, a team of 1,500 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 (on camera): We've got to work with each other. How does it work between you guys and at CORE. You're watching something on TV and it's unfolding. What happens next?

PENN: Well, usually, either Ann will get a text from me or I'll get a text from Ann, and it will 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 (voice-over): CORE skill sets have been adaptable time and time again.

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

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

UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT: Puerto Rico pummeled by hurricane maria which made landfall as a category 4 storm.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT: 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 (on camera): When it came to COVID in the United States, we sat back and it was July 2020, and you were ramping up testing sites.

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

GUPTA (VO): Now more than six million tests have been administered and ramped up vaccines when vaccines are available, and now it's close to three million vaccines that have been administered by the United States around the world.

And we spent $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 just uncovering the long-term disaster that's been sitting there. And there's social inequality at the heart of everything that we do.

Just watching what's happened in our lack of health care systems, and even now, there are still neighborhoods where we are covering the cost of the uninsured to get tested.

GUPTA: For Sean and Ann, crises know no bounds, whether an earthquake, a hurricane, a global pandemic or a war.

COOPER: The fate of Ukraine is being decided right now. Russian forces gathering what is expected to be an assault on the capital.

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 24th, CORE has placed resources in neighboring countries.

In order to respond to the critical needs of those fleeing, CORE set up teams in 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 have a front-row seat to what heroism is.

When I was walking back over the border 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 heart's open it -- boy, it's not hard to find it in this -- in this world.

GUPTA (voice-over): 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, what 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 already do.


COOPER: So far this year, CORE says it has raised more than $18 million for its humanitarian response to the Ukraine crisis.

If you want to donate to COREm go to And please join me tomorrow night for the 16th annual "CNN HEROES, AN ALL-STAR TRIBUE" here on CNN.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: How did you get that together so quickly?

MILA KUNIS, ACTRESS: 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.


COOPER: Welcome back. Since the Russian invasion in February of Ukraine, roughly one-third of the country's citizens have been forced to abandon their homes and more than seven 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 compelled her deeply compelling her to take action.


Erin Burnett talked to Kunis about how she is supporting those in the conflict with her "Stand By Ukraine" campaign.



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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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.

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

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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 a lion, 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.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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, in any facet of harm, it is indescribable pain, because all you want to do was help a child.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you know immediately what you were going to do?

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

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

ASHTON KUTCHER, AMERICAN ACTOR: We need to get housing and we need to get supplies and resources into the air.

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 to GoFundMe, find our page, donate what you can.

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

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 questions my gut. And everything has the same morals that I do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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 due diligence to make sure that those NGOs, with the right types of NGOs, with the right people, stuff was going into the right hands.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Over 65,000 of you donated.

SUSY SCHONEBERG, FLEXPORT.ORG: It's 1.2 million people that are being reached by the shipments managed by Flexport, and this number will only continue to increase.

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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 and 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.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The couple met 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.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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 steps on.

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you -- 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.



COOPER: Kunis and Kutcher's campaign has raised more than $37 million. You can find a link to their GoFundMe at and find out who will be named this year CNN Hero of the Year tomorrow night on CNN Heroes an All-Star Tribute.

When we return --

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

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

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


ANDERSON: Welcome back. In the United States, nearly one in five adults lives with some form of mental illness. That's more than 52 million people, but fewer than half of them get treated. One major reason for that is stigma, fear that others will think less of them or discriminate against them if they admit they have mental health concerns.

That's exactly what actor Glenn Close is working to change when her younger sister Jessie was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Close realized 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.



G. CLOSE: I've always said that mental health is a family affair. When 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, SISTER OF GLENN CLOSE: We face a stigma that can be as painful as the disease itself.

G. 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 CLOSE, DIAGNOSED WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA: I'm Calen and I've been living with schizophrenia for 11 years.

G. 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 health.

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

G. 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.

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can talk to me whenever. Cool?


COOPER: Bring Change to Mind now reaches 12,000 young people in nearly 40 U.S. states. The last spring, they brought together their clubs for student's 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.

G. CLOSE: It's a chronic illness, it's not who you are. It's something because we have this amazing wondrous fragile brain is 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. It makes us human.


COOPER: 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 go to And to celebrate some everyday people changing the world, watch CNN Heroes AN All-Star Tribute tomorrow night.

Coming up --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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.

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

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



COOPER: Welcome back. While CNN Heroes are everyday people changing the world, many public figures who often share a passion for the same causes have been motivated to join forces with them. Over the years, famous supporters have enabled our heroes to expand their work in ways they couldn't have imagined. And some of you have been so inspired they've gone the extra mile. One of them is actor Gerard Butler.


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

I was actually a little bit star struck when I met Magnus, I'm like, dude, you're amazing. This is an organization that my mother has been telling me about. So, you know, Gerald Mary's Meals is such a wonderful organization. I wish you'd get involved.

MAGNUS MACFARLANE-BARROW, FOUNDER, MARY'S MEALS: He followed up by coming to visit us in Scotland and we've become friends since then.

BUTLER: I've now been on a couple of trips with Magnus. The first trip was to Liberia.

BARROW: Liberia has huge needs, so many children out of school.

COOPER: Magnus started Mary's Meals with the mission to serve one nutritious meal a day of school to the world's poorest children.

BARROW: We are meeting their immediate need for food, but we're tackling the underlying causes of poverty by getting them into the classroom.

BUTLER: Five plus 9.


BUTLER: Fourteen, yes.

BARROW: It's been an incredible few days here just watching Jerry in action.

BUTLER: Now how do we spell lion?


BARROW: He's a man with a huge heart.

Ever since that visit to Liberia, Jerry was obviously, saying, let's do it again sometime then decided on Haiti.

So me and Jerry being from Scotland, we're quite used to hills.

BUTLER: You share we have to do this?

BARROW: I don't know. On second thought --



Even just leaving up to one of the villages we visited was hard, you know. And just thinking about those people who are cutting that food up there every day.


BUTLER: I remember going to one school and we went just before lunch and they were tired. Then they had lunch. And, oh, my God, it was like different people. Energy, laughing, chasing.

Magnus is just -- is a big, gentle giant. He's like my brother. And he's just developed this incredible organization.

COOPER: Mary's Meals is now feeding nearly 2.3 million children in 20 countries.

BARROW: The real beauty of it is watching those children grow and become the people that are meant to be.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Aunt Mary.

COOPER: In 2008, Marie da Silva was named as CNN Hero for turning her family home in Malawi into a school for orphaned and vulnerable children, many of whom had lost parents to HIV AIDS.

MARIE DA SILVA, FOUNDER, JACARANDA FOUNDATION: These children, they understand that education is a way out of poverty. We need lots of nurses. COOPER: Since then, Marie has expanded the Jacaranda Foundation, the school and its programs, with a little help from Madonna and her nonprofit, Raising Malawi. Madonna has a special connection to the country through her work, and her adopted children.

Like Marie, she and her organization are helping to improve kids' lives. When Raising Malawi built a specialized Children's Hospital, some of Marie's students painted murals and danced at the opening ceremony.

MADONNA, AMERICAN ARTIST: It's an honor to be here. I heard about Jacaranda and I was very, very, very impressed by all the artworks that you all did.

DA SILVA: She said she would help us with paying our art teachers and buy us art supplies and provide us with music instruments. And really, we did not expect that she would come up and say I'm going to build you a dance studio.

MADONNA: This place really holds a special place in my heart. And the founders are so passionate about what you do.

DA SILVA: When she came to open the dance studio, it was really fun. She was dancing with the kids, singing with the kids. What the arts do is they help the kids academically.

Who wants to go to college?


DA SILVA: They overcome trauma. They overcome grief. They're able to empower themselves, feel good when they're dancing, feel good when they singing.

When you give the kids the tools, anything can happen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She has delivered thousands of babies and that is why they call her Ibu, Mother Robin.

COOPER: 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.

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

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

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

He's a big baby.

She got to meet the people here in Bali. We had a great connection. And that connection continued.

COOPER: Because Christy and Robin have a shared vision.

BURNS: I found the 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.

COOPER: 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's helped us to make sure that all six of our locations stay open.


BURNS: The 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.

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

COOPER: 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.

COOPER: Aaron co-founded the nonprofit Planting Piece that started by opening orphanages and deworming children in Haiti.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The average worm parasite eats up to 20 to 40 percent of the cost nutritionally, every day. It costs one penny to deworm a child. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rainn traveled with Aaron to Haiti.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And took them around to different villages, showed them our orphanages in Haiti.

WILSON: You broke my wrist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He helped us hand out worming medication.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see a kid that's highly anemic, not alert at all. And once you rid 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. It's been great to be able to help out Aaron Jackson and Planting Peace by doing some fundraisers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And because of people like Rainn Wilson, so far now, it'd be worth 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. Rainn not only gave us a nice donation, but he has put us in contact with some important people that have helped us 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, he inspire me to step up my game and try and do more to help the world.

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

COOPER: In 2010, Anuradha Koirala was named the CNN Hero of the Year.

After meeting her, Demi Moore traveled to Nepal.

DEMI MOORE, AMERICAN ACTRESS: So wonderful to be here.

COOPER: To see her tireless efforts to save thousands of girls and young women from sex trafficking.

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She had come for shopping in the city for her brother, and then she never returned home.

COOPER: Through her organization, Maiti 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.

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

COOPER: An important part of her work is to raise awareness in remote parts of the country.

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before I came to Maiti 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.

ANURADHA KOIRALA, FOUNDER, MAITI NEPAL: When you see that thing, that keeps you going. They still have to live in the hope that one day we will end it, one day we will end it.


COOPER: Maiti Nepal has helped save tens of thousands of girls and women from trafficking. To learn more about everyone you've seen tonight or to donate directly to any of their organizations, just go to

And be sure to tune in Tomorrow night for CNN Heroes an All-Star Tribute. Once again, I'll be hosting with my friend Kelly Ripa and we'll be joined by some of the world's brightest stars to celebrate this year's top 10 CNN Heroes. Thanks so much for watching. Good night.