MONEY magazine is searching for Money Heroes, and we hope you can help us find them.
The July issue of MONEY will feature 50 people who have made extraordinary efforts to improve other people's personal finances — one hero from each state.
We're looking for people who are doing work like teaching financial skills, cutting through red tape to help people in need, or assisting on other money-related matters. We hope to draw attention to unsung heroes who have gone above and beyond the everyday in helping others, whether through previously established programs or on their own initiative.
MONEY will be spotlighting these people alongside the dozens of heroes MONEY has already written about since 2012 — educators, consumer advocates, fundraisers and other volunteers. (You can read about them at cnnmoney.com/heroes.) Following our July issue, we'll continue to focus on heroes, illuminating the work they have done to benefit people's financial security and freedom.
So if you have a friend, relative, neighbor or colleague who you think qualifies as a Money Hero, please let us know. Tell us about him or her in the form below, and a MONEY staffer will follow up on your suggestions.
Ann Calahan, president, Joe's House
Achievement: Creating a website that provides info on thousands of discounted lodgings near medical centers.
Why she's a hero: When Calahan's husband, Joe, had to travel to Texas for cancer treatment in the 1990s, the New York travel industry veteran faced an extra task: finding affordable lodging near the hospital. Seven years after Joe's death, memories of that chore led her to launch JoesHouse.org. The site offers 1,900 options MOREMar 28, 2014 7:00 AM ET
Who's your hero? Derek Jeter doesn't count. Let me ask the question another way: Who among the people you know do you most admire for what they've done for others?
That's an easy pick for me: the Rev. Tom Hagan. Back at North Catholic High School in the 1970s, he pushed students like me to get involved in nearby rough-and-tumble Philadelphia neighborhoods. In 1997, by then a chaplain at Princeton, he MORECraig Matters - Mar 27, 2014 9:39 AM ET
Jason Olsen, advocate for federal employees with disabilities
Why he's a hero: Olsen, paralyzed from the chest down by a drunk driver in 1999, has spent 10 years in D.C. working in the federal government on employment policy.
Critical of the government's own treatment of workers with disabilities -- it has passed over him and others for advancement, he says -- the Labor Department staffer launched Federal Employees With Disabilities in 2012.
The 250-person MOREMar 27, 2014 7:00 AM ET
Claudia Burch, retired attorney and volunteer driver
Why she's a hero: Over the past four years Burch has logged nearly 20,000 miles as one of the busiest drivers for Houston Ground Angels, a group providing free local transportation for people traveling to the city for medical care.
The retired lawyer does more than save patients from $75 airport taxi rides; she's taken them shopping and out for dinner, and even housed them.
Keenly aware MOREMar 26, 2014 7:00 AM ET
Mandy Houk, writer and English teacher
Why she's a hero: In June 2012, Colorado's Waldo Canyon wildfire consumed nearly 350 homes and caused $450 million in damage.
Watching from her nearby Black Forest home, Houk thought "how stupid my stuff looked" in light of others' losses. So she enlisted her church and writers' group to collect donations of household goods, then held free "garage sales" where affected families picked out items ranging from MOREMar 25, 2014 1:31 PM ET
Have you overcome a financial hardship or obstacle to achieve a goal? MONEY magazine would like to hear about it.
For a new project, MONEY is looking for people who have accomplished such a milestone to share their story about how they did it.
We're looking for stories from parents who had to scrimp and save for years to put their kid through school, undergrads who worked weird jobs to pay the bills, MOREMar 14, 2014 11:58 PM ET
Maj. Dan Rooney
On a mission since: 2007
Day jobs: Retired Air National Guard pilot, golf pro
Achievement: Paying for the education of relatives of military personnel killed or disabled in action.
Why he's a hero: Flying from his Oklahoma home to a family-owned golf course in Michigan, Rooney was pained to see, on the tarmac, a family with the flag-draped coffin of a soldier killed in Iraq. The pilot-turned-golf-pro began raising money for survivors by asking golfers MOREMar 13, 2014 1:29 PM ET
David Block, volunteer financial planner for wounded veterans
Why he's a hero: Block's concern for people with disabilities dates to his twenties, when his first wife died of multiple sclerosis.
After a 25-year career as a financial planner, Block started teaching budgeting to wounded warriors in San Diego. That led him to the nonprofit Homes for Our Troops, which builds free houses for injured veterans.
Block, 65, shows recipients -- often young and untrained MOREMar 10, 2014 4:05 PM ET
Rosemary Shahan, president and founder of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety
Why she's a hero: Shahan, 62, has spent three decades fighting on drivers' behalf for more effective repairs, improved safety, and fairer financing. Turned activist in 1979 when a garage failed to fix her VW Dasher, the California college instructor lobbied the state for better protection; her model lemon law requiring timely repairs and dealer disclosures sparked legislation nationwide.
Her current MOREMar 7, 2014 4:31 PM ET
A few weeks back, I read the retirement readiness quiz for couples that ran in the March issue of MONEY. (A modified version appears online as "Do your retirement dreams match your partners'?") Taking the quiz led to the following conversation at home:
Me: We need to go over where we are with our retirement money.
Sara, my wife: We just did that.
Me: Eh, that was over two years MORECraig Matters - Mar 4, 2014 4:27 PM ET
Ever thought about how much more you will spend in retirement if you're healthy? It's a little counterintuitive, but because working out and eating right can help you live longer, good health puts more pressure on your retirement savings to last.
This is just one way the rules of retirement are changing. Choppy markets and low interest rates have more impact on your retirement than you might have thought. But the MOREFeb 28, 2014 3:36 PM ET
Have a New Year's resolution? Once you get past starting an exercise routine, making more money very well could come next on your wish list. What's one of the best ways to do that? Getting a new job.
And it's a great time to be looking. Economists expect 200,000 new jobs to be created every month this year. Plus, you will find the search less crowded; there are only three unemployed MOREJan 3, 2014 1:32 PM ET
In a recent online poll, MONEY magazine asked what your target retirement age is. "Before age 60" was the top answer, garnering 35% of the votes. Another 34% of you said you want to retire between 60 and 64. It's a tall order to retire young but entirely possible -- as long as you have the right strategy and frame of mind.
To get going today, you can read MONEY's guide MORENov 1, 2013 5:06 PM ET
Are you saving at a super high rate so you can retire early in the next 10 or 15 years?
You know that if you want to quit well before the traditional retirement age of 65, you need a big nest egg. The best way to get there: Save more, a lot more, than the average Jane or Joe.
For a story about strategies to retire in your 50s or early 60s, MOREAug 30, 2013 10:04 PM ET