Most Inspiring Person of the Year 2005

Most Inspiring Person of the Year 2005

Most Inspiring Person for the Year 2005

Victoria Ruvolo
Beliefnet's Most Inspiring Person of 2005

It could have happened to any of us. Nov. 13, 2004, Ruvolo was driving to a niece's recital when her world collapsed. A group of teenagers had stolen a credit card and gone on a joy ride with some of the items they'd bought. One of them thought it would be amusing to throw a frozen turkey into moving traffic. The turkey smashed through Ruvolo's windshield, shattering her face and nearly killing her. Nevertheless, she showed mercy on the boy who threw the turkey. She told Beliefnet, "I want to see him grow up and become a good part of society."
Read more about why we picked her »


Video: Meet Our Winner
"Waking up from a coma"
"I do not believe in revenge"
"I am a very spiritual person"
"I thank God every day"
"Kindness and giving is the best way"
"At 13, my first brother died"
"The meaning of the Grinch"
"What happened in the courtroom"

Helping Hand
Beliefnet will donate $1000 to Victoria Ruvolo's charity of choice, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

Meet Our Candidates
Bono Bono
Rocker & activist
Fishback Cpt. Ian Fishback
Whistleblower on torture
Alex Scott Alex Scott
Fighter against pediatric cancer
Mable Brown Mable Brown
Hurricane Katrina hero
Capt. David Rozelle Capt. David Rozelle
Heroic amputee
Rick Warren Rick Warren
'Purpose Driven' pastor & activist
Donyea Hoffman Goodwin Donyea Goodwin
Katrina host
Amma Amma
"Hugging Saint" & tsunami donor
Rosa Parks Rosa Parks
Civil rights pioneer
Victoria Ruvolo Victoria Ruvolo
Merciful victim
Iraqi voters Iraqi voters
Risked their lives for democracy
Ahmed and Pearl Akbar Ahmed & Judea Pearl Interfaith advocates
Photo credits: Ruvolo: Beliefnet/Wendy Schuman; Bono: Getty/Mark Renders; Fishback: Jamie Rose/The New York Times; Scott: AP Photo/Jacqueline Lama; Brown: Courtesy of Mable Brown; Rozelle: Courtesy of Regnery Publishing/Capt. David Rozelle; Warren: Zondervan; Goodwin: Courtesy of Donyea Hoffman Goodwin; Amma:; Parks: RNS/Birmingham (Ala.) News; Ruvolo: Newsday/Michael E. Ach, Copyright, 2005, Newsday. Reprinted with permission; Iraqi voters: AFP; Ahmed and Pearl: Courtesy of Akbar Ahmed and Judea Pearl.