October 9th, 2008
10:51 AM ET

CNN HERO: 'As I talked on the phone tears ran down my cheeks'

Program Note: CNN Heroes received nearly four thousand submissions from 75 countries. A Blue Ribbon Panel selected the Top 10 CNN Heroes for the year, and over 1 million of you voted for your CNN HERO OF THE YEAR

A Global Celebration: Thanksgiving Night at 9p ET


Maria Ruiz of Texas regularly crosses the border into Mexico with food, clothing and toys for impoverished families.
Maria Ruiz of Texas regularly crosses the border into Mexico with food, clothing and toys for impoverished families.

Maria Ruiz| MY STORY

When I got the call I was barely getting home.

As I walked into my bedroom, he told me the great news. I was shocked, surprised, excited!

My feelings, emotions, and heart were going 100 miles per hour all at the same time!

As I talked on the phone tears ran down my cheeks. I thanked God. It was unexpected to hear such awesome news.. I couldn't believe it!

I think I am still under shock and I think it still hasn't sunk in yet!

Thank you for all you have done. May God bless you abundantly.

Want to do something? IMPACT YOUR WORLD

Filed under: CNN Heroes
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Callie

    Congratulations, María! Your work is amazing, and so is your dedication. You are my hero and I hope you are able to continue changing lives one day at a time.

    I used to work as a Spanish/English medical translator all over the continent, and I will never forget the amazing human experience that each pueblito and its people had to offer.
    You are doing exactly what I want to do.

    I have walked across fields of land mines and interviewed tuberculosis patients, fed the hungry, and seen life-threatening wounds. I loved working and helping in that capacity, but I have a small child now, so I'm reluctant to be away for long periods of time in areas that can threaten my life. When my son is older, however, I will do so again, with renewed energy, in your example.

    You've been brave, selfless, and kind – when you didn't have to be – and that's what I call heroic. All of the 2008 honorees, in fact, continue their work without obligation, without pay, and without having had to participate at all. The vision and ambition of the average person who chooses to help is relevant to every human and hearing your stories should encourage each one of us.

    I wish you the best of luck, and

    November 6, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  2. Rae, Michigan

    simply beautiful! she is one individual, making a difference!
    it can be done!

    thank you maria!

    October 9, 2008 at 11:38 am |
  3. Eric


    Kudos to you and the 360 team for the "Heros" report. Moreover, my thanks to the team who made the selection.

    It is so refreshing to see not a single ego driven Hollywood / Washington / Wall Street insider. Imagine – a society where we celebrate common people doing extraordinary things.

    Lets all send the $20 a week we invest in seeing the next Brad Pitt movie or buying the next Glamour magazine to see what Paris is up to to these people and their wonderful organizations.



    October 9, 2008 at 11:16 am |
  4. N Plummer

    I have'nt heard alot about what the troops (current as well as veterans) think about how they fought to protect the rights of these big-businesses and corporations to rob our country.....that includes their 401s and Grandma's bank account!?! As a former military man myself, I would think twice about going to defend the USA in a foreign land, when the real threat is right here in our back yard!

    October 9, 2008 at 11:16 am |

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