Beliefnet Announces Its 2010 “Most Inspiring Person of the Year” Winners


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Norfolk, VA, January 31, 2011 - After what was a very difficult decision to make on behalf of Beliefnet’s readers and editors, the votes have been tallied and the winners of Beliefnet’s 2010 “Most Inspiring Person of the Year” have been announced.

The Reader’s Choice Award winner is Joshua Williams, a nine year-old boy from Miami Beach, Florida, who is fighting hunger in his own community, having raised over $80,000 and founded a food bank that has distributed over 300,000 pounds of food to date.

“There’s a lot of people and they don’t look healthy,” said Joshua. “So I want to help them more and keep helping more and more people. They’re not as fortunate as we are so I want to help them.”

Joshua, a Sodexo Foundation’s 2010 STOP Hunger Scholarship Recipient, started his humanitarian nonprofit organization called Joshua’s Heart when he was just five years old; inspired to do so after watching a Feed The Children infomercial.

The Editor’s Choice Award winner is Maddie Babineau, a twelve-year old girl from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, who raised thousands of dollars for African children living in poverty, before losing her own battle with cancer. Maddie, as a terminally-ill child, used funds provided by the Children’s Wish Foundation that were intended for her benefit to instead help others. She asked that her money, $6,500, instead be donated to build a school for children in African. Her generous deed is helping 45 boys and girls in Enelerai, Africa receive a better education along with hope for a better future.


Maddie’s mother, Sharon Babineau, is continuing her daughter’s legacy through M.A.D. 4 Maddie, which raises money and awareness for humanitarian efforts in Africa. Of Maddie, her mother said, “Maddie made a difference in life, and she’s still making a difference around the world.”

Through its annual “Most Inspiring Person of the Year” award program, Beliefnet (, the Web’s leading multi-faith inspiration and spirituality site and a property of BN Media (Norfolk,VA), gives recognition to individuals who have demonstrated significant courage, compassion, forgiveness, and/or self-sacrifice in the face of challenging circumstances. The Reader’s Choice Award winner is selected based on the popular vote, while the Editor’s Choice Award winner is made by Beliefnet’s editorial staff.

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