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The Heroes of the Heart® Scholarship Awards Program

The Heroes of the Heart® Awards Program is a national recognition program that identifies inspirational individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to enrich the lives of others.  The Heroes of the Heart® Awards Program is celebrated in schools across the country. The program also includes two scholarships: The Christopher Reeve Award and The Gee Whiz Kids® Award



The Christopher Reeve Award

The Heart of America Foundation® Christopher Reeve Award is presented each year to an extraordinary youth who has demonstrated tremendous courage, compassion and caring in serving his or her community. Award recipients receive a $1,000 scholarship for post secondary education.


Congratulations to our 2014 Christopher Reeve Award Recipient Nicholas Cobb from Allen, Texas!


The Heart of America Foundation® is proud to announce Nicholas Cobb, a senior at Allen High School, in Allen, Texas, as the 2013-2014 national recipient of The Christopher Reeve Award.


As the award recipient, Nicholas will receive a $1,000 college scholarship funded by Merriam-Webster, Inc., as well as a gift package of reference books for his home library.


At the age of four, Nicholas Cobb, while driving around town with his family, saw a homeless family huddled under an overpass. His parents explained that some people are not as fortunate and for any number of reasons end up without a place to live. Nicholas asked what they could do to help and was told they could not do anything to help at that moment but could visit a homeless shelter later in the week. Nicholas could not accept this answer, and he convinced his parents to drive to the nearest grocery store where the family bought a sampling of travel size products and drove back to give them to the family in need. What began as a small personal donation of travel size toiletries at a very young age has grown into multiple city-wide drives, thousands of dollars raised, and a lifelong commitment to meeting the needs of the homeless.


After his initial donation, Nicholas has encouraged family, friends and community members to continually support local shelters. The scale of his projects has continued to grow over the years, eventually leading to city-wide collection drives for supplies and food that would benefit more than 200 families. For his Eagle Scout project, Nicholas founded Comfort and Joy, a non-profit organization that focuses on coat collections for the homeless. He wanted to provide the comfort of a warm coat and the joy to know that someone cares. Over the years, Nicholas has raised money and donated 585 coats to local homeless shelters.


Nicholas is passionate about serving his community. For the past two years, he has taken the lead in organizing his local Make a Difference Day, a community wide service day that engages hundreds of volunteers in service. As part of the annual service event, his organization won national recognition from a pool of more than 2,000 applicants and was awarded a $10,000 donation from the Paul Newman Foundation. In addition to his annual fundraising efforts including Paypal online giving and email campaigns, Nicholas has raised over $33,000 for his organization. With these funds, Nicholas has expanded the focus of his organization to include business clothing collections to support homeless individuals interviewing for jobs and textbook scholarships for homeless teens that will be attending college.


The aim of Comfort and Joy is to tackle specific needs within the homeless population in the hopes of making a lasting impact. Nicholas has demonstrated a lifelong passion and commitment to his cause. He has engaged hundreds of volunteers and raised thousands of dollars. Despite this tremendous success, Nicholas remains humble and understands that nothing can be accomplished without collaborating with his community.


To learn more about Nicholas Cobb and his service activities, please visit


Heroes of the Heart® Gee Whiz Kids® Award

The Gee Whiz Kids® Award is a category of the Heroes of the Heart® Award program designed to honor exemplary children age 12 and under, who represent the best of their schools and communities, the true heart of America.

Congratulations to our 2013 Gee Whiz Kids® Award Recipients

1st Place - Jessica Carscadden from San Diego, CA

2nd Place - Hannah and Alexander Laman from Loveland, OH

3rd Place - Connelly Cowan from Mount Pleasant, TX

Share their stories on Facebook.

Nominate a child for The Gee Whiz Kids® Award.
Past Gee Whiz Kids Award Recipients



Behind the Award  

Marilyn Perlyn, author of the children's book The Biggest and Brightest Light, provides a scholarship for each Gee Whiz Kids® Award recipient.


Illustrated by Marilyn Perlyn’s daughter, Amanda, this heartwarming true story gives children a real understanding of the feelings that come from giving. A portion of the proceeds from this book are donated to The Heart of America Foundation®. Order Marilyn's book.

Marilyn Perlyn is also the creator of The OCHO Project (Opportunities for Children to Help Others), a character building and literary based service-learning program “dedicated to exposing children to the joys of reading while teaching them that, through reading, they can help others less fortunate than themselves.”  Learn more about The OCHO Project and how you can get involved.


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