Michele Neff Hernandez Named Top10 CNN Hero of 2021. Hernandez is in the running to be named CNN Hero of the Year, the winner will be announced at a tribute in New York City on December 12
(Simi Valley, CA) November 2, 2021 – Michele Neff Hernandez has been named a Top 10 CNN Hero of 2021. Neff Hernandez is the founder and CEO of the nonprofit organization Soaring Spirits International (SSI), whose mission is simple – to connect widowed people with each other and offer them resources, community, and hope for rebuilding their lives after loss. This is the 15th Year CNN Heroes is honoring everyday people who are making extraordinary contributions to help improve the lives of others.
Neff Hernandez will be honored, along with fellow honorees at the 15th Annual CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute on Sunday, December 12, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, at which time the CNN Hero of the Year will be named. Selection for the CNN Hero of the Year is by popular vote. The public may vote for their HERO daily (10 votes per day) at CNNHeroes.com. Voting is open until 11:59 p.m. on December 7. Each Top 10 CNN Hero will be awarded $10,000 and the CNN Hero of the Year will receive an additional $100, 000 for their organization. The Tribute will be hosted by Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa and airs live on CNN at 8:00 p.m. eastern time.
On August 12, 2021, Neff Hernandez was featured in a special episode of This Week’s CNN Hero, which highlighted Soaring Spirits’ services to COVID widowed people, an extensive interview with Hernandez, plus SSI’s signature program – Camp Widow®, a weekend long event that offers workshops, resources and tools, and a safe place for widowed people to gather, and a local Regional Group meeting. During COVID-19 demand for SSI’s services increased by forty six percent, not only from people who had experienced the loss of a spouse or partner due to COVID, but even more so from already widowed people grieving in isolation.
Soaring Spirits recently moved its global operations to the Free Clinic of Simi Valley Multi Services Center in Simi Valley, California. The location provides enough space for the organization to conduct in-person in takes with widowed people, as well as a fully stocked resource library. Soaring Spirits’ full list of programs and services includes:
- Newly Widowed – information packets for those who are recently widowed.
- Camp Widow® – an uplifting, life-affirming weekend in-person event planned for widowed people by widowed people. This is Soaring Spirits’ signature event, which is held in San Diego, CA, Tampa, FL, and Toronto, Canada..
- Regional Social Groups – Regular gatherings of widowed people all over the U.S. and in select international locations. There are currently 70 groups in the U.S. and 12 international groups..
- Widow’s Voice Blog – Thousands of posts written by widowed men and women about love, grief, and life..
- Widowed Village – 24/7 online community; conversations and topic specific forums..
- Widowed Pen Pals – An opportunity to connect with another widowed person by email..
- You Are Not Alone Outreach – Features cards with information about Soaring Spirits’ Newly Widowed Checklist that is given to newly widowed persons, their friends, or family members..
About Soaring Spirits International:
Soaring Spirits International was established in May of 2008 to provide a unique peer-based support community for grieving people. This segment of the bereaved community has been underserved and often overlooked. SSI aims to change that by leveraging a social-media-based infrastructure with key programs designed to inspire, inform, comfort, and provide practical help for the bereaved.
For more information about Soaring Spirits visit the website at www.soaringspirits.org. SSI is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit corporation based in Simi Valley, California. Follow us on Twitter at @soaringspirits and Facebook at Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation.
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