American Red Cross honors heroes who go 'above and beyond' at annual fundraiser

The American Red Cross honored some incredible heroes who walk among us each day delivering kindness and making a difference.

The 21st Annual Hero's Breakfast took place at the Hilton Chicago Thursday morning where the Red Cross said "thank you" to 17 extraordinary people.

Heroes come in all ages, like Caleb and Naomi, ages 6 and 9, who were recognized for making lunches for homeless people with their allowance money. 

Also honored were three firefighters who rescued two women and a 3-year-old child from a burning apartment building.  


A former gang member turned peace activist Berto Aguayo was honored as well.

"I turned my life around. You know, there was a grocery story owner who gave me my first job to help keep me off the streets. There was a high school principal that introduced me to the civic arena and connected me to Ways To Make a Difference, and my mom who never gave up on me," Aguayo said. 

"I think this is an opportunity to recognize those heroes that helped turn my life around and that's the work that we do at Increase the Peace – helping connect other young people to those same opportunities and paying it forward," he continued. 

With help from corporate sponsors and other donors, the Hero's Breakfast has raised millions of dollars that have helped the American Red Cross in humanitarian efforts around the world, none of which would be possible without those heroes.